Powder containment is the process of safely containing potentially dangerous substances, including powders, dust or vapours, during the manufacturing of certain goods.
There are many rules and regulations that plants need to adhere to, such as the American Food and Drug Administration’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). Powder containment solutions make it easier for pharmaceutical manufacturers to meet these quality standards.
Powder containment is particularly vital in the pharmaceuticals industry, where chemicals need to go through a range of processes before they are ready to safely hand over to patients.
The tablet manufacturing process, for example, sees ingredients go through as many as eight different machines on their way to becoming a usable tablet. Wet granulation, the most commonly used method, involves dispensing, blending, milling, drying, mixing, pressing and coating processes, with ingredients passing from machine to machine, offering plenty of opportunities for powders to escape.
The use of hazardous chemicals and substances comes with plenty of risks, both to the employee performing the operation and the environment around them. Using specialist equipment designed to stop these materials coming into contact with areas that they shouldn’t, companies can safeguard against potential injury to employees and factory contamination.
Contamination is a major issue for pharmaceutical companies, particularly in multi-process plants. Poor containment can force plant closures and cause companies to suffer huge financial losses as a result. A closure at the Genzyme plant in 2009 resulted in up to $300m in lost sales after a virus contaminated a bioreactor.
Powder containment solutions reduce risk of cross-contamination
However, powder containment solutions can help to stop harmful materials from reaching other areas of the plant. For example, ILC Dover’s DoverPac flexible powder containment technologies offer protection from potent compounds, cutting the risk of cross-contamination and ensuring that cGMPs are met.
There are a number of companies offering containment solutions to those operating in the pharmaceuticals manufacturing industry, but few offer a range of solutions quite like ILC Dover.
This engineering development and manufacturing company, a world leader in the production of protective products for the pharma industry, has a range of products that each offer something different depending on the process being carried out. ILC Dover containment products can help in tablet pressing and coating, as well as powder mixing, milling, granulation, drying and blending processes.
ILC Dover offers a number of ergonomic flexible enclosures that encapsulate machinery from top to bottom, with special glove sleeves used to provide access to panels and buttons. These solutions ensure safety without causing disruption to production.
With over 70 years of history and almost three decades of experience supplying pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as a history of working with the NASA to produce the spacesuits used during the early Apollo missions and on the international space station, ILC Dover has a well-earned reputation for delivering high-quality products.