At Thomas Engineering, we’ve fostered a reputation for never saying no to a new challenge. We believe that every customer deserves our personal attention and the latest innovations. A passion for innovation like this often leads to finding new avenues for the technology that already exists.
The Experts in Coating Systems
Thomas Engineering became a player in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in 1959. Back then, we were manufacturing precision tablet press tooling. We’ve grown significantly since then and expanded in our capabilities. We were the first manufacturer to offer the fully-perforated, side-vented coating Accela Cota drum. It still stands as an industry standard in this technique. Today, we are a global leader in pharmaceutical tablet coating with our Flex product line of tablet coaters supported by our services in qualifications, hands-on equipment training, and process optimization.
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Traditionally, tablet coaters like ours are used to apply a coating to different tablets, capsules, and medications. The standards of the pharmaceutical industry demand a particularly high level of attention put into all of their manufacturing processes. We’ve spent years developing coating technology and ensuring the spraying process is as efficient as possible. This level of efficiency adds to the quality control of the end product by ensuring every tablet is coated evenly and uniformly across every batch.
It also contributes to each client’s bottom line because a more efficient piece of machinery is going to offer faster, more reliable performance over the years. We have engineered our tablet coating machines to be a competitive edge for our clients. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is crucial that we hold to the strictest standards, and it is vital that we provide the services our clients need to perform at their best.
Coating Materials Play an Essential Role
One of the primary concerns for every tablet or medication across the board is how it is absorbed by the body. There are several different coating solutions available, depending on the desired course of treatment. You might need a drug to make it through the stomach acid unscathed and not activate until it reaches the small intestine. Your doctor could prescribe a medication that needs a delayed reaction over a period of time. A pharmaceutical company might need a film coating to mask the bitter taste or odor of their product. For all these reasons, the quality of the uniform coating our coaters provide is critical to the performance of every tablet or capsule.
It is not just about the performance of the tablets either. Often, tablets come in various sizes and shapes. They are also packaged and bottled in varying locations and must travel great distances to reach their eventual end-user. The coating adds reliability to the transportation and durability of your products. Our advanced coating systems ensure that your products receive a high-quality coating, regardless of their size and shape. We have seen time and time again that machine coating plays a vital role in the overall performance of pharmaceutical products.
Coatings for Syringe Rubber Stoppers
Many factors come into play when injecting a patient with any form of medication. There are varying techniques that come with their own drawbacks and benefits. One of the most significant concerns in any treatment that involves syringes is the chance of contamination from silicone oil on the rubber components of the syringe, like the stopper. The stopper is in near-constant contact with the liquid pharmaceutical. It stops the liquid from leaking and drives the injection of the liquid into the patient. It is a small, yet crucial part of the treatment.
Whether you use pre-filled syringes or are pulling the liquid from a vial, the rubber stopper is a point of contact that must be examined. Silicone oils can contaminate the liquid pharmaceutical. This exposure could have a litany of side effects, such as reducing the efficacy of the drug or even negatively impacting the health of the patient. Just like pharmaceutical tablets, these rubber stoppers benefit from a uniform, professionally applied coating. For rubber syringe stoppers, coatings like this aid in preventing contamination, reducing the risk of clumping around the stopper, and facilitate a smoother extraction and injection procedure.
Delivering a Seamless Glide Force in Drug Administration
The motion of withdrawing liquid pharmaceuticals from a vial and injecting them is often referred to as the glide force. When administering a liquid drug in this way, medical practitioners require a smooth glide force that is consistent from patient to patient. Liquid pharmaceuticals come in different consistencies, are stored in varying temperatures, and occasionally must be injected at different speeds.
The medical practitioner needs to know with certainty that the syringe will perform the same task as before in the same way. Any faltering in the glide force could result in poor administration of the liquid pharmaceutical. As a result, that might impact patient care and satisfaction. The rubber stopper in a syringe is a tiny piece of a larger puzzle, but it is still crucial to the overall patient treatment plan.
