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The Role of Continuous Manufacturing in Large-Batch Production
Berlin, Germany: – KORSCH manufactures very high-speed presses for the production of generics, nutraceuticals, blockbusters, etc. These include the double-sided tablet press XT 600 and the new high-performance single-sided tablet press X 5. In this context of high-volume production, the question arises as to whether continuous manufacturing could be a suitable production organization.
Dr. Robin Meier, Chief Scientific Officer at L.B. Bohle, a specialist in machinery and process integration for the pharmaceutical industry and partner company to KORSCH, provides some insight on this emerging technology.
(Interview with Dr. Robin Meier as featured in KORSCH Magazine)
KORSCH:MAGAZINE: Is Continuous Manufacturing (CM) an answer to the requirements of large-batch production?
Robin Meier: First, let us clear up a common misunderstanding: continuous manufacturing does not mean uninterrupted production around the clock. In fact, it means continuous material inflow into or outflow from the production process. And yes: CM offers plenty of potential for high-volume production. However, the focus is more on quality enhancement than on throughput quantities.
KORSCH:MAGAZINE: What benefits does CM offer?
Robin Meier: Keyword quality. CM massively reduces the risk of segregation in the direct compression process, for example, because the material is constantly in motion within the system. This simplifies feeding and mixing, especially of drugs and excipients with poor flow properties. For example, errors resulting from minimal material deviations can also be detected much faster, and defective products can be rejected immediately. At the same time, upstream process-stage parameters can be corrected to ensure a return to the design space. And last but not least, it can also save product development time and materials.
KORSCH:MAGAZINE: When does it make sense to switch from batch production to CM?
Robin Meier: That is always a strategic issue. In the case of existing, large-volume batch production involving small margins, decision-makers need to check whether reinvestment makes commercial sense. CM should definitely be considered in the event of quality problems or if investment in a new plant is planned – perhaps initially only for certain sections. Ultimately, it is a huge puzzle made up of many pieces. This is where KORSCH and L.B. Bohle can leverage their process engineering strengths and develop special solutions.
KORSCH:MAGAZINE: Is CM cheaper than batch production?
Robin Meier: CM offers high potential savings as far as operating and energy costs are concerned. For example, CM requires only 10 percent of the air volume for the wet granulation drying process that batch production does. Here, too, various scenarios can be reviewed. Ultimately, you must look at each case individually.
KORSCH:MAGAZINE: Thank you very much for the interesting interview!
About KORSCH AG
KORSCH AG is a family-owned specialist equipment manufacturer that has evolved over the course of more than a century to become one of the world’s most respected names in tableting.
Based on its near-unrivalled experience in tablet compression technology, KORSCH now offers a broad ranging portfolio of highly innovative products that cover almost every conceivable tablet manufacturing application, including initial feasibility and formulation research, scale-up, clinical production, and full scale 24/7 production.
KORSCH presses are used worldwide, supported by a global network of sales and technical service specialists and innovation centers.
KORSCH’s core business is in the design and production of tablet presses for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications, with a current range of more than 12 platforms, ranging from the XP 1 Single Punch Press for R&D use to the TRP 900 Five-Layer Rotary Press built for continuous 24/7 operation.
Since 2022, the KORSCH range has been enhanced by the addition of sophisticated STYL’One research compaction simulators from French-based MEDELPHARM.
Learn more at: www.korsch.com