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Atlas Copco compressed-air system guarantees oil-free air for Mexican pharmaceutical manufacturer

July 1, 2015

With over 200 allopathic products and more than 45 years of experience, Productos Farmacéuticos Collins depends on Atlas Copco AQ 55 water-injected screw compressors and BD 185+ dryers to supply 100% pure, oil-free air to produce its extensive portfolio of pharmaceutical products.

Productos Farmacéuticos Collins is a Mexican company specializing in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. With its state-of-the-art facilities, sophisticated instruments, and highly skilled, professional chemists, the company offers safe, effective, reliable medicines that are manufactured according to the strictest quality controls and fulfill all health care requirements.

The company guarantees the quality of its products and pays particular attention to its manufacturing processes, which includes the use of compressed air. Therefore, Collins chose an Atlas Copco AQ 55 and an AQ 55 VSD compressor and BD 185+ dryers to meet its specific needs for pure, oil-free air, high-pressure capability and greater energy efficiency.

Efficiency and savings with water-cooled compressors

Atlas Copco’s water-cooled AQ 55 compressors have been developed especially for applications such as pharmaceutical production, which demands the highest levels of purity. The superior cooling capability of water ensures that heat is removed efficiently at the source, generating more air per kW of power. Additional energy savings of up to 35% are possible with the AQ 55 variable speed drive (VSD) model. Load/no load transition losses are eliminated, and precise pressure control allows a tighter pressure band and a lower average working pressure, resulting in reduced energy consumption.

AQ compressors provide 100% pure, clean air, complying with ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0 (2010) certification. CLASS 0 means zero risk of contamination; zero risk of damaged or unsafe products; and zero risk of losses from operational downtime. No oil is used within the compressor element. Even the element bearings are water-lubricated, providing 100% oil-free air. The bearings are grease-free, eliminating any risk of contamination.

Minimal energy costs with BD dryers

Atlas Copco’s BD 185+ dryers offer high performance and a constant pressure dew point – even at full load. A desiccant air dryer protects production, equipment and the quality of the end product by using desiccants to adsorb moisture from the compressed air. The pressure dew point sensor measures the remaining humidity in the compressed air, detects when the active tower is completely saturated and then switches the functions of the two dryer towers at the optimal moment. Thanks to Dew Point Dependent Switching, dryer cycles are delayed, resulting in energy savings up to 90% compared to more traditional switching systems. By using heated ambient air for regeneration, BD dryers further minimize energy costs.

With an investment in 2013 of EUR 950 000 in bioequivalence studies and new developments, Productos Farmacéuticos Collins has already grown by more than 30% and is working toward achieving INR ISO-9001 and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification to extend its reach to compete on an international level.

North America BD dryers Energy efficiency Productivity Mexico Environment AQ 55 compressors Medical and healthcare