In order to keep up with fast developing technical standards, pharmaceutical manufacturers face the question whether investing in new equipment is the most profitable solution. Instead of purchasing completely new machines, in many cases a modernization is worth considering - especially when the existing equipment still shows good overall performance and modernization work can be carried out with minimum downtime. Following more than ten years of successful production on the tablet coater, the pharmaceutical manufacturer Takeda Brasil decided that it was time for an upgrade. After the service technicians from Bosch Packaging Services had exchanged the control system and spray guns, the coater was as good as new again.
State-of-the-art equipment is one of the most important prerequisites for a successful pharmaceutical production - not only in terms of high safety standards, but also for fast and easy handling, as well as reduced downtimes. This is also true for the globally operating drug manufacturer Takeda. Founded more than 230 years ago in Japan, the company's portfolio now comprises more than 700 products that are sold in 70 countries. After the acquisition of the pharmaceutical company Nycomed in 2011, Takeda took over operation at the Brazilian plant, located in the city of Jaguariúna in the State of São Paulo.
When Takeda started operating in Brazil, the company took over a Premier Coater 500, manufactured by the Bosch product brand Manesty. The machine is able to handle large batches up to 600 liters. Capable of working with aqueous and organic coating and sugar solutions, the machine is suited for all solid dosage forms including tablets in different sizes, as well as soft and hard capsules. Takeda uses the coater to produce Dramin, a drug against nausea, and Venalot, a medicine for vascular diseases, among other products. After more than ten years of production, the control system no longer met the latest technical standards Takeda needed for its high-quality products. The spray guns also had to be exchanged. "The coater is crucial for our production," says Luis Lopes, maintenance supervisor at Takeda Brasil. Since the company did not want to risk any unplanned downtime in the near future, the engineering team of Takeda had to take a decision.
The modernization project for Takeda Brasil consisted of two major parts: the upgrade of the obsolete control system and the replacement of the worn spray guns, as well as the electrical cabinet Flowtab. The technicians changed the entire control technology of the coater to the new m-tec control system. With its intuitive operator interface, it enables the pharmaceutical developers of Takeda, the maintenance technicians and production operators to precisely control all critical coating process parameters, including air handling, application of the coating solution and cleaning operations. Data capturing and reporting options allow accurate recording of all processes. "We are now able to trace all parameters and production steps. This makes our work a lot easier," Luis Lopes explains. All process steps can be individually configured, programmed and recalled to develop reliable multi-stage recipes.
Additionally, the Manesty Premier Coater 500 was equipped with new OptiCoat spray guns. Due to their special geometry, the new spray guns achieve an especially good droplet spray distribution, and minimize air flow turbulences.