For Thomas, it is not enough to be an industry leader in tablet coating systems. We are committed to always pushing innovation forward and never resting in our search for advances. The Accela-Cota PRO is evidence of our passion for innovation and commitment to growing the capabilities of our systems.
It Is More Than Your Typical Batch Coater
Thomas Engineering brings over 60 years of experience in the pharmaceutical tablet coating industry to every system and new project. The foundation for the Accela-Cota PRO was set years ago with the introduction of the original Accela-Cota system in 1968. The design was brought to us by Ely Lilly and we licensed the patent. Since then, we became the worldwide provider of these systems.
Want to learn more about the role tablet coating materials play in treatment for the end user? Peel back a layer and take a close look here.
The original Accela-Cota system set a new standard in thermal efficiency, coating uniformity, cleanability, and rapid processing times. The fully-perforated drum technology offered unrestricted air flow and added flexibility to the coating process. The first Accela-Cota transformed typical batch coaters into a competitive advantage for tablet manufacturers. We were happy with the performance of this first iteration, but we knew we could go further.
What Could We Do to Advance Tablet Production?
So, we had already developed and created an industry game changer in the Accela-Cota system. Where could we go from there? The answer was in the details. We reexamined what was most important to our customers and how we could better meet those needs. We knew the Accela-Cota PRO needed to:
- Deliver a high-performance experience
- Be flexible to the unique needs of the customer
- Provide coated tablets that are uniform and repeatable
- Offer simple and straightforward cleanability between batches
- Have the latest technology in spray guns and spray system design
Transform Your Tablet Production Line With the Same Square Footage
When we set our minds to advancing and creating the Accela-Cota PRO, we knew one of the most important factors in tablet production was square footage. The facility footprint of your tablet coater is a vital consideration for every manufacturer. The real estate inside your facility is valuable ground that must be used as efficiently as possible.
We are offering a tablet coating solution with the same footprint, same size, but twice as productive.
That is why we ensured the Accela-Cota PRO takes up the same facility footprint as the typical batch coater. Enhanced productivity, increased functionality, and a whole new level of quality coating performance; and it all fits in the same space where your old tablet coater used to be.
Comparing the Performance of the Typical Batch Coater
We looked at the best parts of the original Accela-Cota system and our Flex line of coaters and put them into the Accela-Cota PRO. It is the culmination of everything we’ve learned from over six decades in this industry. We found new ways to make the most of the interior space. This newfound expansion within the coater gave us the opportunity to add new features and achieve even higher rates of productivity.
One of the key design differences in the Accela-Cota PRO is the cylindrical drum. Traditional coaters relied on the biconical drum design. When you compare it with the biconical drum, the cylindrical drum design matches the same 60” diameter but provides a 35% higher capacity with a 720 liter capacity drum.
The Cylindrical drum provides a much larger Perforated Area which translates to increased airflow across the tablets. Traditional systems are often designed with a 4000 cfm air handling system, but our Accela-Cota PRO with the cylindrical drum is provided with a 7000-cfm air handling system.
The increased perforated area allows us to increase the typical number of spray guns with the Thomas Spray Bar. The drum design also incorporates our Helical Baffles which provide optimized mixing. With all these design features we can achieve a higher spray rate which equals shorter batch times across the board.
Biconical Drum vs. Cylindrical Drum Design: By the Numbers
Let’s break down the differences and advantages of the Accela-Cota PRO system into some bite-sized chunks.
Equal Coater Size
Both drums are 60” in diameter and 60” long.
35% Higher Capacity
The cylindrical drum has a 720 liter capacity versus the biconical capacity of 530 liters.
Larger Perforated Area
The perforated area in the cylindrical drum is 15” longer than the biconical drum.
The cylindrical drum offers 7000 CFM compared to the 4000 CFM of the biconical drum.
More Spray Guns
The number of spray guns in the cylindrical drum increases from 5 to 7 spray guns.
The helical baffles in the cylindrical drum outperform the plough baffles in the biconical drum.
All of these elements work together to create a more productive tablet coating experience that takes less time while still guaranteeing quality.
A Faster Spray Coating Process Equals a Shorter Batch Time
Based on real world batch data from our customers and using our TAAC coating process model (Thermodynamic analysis of aqueous coating), we can accurately predict the average batch times for a traditional batch coater and how our compares. We can use these figures and math to show you just how much time we can add back into your process.
