Lödige Process Technology provides high-quality machines, systems and services, customised upon request, for process technology applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Earlier this year, Lödige Process Technology introduced a new series to enhance its coater portfolio. With its standardised design, the innovative LC light series is an attractively priced alternative to the tailored machines of the previous LC series.

Where did the idea for the LC light series come from? What did you think was missing from your previous technologies that this range could offer?

With the LC light series, Lödige Process Technology 2020 started not only with a completely new coater series but also with a new concept, with machines characterised by a consistently standardised design. Lödige passes on the reduced workload in design, engineering and programming, compared with a customised solution, to its customers through a price reduction by approximately 40%. Yet another advantage is the significant reduction in delivery times for the LC light series compared to customised special machines.

This newly developed cost-efficient standard model is nevertheless a film coater at the highest level of technological development and offers time-tested Lödige quality. Therefore, the LC light series makes these high-quality standards accessible to applications in price-sensitive fields worldwide, for instance, mass production of medication, generic medicinal products or food supplements.

What are the challenges for coating of high volume generic, nutraceutical and other over-the-counter products?

Products manufactured in large quantities do not necessarily require large coating lines with large batch capacities but particularly high-performance machines. Only these guarantee a high level of efficiency in the coating process and thus fast processing times. Also, they must be flexible when changing batch sizes and easy to clean when changing products.

In recent years, the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry concerning more efficient coaters have generally increased significantly. To meet these requirements, Lödige has also optimised their coaters. Thanks to well-thought-out process technology, the coaters in the LC series operate up to 40% faster than conventional tools. Thus, it is possible to have faster process times with continuous product quality so that the investment decision can be made in favour of smaller devices.

The Coater LC light series now also opens up the characteristic strengths of the LC series for the production of price-sensitive products in large quantities, that require correspondingly cost-efficient procedural solutions.

How can a high-end coating machine be converted into a cost-effective system?

This is achieved by considering all of the sub-processes relevant for film coating in terms of efficiency, for example, spraying the coating solution, mixing and drying the product. Based on this, the LC light series was consistently designed for a standardised range of functions, meaning no work required for designing and programming a customised solution. Nevertheless, the machines also offer significant advantages in this standardised form, such as innovative air distribution and an innovative nozzle arm

In particular, the new nozzle arm design makes it possible to adjust the spraying distance and angle at any time to achieve the perfect result. The innovative air distribution system creates an even, low-turbulence airflow in the coater, thereby reliably ensuring optimum coating results and high efficiency. It also reliably prevents contamination in the coater interior, on the nozzles or nozzle arm.

How is a balance between standardisation and a certain level of flexibility achieved?

The machines of the new LC light series are available in three sizes: LC 100 light series for around 75l to 380l filling volume, LC 130 light series for around 120l to 675l and LC 160 light series for up to 1250. Also, the LC light series is designed for a clearly defined range of functions: The machines can be used for all standard film coating processes, for example, for both water-based and organic coating. These completely insulated coaters permit fully automatic production, including recipe management.

Furthermore, other selected functions can be implemented optionally. However, these options are limited to individual air system modules, an ATEX design and qualification documentation. The coater itself contains a product temperature probe and solvent-based film coating. The inlet air unit can also be equipped with systems for freeze protection, dehumidification and H13 filtration. An H13 filtration, as well as an additional silencer, are also available for the exhaust air unit.

How is the high-quality level ensured?

The new development is a state-of-the-art film coater from Lödige’s German production. Only quality components from well-known manufacturers are used for purchased products such as pumps and flow meters. The nozzle arm, the technological core of the coater, is supplied by the German specialist manufacturer Düsen-Schlick. It has a pivot function, simplifying access to the drum and speeding up filling and discharge. Moreover, the machines are equipped with a wash-in-place (WIP) system by default.

Naturally, the new LC light series also incorporates the entire know-how of Lödige Process Technology: With above 500 patents and more than 35,000 machines delivered, the German machine manufacturer Lödige is one of the world’s leading suppliers of systems for industrial mixing and related process technologies.

As a partner to the pharmaceutical industry, Lödige has been offering the industry contemporary mixing, drying, granulating and coating systems for decades. Strict compliance with current good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines is a matter, of course. In close cooperation with those responsible from well-known manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, more than 1,000 systems have been delivered to date.