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GEA Pharma Systems Release: Interpack 2014: Tablet Compression

4/17/2014 9:45:57 AM

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Interpack 2014 will take place in May (8–14) in Düsseldorf, Germany. GEA Pharma Systems, the leading international supplier of advanced processing technologies for the production of oral and parenteral dosage forms, will be exhibiting (Hall 7a). In the run up to the event, Johan Van Evelghem, Sales Director Pharma, explained how, with increasingly complex formulations, high potency actives and the need for higher productivity and safety, CourtoyTM can make a difference in tablet compression.

As a company, GEA strives to find ways to overcome customer issues and problems, and deliver solutions. It’s in our genes. And, compared with our competitors, we like to think we do things differently. We are not just a regular tablet press company; we bring our customers solutions that give them an edge, that help them to reduce costs, improve their productivity and make the lives of their operators and shareholders better and more profitable.

That mind-set comes from a very dedicated team. As a business unit and part of GEA Pharma Systems, CourtoyTM is a group of people with a wealth of experience and expertise who have been working together for a long time to find the best solutions. We’re agile, we’re flexible and we stand for what we believe in, which is why customers who buy from Courtoytm stay with Courtoytm. The Exchangeable Compression Module (ECM) is a good example of designing a solution to reduce downtime and increase the operating time of a tablet press (compared with what was on the market). We asked ourselves: Why is more time being spent cleaning a tablet press than running it? And the answer was very simple; there is a lot to clean because everything is open and exposed.

So, we decided to isolate the compression zone and make it removable. That is, just remove the dirty element and replace it with a clean one. That’s how we tackle a problem; we go to the customer, find out what their day-to-day challenges are and provide a solution. The ECM concept is probably one of the pharmaceutical industry’s best — and now proven — innovations of the last 15 years. The Wash-off-Line (WOL) ECM, in particular, offers significant benefits in terms of both investment and operational costs, and provides truly exceptional levels of containment. It’s economical, ergonomic and easy to use, improves on existing WIP and CIP solutions for tablet presses and reduces the airborne particle concentration in the compression room, which contributes greatly to the protection of the operators, the equipment and the product. We took an industry hurdle and used it as the inspiration to create a solution that also improves productivity and ensures that users can do more with their tablet press. So, now, they can run the press more than they could in the past … because of the ECM.

Tablet compression, from both a containment and processing perspective, is still one of the most challenging unit operations in solid dose manufacturing, particularly with the increasing need to process highly potent APIs. Additionally, specific health and safety challenges arise when potent APIs are processed, requiring the use of equipment that combines very high flexibility with high productivity and an appropriate containment performance. Courtoy’s MODULTM rotary presses are designed to meet these stringent criteria.

Haupt Pharma recently assessed the containment performance of four MODULTM S presses by measuring particle load in the production environment under operating conditions. They reported that all the air samples taken during a series of tests showed results below the detection limit and below the Design Exposure Limit (DEL). Also, product changeover could be achieved — and production resumed — in less than 2 hours, during which all product-contact parts were removed in a contained manner and replaced with a second ECM.

Another exclusive feature of Courtoy™ tablet presses is the Air Compensator, which ensures that every tablet is pressed to exactly the same density and provides independent weight and hardness control; overcoming differences in die fill and powder property variations. We developed the technology to answer a customer enquiry; it’s what we do with every request that comes our way.

In fact, it’s about thinking beyond the press. The Courtoytm philosophy is that your problem is our problem, your challenge is our challenge, and we try to come up with systems and solutions that provide the missing links between one process and another. Yes, it takes time, and the road to success may be longer, but the end-result is better. And whether we’re talking about a bi-layer, where we offer independent control of each layer, or an oral dissolvable tablet that needs to be compressed at very low forces, our sensitive weight control ensures that they’ll melt on your tongue. No matter how complicated the process, we have the innovation to improve it. For example, we have a lot of interesting developments regarding the compression of multiple unit pellet systems (MUPS), eliminating segregation and significantly increasing process yields. In this case, it wasn’t necessarily a tablet press predicament; it was more about how we got the powder into the press in the first place.

We provide the solutions that no one else can. We’re not like all the other suppliers, and we don’t want to be like them; that would level the playing field and we would lose what we stand for. We don’t necessarily want to be a mass producer of tablet presses; we want to be recognised for what we are — a unique company that solves a lot of day-to-day compression, containment, safety and cleaning issues. It’s never a case of buy a press, here’s the datasheet and that’s it. Our commitment to every customer is comprehensive service, supply and support for the long-term. That’s the Courtoytm experience.

On Display

On the stand at Interpack, visitors can take a close look at the MODUL™ P pilot-scale tablet press. Offering a new standard for productivity, flexibility and safety in research and development projects for tableting, the press will be displayed with a high-containment ECM for toxic products (down to 1 µg/m3). The MODUL™ P, the smaller counterpart to the MODUL™ S and the MODUL™ D is ideally suited for formulation development, clinical trial production and small-batch/multi-product production. In addition, to demonstrate the cleaning process, a MODUL™ S ECM will also be on the stand and exhibited in full WOL (Wash-off-Line) mode.

The PERFORMA™ P, ideally suited for long campaigns and large batches will also be on display. Known for its small–medium-scale high-output performance, full dwell time control and equal porosity tableting, the PERFORMA™ P combines a small footprint with both single and bi-layer capabilities. The press will be set up in bi-layer mode at the show.

Visitors wishing to get a little more “hands on” are welcome to visit our solid dosage technology centre in Bubendorf, Switzerland and test their formulations. It’s a one-stop GMP environment in which pharmaceutical companies can use the whole range of GPS process technologies to develop new solid dose products. Our experienced operators are happy to help and advice; just bring the powders and we’ll do the rest!

Photo: The Courtoy MODUL™ P Tablet Press

High resolution image available from

About GEA Group

GEA Group is one of the largest suppliers of single-source solutions for the processing and packaging industries, including the food, confectionery, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and home and personal care sectors. As an international technology group, the company focuses on process technology and components for sophisticated production processes. In 2013, GEA generated consolidated revenues in excess of EUR 4.3 billion, more than 70 percent of which came from the food sector, which is a long-term growth industry. The group employed about 18,000 people worldwide as of December 31, 2013. GEA Group is a market and technology leader in its business areas. It is listed in Germany’s MDAX stock index (G1A, WKN 660 200) and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index. Further information is available at

GEA Pharma Systems

GEA Pharma Systems is a global specialist in solid and liquid dose technology for the pharmaceutical industry. As part of the Process Engineering segment of the GEA Group, with manufacturing and technology centres in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Singapore, South Korea and the USA, and additional manufacturing facilities worldwide including India and China, we provide the services the pharmaceutical industry needs. Test facilities — technical know-how — process evaluation — product development — market-leading technology — project management — ongoing support.

Contact information:

Editorial enquiries:

Steve Jordan

The Words Workshop Ltd.

Tel. +44 1908 695500


Business enquiries:

Johan Van Evelghem

Sales Director, Courtoy™ Compression

GEA Pharma Systems

Tel: +32 2 363 8300

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