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A&B Process Systems supplies sanitary process vessels, skidded systems and process piping to the pharmaceutical industry. A&B Process Systems has been supporting customers with sanitary process applications for over 35 years.

At this year's Interphex New York event, which will take place 20-22 April at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, US, A&B Process Systems will exhibit its products at booth 1928. Come along to the booth to find out more.

Raising the bar in the dietary supplement industry to pharmaceutical standards, Enzymatic Therapy has relied on compact vibratory screeners to optimise product quality and production while meeting growing demand.

When Enzymatic Therapy stopped outsourcing and built its own FDA-approved manufacturing facility, the goal was to improve product quality, streamline production and ramp up sales growth. Now the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based manufacturer of dietary supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) medications is one of only a select few dietary supplement manufacturers that are in full compliance with the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) established for drug manufacturing facilities. Sales have also grown along with product quality.

When a company is as committed to quality and streamlined production as Enzymatic Therapy, starting the manufacturing process off properly is critical. A crucial step was selecting the right sieving equipment to remove any agglomerates, oversize particles or contaminants from incoming raw dry materials.

"For a quality end product, we need quality from the start," says Dave Hoffman, production lead for Enzymatic Therapy. "Sieving is the first step in manufacturing for every product we make. We depend on it to break up lumps and remove any foreign materials. When some materials come out of containers, they're hard as a rock yet have to blend properly with all the other materials."

For quality assurance and maintenance reasons, the company frowned on brushes or metal rollers that pushed product through the sieve. "We wanted to avoid the possibility of brush fibres getting into product, as well as issues of chains, grease and metal debris potentially linked to metal rollers," says Hoffman. For similar reasons, they disapproved of equipment where parts could potentially vibrate loose into the product stream.

"The right sieving equipment had to meet pharmaceutical grade standards, not just those for food processing," explains Hoffman. "To minimise production downtime, all surfaces had to be cleanable. The equipment had to be quick to disassemble / reassemble, and easily portable to go where needed."

A high-capacity Finex 22™ screener

To resolve these challenges, Enzymatic Therapy chose a high-capacity Finex 22™ from Russell Finex. The first step in ensuring quality involves passing all dry materials through a 16-mesh screen to remove oversize particles. A special magnetic trap removes any submesh-sized ferrous contaminants, which can sometimes occur due to the pulverising or processing of raw materials into powder.

"While some manufacturers do ferrous metal detection at the end, in encapsulating and tabletting areas, we do it at the beginning," says Hoffman. "That way we can ensure that the raw materials are pure before continuing production. There's no sense in coating a capsule or tablet, only to find out they don't meet quality standards."

Some materials are also run through a finer 40-mesh screen to improve binding with other materials. "What emerges is a nice, uniformly blended product that'll pass lab specs, flow on production equipment, and dissolve properly for consumers," explains Hoffman. "Being proactive about sieving also minimises downtime on all our other equipment downstream."

Unlike some screeners, which have commercial hardware such as nuts and springs exposed to the material being screened, Hoffman appreciates that the Finex 22 does not, thereby eliminating the risk of hardware vibrating loose to enter the product stream. "Materials go right through the screener into containers, and there's no chance for parts to vibrate loose into product," says Hoffman.

Since the Finex 22 is crevice-free and entirely constructed from polished stainless steel including stands - all surfaces are easily cleanable. Its simple design makes it easy to strip down and clean without tools.

"There's no need for tools or a tool belt when cleaning the Russell Finex unit," says Hoffman. "We can strip one down for cleaning in 30 seconds and reassemble it just as easily so there's no wasted downtime."

As Enzymatic Therapy's business has grown with its focus on quality, production and customer value, it has purchased additional compact screeners from Russell Finex. Enzymatic Therapy now has a total of four compact screeners in applications ranging from initial ingredient dispensing to product mixing.

Demands on production efficiency and automation are continuously increasing in all industries. FlexLink are taking small products production lines to new heights with the launch of the X45 and X45e conveyor platforms.

X45 is the new, compact conveyor platform which offers easy integration with machines and space-efficient filling, production and packaging lines. Thanks to careful design, product handling is gentle and stable, contributing to high product quality standards and high line efficiency. The X45 design offers a long service life, low noise level and easy engineering.

"The compact boundary dimensions and the ability to run in bends allow new opportunities to automate sophisticated flows in a simpler way than before. The X45 conveyor runs very smoothly which is crucial e.g. in transporting standing vials in the pharmaceutical industry," comments Fredrik Boberg, head of innovation management at FlexLink.

X45e is the intelligent platform for automated processes such as assembly, controlled filling and samples analysis. Sophisticated 24V drive units and puck handling modules with embedded controls simplify controls engineering and enable high line efficiency. Power consumption is very low due to the efficient PM motor and transmission. All is RFID prepared, facilitating track and trace and automated QA capability.

"The X45e solutions with embedded controls and efficient PM motors open up new possibilities to make highly efficient production lines in an easier way than before. This is the first step in this direction from FlexLink," concludes Fredrik Boberg.

From the beginning, BMG Labtech, the microplate reader company, has understood that automation is a key feature in high-throughput screening and has designed all of its microplate reader instrumentation to be easily automated. Stop by hall B1, booth number 307 to see this advantage for the ultimate multidetection HTS microplate reader PHERAstar FS and other microplate readers.

Based on Tandem Technology, the PHERAstar FS high-end plate reader incorporates two technological concepts: an ultra-fast UV/Vis spectrometer for full spectrum absorbance measurements from 220nm to 1,000nm and high performance assay specific filter-based optic modules for all other detection modes. The PHERAstar FS also features a UV laser dedicated for TR-FRET measurements such as HTRF®, an AlphaScreen® laser, simultaneous dual-emission detection, advanced top/bottom reading including high-resolution cell layer scanning, and on-board reagent injection for precision kinetic measurements.

The PHERAstar FS comes with a comprehensive software package including established reader control and powerful MARS data analysis software. For rapid mid-throughput plate handling, the 50 microplate capacity Stacker can be added to the PHERAstar FS and all other BMG Labtech microplate readers. For high-throughput screening, the PHERAstar FS can also be controlled through ActiveX or DDE interfaces for easier robotic integration. The ASCII data output is the most versatile in the industry and works with all LIMS and automation platforms.

For more complex tasks, BMG Labtech offers unmatched flexibility with built-in script mode and the experienced software team works with customers to help design any automation solution needed. In order to foster standardisation in laboratory automation, BMG Labtech is also a supporting member of the Standardisation in Lab Automation (SilA) consortium.

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