Dry Compressed Air – An essential prescription for the pharmaceutical industry

Dry Compressed Air – An essential prescription for the pharmaceutical industry


  • Post By : Mr. Deepak Pahwa, Director, Delair

  • Source: AP

  • Date: 14 Jul,2022

Quality compressed air is an essential factor in providing the necessary framework to the pharmaceutical industry. It powers a wide gamut of processing, manufacturing, and packaging operations that requires pneumatic processes. Manufacturing of tablets and capsules for giving the right texture, color, and flavor. Maintaining the right balance of the ingredients, dry compressed air goes way beyond in addition to the above-stated functions and inhibits the contamination prospects of the products and furnishes high-quality end products meeting the highest industry standards.

With India standing at a very prominent position in the global pharmaceutical market by securing 3rd position across the world in pharmaceutical production, the importance of quality compressed air cannot be overruled. Considering that India fulfills 50% of the various global vaccine demand along with 40% of US generic demand and 25% of all medicines in the UK, the country emerges as the largest supplier of generic drugs across the world. This places a lot of responsibility on the manufacturers to produce pharma products complying with the highest international standards. In line with this requirement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) highly recommends the employment of uncontaminated compressed air to render superior quality end products.

As compressed air has a very crucial role to play in the manufacturing of pharma products, it becomes imperative to closely keep a check on all the elements hindering the productivity of the air. Contaminants in any form like the presence of water/ moisture, dust particles, oil, and solid contaminants in the compressed air systems need to be eliminated. Here, moisture is a major component plaguing the efficiency of compressed air. It is responsible for the manufacturing of substandard products. Various pharmaceutical products are highly hygroscopic in nature and undergo physical, microbiological, enzymatic, and biochemical deterioration even in the slightest presence of moisture in the compressed air. There is unwanted chemical reaction leading to serious repercussions. It not just changes the color coating of the tablets but causes blisters in them, ultimately ending in the breakage of the tablets.

The moisture menace is not just limited to intervening with the manufacturing of the products, if left unattended it can acutely damage the equipment and is responsible for the malfunctioning of the pneumatic tools and machines. It leads to corrosion of the pipelines, cylinders, and other components that interfere with the operations at every stage of production. Moisture is responsible for the sluggish and inconsistent functioning of the pneumatic valve and cylinder. The already existing problem is further compounded when the moisture freezes in cold weather. Cumulatively, it can be said that moisture comes with heavy liability which levies high maintenance costs on the company due to the increased downtime of the machines.

Hence, to curb the deteriorating impact of moisture on the industry, compressed air dryers must be installed for the treatment of compressed air in the manufacturing and packaging units of various pharmaceutical processes. It comes with a wide range of refrigeration and desiccant/adsorption dryers that achieve the same end result of eliminating moisture from the compressed air but works on different principles depending on the specific demand of the particular process.

Desiccant based drying method is recommended specially for pharmaceutical sector where process require the dry compressed air having best pressure dew point of (-20oC) to (-40oC) max. The properties of desiccant using this drying method is to adsorb and desorb the water vapour, It uses pressure swing principle / purge air to regenerate the desiccant bed.

Therefore, dry compressed air is the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry that enables the manufacturing of the highest quality products and also ensures the proper functioning of pneumatic tools/machines.

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