Furnace Suppliers for the Pharmaceutical Sector
Thermal treatment of pharmaceutical products can take place at numerous stages of the development process. Inert drug-carrying materials may be sterilized with solvents and processed through heating equipment before they are compounded with biologically active ingredients. These dosage form pharmaceuticals are then typically cured in a sterile furnace to reduce the product’s hydroscopic qualities and its risk of phase transitions in the presence of packaging plastics.
At primary, secondary, and tablet coating stages of development, purity and uniformity must be maintained with negligible margins of error. Furnace suppliers for pharmaceutical applications must pay due consideration to these parameters, to meet the various legal and moral compliances of the sector.
These processes require extremely sanitized heating chambers with outstanding degrees of thermal uniformity to maintain the chemical purity of the product and its batch-to-batch consistency. This is critical for ensuring that the drug is effective, ethically-compliant, and safe for both packaging and human consumption. The onus of this is shared by pharmaceutical manufacturers and furnace suppliers alike.
Types of Pharmaceutical Furnace
It is critical that furnace suppliers manufacturing heat treatment equipment for pharmaceuticals prepare hygienic chambers capable of isolating analytes from fuel or combustion elements. Freeze drying is regularly used to dry-off dosage form pharmaceuticals, but where lyophilization is unsuitable, electric box heaters and recirculating ovens are used.
Electric heaters are preferable for pharmaceutical curing and sterilization over gas ovens, as high-purity metal and ceramic fibre heating elements greatly reduce the risk of drug adsorption and cross-contamination. These heaters are routinely equipped to front-loading laboratory box or muffle furnaces, which can be augmented with heating chamber outlets for gas purging and fume extraction exhaust pipes to negate moisture re-uptake in drying-off processes.
These box furnaces have been custom-built to provide internal temperature values of up to 1500°C (2732°F), but thermal processing of pharmaceuticals rarely requires such extreme refractory temperatures. Uniformity and levels of control are usually more important in chemical heating and drying, with pharmacological heating equipment typically requiring control levels to within a few degrees. Furnace suppliers must accompany heating elements with excellent smart control systems to provide accuracy levels of within degrees, for safe and repeatable pharmaceutical thermal processing.
Since opening operations in 1971, Thermcraft has endeavoured to provide unique heat treatment solutions for every application. We have become industry-leading furnace suppliers, with distinct solutions suitable for the pharmaceutical industry.
We have an established line of box furnaces for laboratory applications with integrated SmartControls for profile programming and data acquisition. These controls enable outstanding temperature uniformity to within -/+ 5°C for temperatures of 1500°C. We also prepare custom furnaces distinct to customer specifications.