March 18, 2020
Did you know Indian pharmaceutical industry is 3rd largest industry in the world in terms of production volume and contribute around 2% to the country’s GDP. India pharma sector is also the largest provider of generic drugs globally and thus plays an important role in the global pharma sector. India’s pharma exports mainly consist of drug formulations and biological up to 77% followed by Bulk drugs and intermediates up to 21%. (Data Source: Annual report 2019-20 by Dept of Pharma, GoI).
The pharmaceutical manufacturing operations may be categorized as basic production of bulk drug substances (API manufacture) and Drug formulations with the help of API in the various dosage forms.
The solid drug manufacturing can be further split into series of different processes like milling, granulation, coating, tablet pressing, and others wherein compressed air also plays an important role.
The compressed air is a vital utility driving the below processes for the drug manufacturing.
The typical solutions available in market for the said process is either choosing water-injected screws which can deliver up-to 13 bar or oil-free screws up-to 10 bar. The option of oil-injected screw compressors is also chosen in this market which has high risk of oil contamination and maintenance of filters. Oil-injected solution ought to be used in non-contact and auxillary requirements but not for the jet milling in pharmaceutical as per the industry experts.
Henceforth, the best and strongly recommended solution is to have Class 0 oil-free compressed air in the pharma process which is in line with guidelines of current Good Manufacturing Process(cGMP) issued by US FDA. Additionally, jet milling is a batch process, making the requirement of compressed air intermittent. Therefore, a variable frequency drive/variable speed drive (VSD) oil-free compressor is the best foot forward to meet this critical requirement.