High-quality pharmaceutical equipment plays a vital role in overall product quality and compliance with FDA regulations. Machine manufacturers can tailor production systems down to the last detail to ensure every capsule, tablet, and liquid is manufactured exactly to every applicable standard.
Customized pharmaceutical equipment allows facilities to produce goods faster and with fewer manual processes to slow down production or introduce unwanted variables. Not only will up-to-date equipment standardize processes ranging from raw material preparation to dispensing and packaging, but automation also drives greater long-term profitability.
In the increasingly fast-paced U.S. pharmaceutical industry, companies that remain updated on the latest best practices and equipment are undergoing significant growth. Six of the global top 10 pharma companies (based on revenue) are based in the United States, where between 2015 and 2018, the industry saw an average of 10% annual growth and sales of more than $400 billion per year.
Key market benefits of regularly updating or customizing pharmaceutical equipment include:
- More precise testing and analysis. Production facilities rely on advanced equipment to identify potentially flawed samples and alert operators of possible errors. Pharmaceutical laboratories also use analysis equipment to observe test results, better monitor specimen reactions, improve production speeds, and create better products for end-users.
- Reduce costs for the facility and for customers. Smarter, more streamlined equipment cuts down on manual tasks and wasted materials. Making production methods more efficient reduces facility costs and the total cost per product. These savings can result in higher profits, savings for customers, and more. Lowering the price of pharmaceutical production ultimately helps facilitate broader access to the critical medicine patients need.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Equipment
When sourcing a contract manufacturer for your pharmaceutical products, consider the following:
- Quality. Seek a respected manufacturer with a proven record of delivering high-quality equipment.
- Volume and speed. Make sure the manufacturer can deliver equipment that meets your specifications for volume and production time. These requirements will depend on the specific products you’re synthesizing and whether you’re producing them for commercial or research purposes.
- Physical product needs. Different products will have different process requirements for heating, cooling, drying, and more. Ensure that you purchase equipment that meets all of these needs.
- Computer processing abilities. High-end computer systems can improve manufacturing processes and make equipment easier to operate.
- Ease of cleaning. The simpler your equipment is to disconnect, the easier it will be to clean. Easy cleaning saves valuable production time.
Types of Pharmaceutical Equipment
There are multiple types of equipment involved in pharmaceutical manufacturing, such as:
- Centrifuges to separate liquids from solids, as well as for separating liquids of varying densities from one another.
- Cooling towers for condensing steam and cooling liquids.
- Dryers to dry out liquids and making them into powders.
- Granulators for turning powders into granules.
- Capsuling equipment for filling and polishing capsules.
- Coating machines to coat capsules and tablets with sugar and other films.
- Inspection equipment to examine products for accuracy and consistency as they move through production.
CNC Machining for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Pharmaceutical machines must adhere to some of the strictest guidelines of any machinery used in business today. That’s why computer numeric control (CNC) machining processes are so crucial to the successful fabrication of pharmaceutical equipment. The vast majority of machinery used in pharmaceutical manufacturing relies on CNC machining, such as:
- Blending equipment
- Capsule equipment
- Coating machines
- Cooling towers
- Filling equipment
- Hot melt extrusion equipment
- Inspection machines
- Milling machines
- Processing machinery
- Tablet presses
CNC machining processes use standardized, encoded procedures to direct each piece of manufacturing equipment. This process ensures that every machining and fabrication step is accurate, precise, and methodical. It also guarantees that every production process is repeatable down to the last detail and verifiable by advanced monitoring and testing equipment.
Modern manufacturing equipment can handle more complex tasks autonomously than ever before. Well-designed modern pharmaceutical machinery and components have greatly improved pharmaceutical manufacturing by reducing mistakes, lowering maintenance requirements, limiting waste, and streamlining production efficiency.
At Astro Machine Works, we have the in-house expertise and fully equipped facility to deliver finely detailed pharmaceutical equipment and replacement parts—all while meeting Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations under the FDA’s latest guidelines.
Although the CNC process has existed since the late 1960s, all of the materials we work with and the components we produce are state-of-the-art. Our expertise in automated precision machining has been refined over many decades of operation. From our top-notch customer service representatives to our first-rate engineers and machinists, our team is all about delivering precision and value.
A Pharmaceutical Equipment Manufacturer You Can Rely On
With millions of dollars on the line with each run, pharmaceutical manufacturers can’t afford a bad production day. It’s important to partner with an equipment manufacturer that appreciates what’s at stake for your business and can deliver both custom work and cost-effective solutions, greatly increasing your ability to remain competitive in the pharmaceutical market.
Our 72,000-square foot facility in Ephrata, Pennsylvania was specifically designed to create an efficient workflow for our team of skilled professionals to produce innovative pharmaceutical equipment and parts. That’s why our clients trust us with their most important machining and manufacturing needs. Our services include:
- Precision CNC machining (lathing/turning, grinding, milling)
- Wire EDM
- Custom machine building
- Procurement of raw materials and components
- Equipment testing and debugging
- Reverse engineering of machinery and components
- Welding and fabrication
- Machine repairs, rebuilds, and refurbishment
Every pharmaceutical facility is different. Astro Machine Works can help you identify and realize advantages in your production processes by creating a personalized, custom array of machinery that specifically addresses the shortcomings in your current production processes. Contact us today to learn more.