Closed-loop control for continuous production

The ability to measure, monitor and control pharmaceutical production throughout the entire process offers significant time and cost benefits

For many years, L B Bohle has focused on continuous pharmaceutical production. With the inauguration of the company’s Technology Center in Ennigerloh, Bohle now offers closed-loop control of the entire process, including production, sensor technology and control.

‘We’re just waiting for FDA clearance,’ said Dr Hubertus Rehbaum, Manager, Scientific Operation at Bohle. ‘But now, there’s no longer a need to develop, install and validate a new production line.’

Two basic ideas were at the core of the project: first, the machinery for the individual process steps had to be linked to each other, both physically and technically in terms of data. Second, the machines had to be equipped with state-of-the-art sensor and measurement technology, and all data had to be integrated into a common, standardised platform.

Advanced spectroscopy technologies, such as NIR and Raman, enable precise measurement and analysis during the individual production steps. As such Bohle has also involved Kaiser Optical Systems, Sentronic and Kraemer Elektronik in the project. ‘We’ve leveraged our granulation and coating expertise and, working with Gericke and Korsch, have incorporated their continuous blending/dosing and tablet press technology,’ said Lorenz Bohle.

The modular nature of continuous production offers substantial time savings as it’s not necessary to conduct product sample analyses between process steps. Moreover, producers benefit from greater flexibility because the plant can be quickly converted to different products.

‘In the coming years, we will make several million euros available to push the issue of continuous production further ahead,’ announced Bohle. The ability to measure, monitor and control production throughout the entire process offers significant time and cost benefits.

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LB Bohle (more information, website)

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