Oil-free, energy-efficient compressed air for sensitive pharmaceutical processes

July 1, 2015

Farmalogica S.A., which develops, produces and sells pharmaceutical and surgical products, relies on the Atlas Copco oil-free rotary tooth compressor ZT 37 full feature to supply Class 0 certified oil-free air for the penicillin and cephalosporin packaging process at its plant in Colombia.

Oilfree ZT tooth compressor at Farmalogica

Since the quality of the final product can be contaminated directly by compressed air, compressors play a critical role at Farmalogica. According to the 1998 World Health Organization guide to good manufacturing practice requirements, the compressed air process must be validated when preparing pharmaceutical products. This is the reason why Farmalogica must ensure that the supplied compressed air is 100 % oil-free throughout the entire production process.

Certified Class 0 100% oil-free compressed air for critical processes

“In a process as delicate as ours, which deals with a sterile product, contamination can lead to quality problems and even the complete shutdown of the plant by the regulating body,” says Robinson Pabon, Critical Support Systems Coordinator at the Farmalogica plant. “In addition, the quality of our end product is paramount.”

To meet these strict requirements, the company chose an Atlas Copco oil-free Class 0 rotary screw compressor ZT 37 full feature (FF). The ZT 37 compressor provides pure, clean air that complies with the latest edition of ISO 8573-1. Class 0 means zero risk of contamination, zero risk of damaged or unsafe products and zero risk of losses from operational downtime. Atlas Copco was the first manufacturer in the world to receive such certification for an oil-free compressor.

The ZT series of oil-free rotary tooth compressors were developed specifically for applications that demand these higher levels of purity, such as the pharmaceutical sector and the food preparation and electronics industries. At Farmalogica, the compressed air is used in the washing, powder dosing, capping, sealing and labeling processes.

“The new 2010 ISO 8573-1 standard requires a pharmaceutical-grade oil-free compressor that complies with various moisture characteristics. The dew point must enable the sterile conditions of the products to be maintained and prevent the product from becoming contaminated,” says Pabon.

A significant reduction in power consumption

Farmalogica has also seen energy savings at the facility since installing the ZT 37 VSD FF, which is equipped with variable speed drive (VSD). The VSD feature can result in energy savings of 35 percent on average by precisely regulating the compressed air to the specific demand.

Robinson Pabon adds, “We have noticed a significant reduction in power consumption compared with the previous compressor, and the equipment’s efficiency has been really great, considering that our air demand tends to be fixed and that we run a 24-hour operation.” In addition, the full feature concept with integrated dryer enables further compressed air quality while making the best use of valuable floor space.

Energy efficiency Productivity Colombia Value creation South America ZT 37 oil-free rotary tooth compressor Medical and healthcare