When our client had to produce various pharmaceutical products using a granulator and a fluid bed process, a feasibility study was undertaken to determine the viability of the process and investigate the functionality of various equipment offerings. Front end engineering then developed process parameters and determined the capacity of the major equipment. JNE supplied the following elements:
- Project definition
- Process definition
- Building services definition
- Process safety evaluation
- Building service safety evaluation
- Capital cost estimate
JNE provided full engineering services for both projects and coordinated the efforts of the major equipment vendor and the building automation system. To ensure safety, the projects were designed to be compatible with proper procedures for the handling of hazardous materials, and nitrogen systems were used to minimize the evaporation of materials into the atmosphere.
The fluid bed processes included flammable solvent top-spraying, pellet-drying and wurster coating of tablets. The granulator used a non-flammable but highly corrosive solvent. Relevant building services were augmented to accommodate the new processes. JNE also provided the control system and programming for the granulator’s pre-mix system.
In a subsequent granulator/fluid bed project for the same client, flammable solvents were used in the granulator as well. JNE worked with the equipment manufacturer to modify the equipment for safe operation with the new solvents.