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The Importance of Air Quality in Pharmaceutical Production

Many industries require controlled environmental conditions but in pharmaceutical manufacturing, if the highest standards are not maintained, it can lead to disaster.  The optimum conditions in this industry require the ventilation, air quality and temperature to be kept at specific levels otherwise not only could production be delayed, become financially inefficient and conditions for staff difficult to work in, but the products themselves could be severely damaged.  There is absolutely no room for this sort of error in the world of pharmaceuticals.  That is why Transcool Systems’ HVAC products are custom-made to fit the exact requirements of the pharmaceutical manufacturing operation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Report states that, “the prevention of contamination and cross-contamination is an essential design consideration of the HVAC system” and that “Temperature, relative humidity and ventilation should be appropriate and should not adversely affect the quality of pharmaceutical products during their manufacture and storage, or the accurate functioning of equipment”.

Temperature

As stated in the WHO report, temperature is an important factor in pharmaceutical manufacture as it can adversely affect production in a number of ways.  At the initial ingredient preparation stage, specific temperatures need to be maintained for them to be properly dried and bound to other ingredients.  Forming the tablets themselves can also generate a lot of excess heat as the machines used can produce over 500 tablets a minute and machine breakdown could be an issue if they are allowed to overheat.  Many tablets then need to be coated and, as the coatings are plastic-based, they need to be kept cool to solidify properly and not stick together when stored.  Even the final packaging process requires controlled temperatures to function properly and operate in a cost effective manner.  This variety in temperature requirements means that any HVAC system installed must be designed by a company that understands the importance of these controls and has experience in designing systems for these types of operations.

Humidity

Humidity is an equally important factor to control during pharmaceutical manufacture as it can affect the build-up of static electricity and the efficacy of adhesives, and, if moisture is allowed to soak into some medicines, it can affect their performance.

Contamination

Another potentially damaging aspect of pharmaceutical production which can be mitigated is cross-contamination or outside element contamination is caused by air circulating from other parts of the operation.  Medicines such as antibiotics can trigger allergic reactions in some patients so it is particularly dangerous for traces of them to find their way into other medicines.  Some drugs, such as steroids, hormones and cytotoxics can also be harmful to those working on the production line if breathed in over long periods of time.  In fact, contaminants of any kind can tamper with the efficacy of medicines so effective air filtration is essential in these operations.

Transcool Systems‘ air handling units, comprising air ductwork, air filtration units, pumping units and pipework, heat exchangers and control panels with full operating and maintenance literature, provide an effective solution to HVAC requirements in the pharmaceutical industry.  This is down to our expertise and experience in creating bespoke systems to meet the most exacting specifications.  Call 01903 733911 or email info@transcoolsystems.co.uk to find out how we can help you today.