As I visited the exhibits and attended the conference sessions at INTERPHEX 2013, I noticed a focus on equipment flexibility and ease-of-cleaning and changeover that enables manufacturing efficiency.

Korsch America, for example, displayed the flexible XL 400 Multi-Function Platform that allows production of all tablet formats (single or multilayer) on one tablet press. This flexibility aids equipment utilization in manufacturing and is also being used in development applications, commented Korsch president, Fred Murray.

Fette Compacting featured its FE35 single-rotary tablet press, which offers fast product changeover; Fette says the turret can be removed in 15 minutes. The press design uses Fette’s “TRI.EASY” concept, which focuses on ease of use in three areas: operation, refitting (i.e., changeover), and maintenance. The feeder design, for example, is a single paddle, which reduces residence time and is easier to clean. Steps for changing the turret are either automated or tool-free. Plug-and-play connections also ease changeover.

The FE35 was displayed with Pharma Technology’s All-in-One tablet deduster and tester system, which is a new system designed to be easy to clean and changeover. The stackable, segmented sections of the deduster, for example, are labeled for ease of installation and are lighter for operators because they are made out of plastic rather than stainless steel. The entire tower can be removed for cleaning and replaced with another tower, which reduces changeover time from approximately 1 hour down to 10 minutes, said general manager Nic Michel.

Although seeking to improve equipment cleaning and efficiency is not really new, these and other companies are finding innovative ways to meet the ongoing need for improving productivity.