Large Horizontal Pharma Peeler Sterilized with Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide

Large Horizontal Pharma Peeler, Sterilized with Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide

The Challenge

A primary Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer was outfitting a new plant that produced antibiotics under U.S. and European regulations. The customer had very large volumes and wanted a cheaper solution for sterilization. They needed pharma peeler centrifuges that could be sterilized in place using Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) technology, an unusual method, which made the project challenging.

Our Solution

To get the volume needed, we suggested three of our largest peeler centrifuges explicitly designed for the pharmaceutical industry – the HX/GMP 1750/920 model in AISI 316L, providing 5 m2 of filtering surface each.

Accessible Design

Even with the machines’ size, the process areas, including the rear of the basket and the shaft seal, were fully accessible and inspectable. We designed the process chambers with minimal screws and threads, following cGMP design, ensuring there were no product stagnation zones. We applied Ra 0.2 electropolishing finishing to all surfaces in contact with the product and used a laser cake detector to avoid any further contact with the product. Furthermore, the machines had endless filter cloths, which were thermo-welded, making them easy to replace and clean.

Optimizing Features

In addition to standard machine features, we addressed the specific project needs by ensuring the complete removal of the residual heel cake via a nitrogen pressure system from the external part of the basket (“blowback”), which optimized nitrogen consumption. The machines’ CIP systems eliminated contamination between products through the use of the Washing Machine Effect and spray balls. Finally, we sterilized the centrifuges completely using the desired VHP system.

Horizontal Peeler Centrifuge

The Results

The centrifuges have been in operation since 2016. We validated the CIP system for each machine using the Riboflavin test. Subsequently, we achieved 100% sterilization with the VHP process in the SIP system. Controls allow for specific recipes for each product. The cake laser controls the cake thickness during the load and wash phase. It also optimizes the washing liquid quantity based on the amount of product in the basket. Overall, these features made CAPEX and OPEX cheaper for the customer.

Horizontal Peeler Centrifuge