We are assuming:
- 0.75 kg/liter bulk density
- 65 Celsius inlet temperature
- 10 Celsius dew point
- 3% weight gain
- Aqueous coating solution
- 20% solids
- EEF 3.25
When you add all of that up and look at how much time you will be saving, it all works out to a 75% increase in productivity.
Faster Process + Higher Capacity + Shorter Batch Time
When considering the advantages of any increase in productivity, you have to consider how it will impact your operations over the long-term. Process improvements like this boost the performance of every batch you coat and every day of your manufacturing process. That is the type of return on investment you can expect when you partner with Thomas. Your time is valuable and we help you make the most of it.
We Never Forget Our Commitment to Quality Tablet Coating Systems
As a supplier of tablet coating systems, Thomas has come a long way since our origins. Our systems deliver a faster processing time. Our designs make room for a higher capacity and our process optimization leads to a shorter batch time for your operations. However, beyond all of this is the quality of the end product.
We remember that it does not matter how fast you can move or the size of the batches of tablets you can process if you cannot deliver quality.
All the changes we made to advance speed, capacity, and batch time did not have an impact on the quality of the tablet coating performance. The fully-perforated drum design still offers the same level of unrestricted air flow and thermodynamic efficiency that made the original Accela-Cota system such a success.
The Thomas Spray Bar uses Schlick’s anti bearding gun technology to provide a best-in-class uniform coating spray zone across the full tablet bed. The design of the Thomas Spray Coating Machine eliminates the solution lines from the air flow path as they are internal to the Spray Bar to reduce air turbulence. We also reduced the number of parts for ease of cleaning. All of this improves the tablet coating quality and reduces the changeover time for your workers.
Taking a Moment to Talk About Cleanability
When you talk about advancing the quality of tablet coating equipment across our industry, you should not skip over discussing cleanability. It is a factor that goes into every piece of equipment that we produce. Making systems straightforward to clean saves time and increases productivity from batch to batch.
The professional level of cleanability we offer also reduces the chance of cross-contamination between batches. To create our cleanability solutions, we worked with multiple multinational pharmaceutical companies to improve functions like this. They gave us practical, real world feedback on what features they liked and what was most useful.
The Elements of Cleanability Designed into the Accela-Cota PRO:
The geometry of the coating chamber was optimized for effective cleaning and drainage.
There are multiple cleaning zones to ensure wash-in-place (WIP) coverage on all internal surfaces.
A range of affordable WIP options are available.
Installed with a sanitary peristaltic pump and full recipe-based WIP controls are available.
Boiling Tablet Coating Down to the Essential Elements
The pharmaceutical industry has developed multiple types of coating for their medications. They all serve different purposes, like time-delayed release or masking odors and tastes. The missing link for those pharmaceutical manufacturers was equipment that applied these specialty coatings evenly, uniformly, and on a bulk scale for their thousands of patients. If you had to boil down the elements of tablet coating to the most essential elements, it would be:
- Uniform coatings across an entire batch
- Dependably repeatable results from batch to batch
- Efficiency for the shortest process time possible
- Highest capacity possible to achieve the highest output
- Excellence in the finished product for the end user
The team at Thomas supplies the tablet coating equipment and expertise to make it possible to balance all of these elements together. We believe you should never have to sacrifice dependability for speed or quantity for quality.
To follow through on that commitment to quality, we offer more than equipment, we provide the ongoing support of our team of experts. You can rely on our qualification services to ensure the performance of your equipment before it is shipped to your facility. And you can trust our process optimization solutions to find the most significant areas for improvement in your internal processes.
Linking Historical Techniques to the Future of Innovation
The technique of coating medicine or dosage forms in something to make them more effective or easier to swallow goes all the way back to the time of ancient Egypt when they would use bread and honey. We have come a long way since then, but the idea remains the same. The ideas behind the Accela-Cota system started in 1968, and are still advancing today with the Accela-Cota PRO.
We are proud of everything we have achieved with the Accela-Cota PRO system, but it doesn’t mean we are finished. The pharmaceutical industry and the tablet coating industry within it continues to grow and change as the years continue, and the team at Thomas understands this need for growth better than most. We’ve been a leader in tablet coating for over 60 years, and we are not content with the success we have seen so far.
We believe there is always room for improvement and new opportunities for pushing performance even higher. Are you ready to boost your productivity and find new peace of mind in the quality of your products? To learn more about the Accela-Cota PRO, reach out and contact Thomas today. We’re always ready to be your partner in progress.