How Air Compressors Are Used in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Applications within the pharmaceutical industry rely on extremely clean compressed air that is free of contaminants. Oil-free air compressors help achieve this high level of air purity, making them a popular choice for processes ranging from formulation mixing to pharmaceutical product packaging and more. By ensuring contaminant-free pharmaceutical production, oil-free air compressors reduce rejection rates, enhance product quality, and help maintain regulatory compliance. Here, we will discuss oil-free air compressors as well as their many applications within the pharmaceutical industry.
What Is an Oil-Free Air Compressor?
Compared to standard air compressors, oil-free air compressors rely on alternative sealing, cooling, and lubrication techniques, such as intercoolers and water lubrication. While some oil-free air compressors contain oil, the oil does not come in contact with the compressor, delivering higher-quality, contaminant-free air for manufacturing processes. This is especially crucial in preventing damage to products and equipment components.
Common Air Compressor Applications in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Oil-free air compressors are used in the pharmaceutical industry for various applications, including mixing formulations at specified quanitites, forming and coating tablets, capsule packaging, and more. They are also used to power pneumatic tools used to precisely mix ingredients for drops, syrups, and other medicines. By utilizing oil-free air, manufacturers ensure contaminant-free end products that are safe for consumption.
Other applications of oil-free air compressors within the pharmaceutical industry include:
- Bottling/Canning/Packaging. Oil-free compressed air can clean and dry bottles, cans, and other pharmaceutical packaging materials. Because the air makes direct contact with the product, it must be Class 0 oil-free air to avoid contamination.
- Capsule & Tablet Manufacturing. Almost every part of the tablet and capsule manufacturing process requires compressed air, from packaging and coating to drying, processing, mixing, and granulation. Each step requires class 0 air to prevent contamination.
- Production of Ointments, Gels, Creams & Syrups. Before filling tubes or vials with a pharmaceutical product, oil-free compressed air is used to remove dust and moisture from the container without the risk of contamination.
- Fermentation. Fermenters require aeration from sterile, non-contaminated air to prevent the bacteria from being polluted. This ensures a high-quality end product.
- Instrumentation Air. During pharmaceutical production, pneumatic conveying relies on clean, contaminant-free air to move the product. Aside from conveying, oil-free compressed air is used for polishing, sorting, valve control, and more.
- Wastewater Treatment. Water used in pharmaceutical production must be treated to prevent contamination. After use, water must be treated again before reuse or disposal.
Choose Energy Machinery for Your Oil-Free Air Compressors
Oil-free air compressors play a vital role in the production of pharmaceutical products, providing a clean source of air for various applications. At Energy Machinery, we offer comprehensive air compressor services, parts, and rentals. With over five decades of experience, we have the necessary expertise and capabilities to deliver oil-free air compressor solutions that meet your application’s requirements.
Our team provides 24/7 field service as well as planned maintenance programs, troubleshooting, repairs, and turnkey installations for compressors, blowers, pumps, dryers, and related accessories. Energy Machinery is an authorized warranty repair center for some of the most well-known compressor manufacturers, and our fleet of short-term rentals include numerous compressors and dryers to suit customer needs.