Lump breaker
 AZO DOSITAINER® discharge stations
AZO DOSITAINER® with discharge base
AZO COMPONENTER®, fully automatic

The task

  • avoiding cross-contamination
  • dust-free systems to protect machine operators or products
  • bulk, medium and minor components
  • high degree of flexibility on account of large number of formulations
  • careful handling of tablets and capsules
  • stringent requirements for hygiene and cleaning, also wet cleaning and WIP
  • Automatic mixer feeding
  • end-to-end documentation, tracking + tracing, prompts to guide operators

The Solution

Automated bulk materials handling in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals
  • The raw materials are decanted into internal bulk materials containers, e.g. AZO BATCHTAINER® or DOSITAINER®, in a central area in order to transfer the different raw materials from the wide range of containers they are delivered in, such as big bags, sacks and barrels
  • Bulk components stored in outdoor silos are conveyed directly into feed vessels close to the central weighing station via pneumatic vacuum conveyors. Type-FA screeners in the conveyor line take care of screening the bulk components.
  • All discharge and transfer stations are connected to one or more extraction devices. This is both to protect operating staff while transferring products and to protect the product itself.
  • Each discharge base is fitted with a screener for check-screening to protect the product. At the same time, the screener is also responsible for dosing the raw materials into the target receptacle. Transfer of raw materials to the target receptacle without generating dust is ensured by docking devices with trickle guard sliders.
  • The central weighing area for assembling the batch is designed as a linear AZO COMPONENTER® with one or more drive units, depending on the required throughput and amount of raw materials and the different formulations. The AZO COMPONENTER® is a particularly flexible container system. Alternatively, automated guided vehicles (AGV) can be used for conveying.
  • The drive units are fitted with high-resolution platform scales. Frequency-controlled dosing screws are used for dosing with the gain-in-weight method or, in the case of minor components, using the gravimetric AZODOS® dosing system and the loss-in-weight method.
  • When products need to be changed over frequently, DOSITAINERS®, AZO’s bulk materials containers, are used for the raw materials. Their integrated dosing screw with shut-off device allows containers to be changed over without first needing to empty them completely.
  • Products are transferred into the target container, which is supported on the drive unit, via special docking devices with trickle guard slide valves.There is also an option to use a device for lifting the container cover and replacing it once the bulk materials containers have been filled properly.
  • Another option for automatic weighing with a large number of different components and corresponding number of different formulations is the AZO ShuttleDos® container system. In this case, several weighing modules are used that can be filled in parallel and on several lines. Shuttle units allow a connection between the dosing points and thus afford maximum flexibility in the automatic weighing station.
  • Once the batch is ready in the bulk materials container, this is transferred to the mixer either by an operator or automatically by AGVs. The ready-assembled mixture or premix is then ready for the next process or it can be stored temporarily.
  • After the mixing process, the bulk materials containers are moved on for compressing into tablets or filling into capsules, where the containers are put on discharge stations. They are either supplied to the next process by gravity or using pneumatic vacuum conveyors, ensuring careful handling and that no segregation occurs.
  • All production stages for the bulk materials containers or AZO DOSITAINERS® are monitored and documented by the AZO controls. A check is also made to ensure that the required cleaning cycles are observed and a warning is shown if necessary.
  • All containers are cleaned and dried in a semi-automatic or fully automatic container cleaning station.
  • The entire plant can be controlled and monitored using the AZO process control and instrumentation system. The controls ensure end-to-end documentation and tracking and tracing of manufacturing process.
  • What is more, AZO's scope of supply also includes complete qualification documentation including a factory acceptance test (FAT) through to attendance on-site at plant qualification procedures, along with the site acceptance test (SAT).

Name of contact

AZO GmbH + Co. KG | Peter Watzal | Global Business Director AZO®Vital

Peter Watzal
Global Business Director AZO®Vital