Controlling the glide force will help in making this element of treatment consistent. The proper chemical coating on the rubber plunger offers a glide force that is steady and stable. There are so many elements that come into play when treating any patient. Coatings like this aid in controlling multiple elements at once. Prevent the reaction with silicone oils and give your syringes a seamless glide force for all administrations with a professionally applied, chemical coating.
How Much Thought Goes Into Serum Vial Stoppers?
A serum vial is where a liquid pharmaceutical exists on the shelf or in refrigeration until needed for injection. Depending on the drug, these vials need to be designed for a possibly long shelf life. Exposure to elements like silicone oil leakage will impact the effectiveness of the drug, the potency of the pharmaceutical, and the outcome for the patient. Just like the plunger in the syringe, the rubber stopper on a vial plays a vital role in its usage and storage.
The coating on the stopper reduces the chance of clumping during sterilization and helps to prevent stoppered vials from sticking to the shelves in refrigerated chambers. Improving the shelf life of packaged liquid pharmaceuticals is vital to every person in the supply chain and every person who touches the drug along the way. The benefits of coatings on vial stoppers include:
- Reducing visible and nonvisible particulates
- Improving the compatibility of the closure
- Reducing the risk of packaging-related failures
- Limiting the interaction of contaminations from the rubber material
- Limiting the exposure to all leachable materials in the liquid formulation
All of these elements come together to create a higher quality product. If you are a medical practitioner or pharmaceutical manufacturer, quality control of your liquid pharmaceuticals is already a number one priority for you. Many risks come into play during the packaging and transportation of any pharmaceutical product. The right coating on a quality rubber stopper protects drugs from environmental factors and ensures their effectiveness when they reach their destination.
Pharmaceutical Shelf Life Is Crucial to Treatment
One similarity between food products and pharmaceutical drugs is the importance of being certain of the shelf life. Knowing the shelf life of any consumable is crucial to the manufacturer, the eventual seller or administrator of the product, and the patient or consumer of the product. When it comes to pharmaceuticals, there are several factors that influence the shelf life of the drugs. Different pharmaceuticals must be stored at varying temperatures and, depending on the ingredients, even exposure to too much light can negatively impact their effectiveness.
Investing in the longevity of the pharmaceuticals an organization manufactures pays off in creating a product name that people depend on for a long and consistent shelf life. There are many precautions that organizations can take to ensure the longevity of their products. Applying the right coating on rubber stoppers and syringe plungers is just one more way to protect the quality of your products and ensure their effectiveness on the long term.
Taking Every Opportunity to Optimize the Coating System
For over six decades, the team at Thomas Engineering has been dedicated to improving our processes and taking our services to another level. Early on, we created many of the tools and techniques that later become industry standards for performance and quality. However, we were not comfortable settling for those achievements. We have continued to ask ourselves and our customers how we can improve. This commitment to continued excellence is one of the most significant reasons for our progress and success. We’ve seen the benefit of examining our practices and looking to our customers to learn what will make the most difference for them.
Partner with a team who has a passion for progress.
We’ve been driving innovation in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry for over 60 years—take advantage of our years of experience for your organization.
Many of the innovations in our products and processes have come from our desire to help our customers be more productive and efficient. We provide qualification services to ensure your equipment functions well before it is shipped and it is installed. Our team offers training for your team members onsite and with the actual piece of equipment they will be using.
You also have the option to use our process optimization service. We will come in to assess your coating processes and operations. Our personnel look for any opportunity to eliminate waste or enhance the overall productivity of your operation. It is all part of our dedication to optimizing our products to deliver the best end process for our customers.
Coating Technology With Modern, Intuitive Controls
One of the benefits of auto coating machines like our tablet coaters is the level of control we offer with our Compu-Coat systems. It is flexible, high-performance software designed to be adaptable for your needs and intuitive for your workers to operate. This operating platform is available in multiple languages and multiple configuration coating stages. The screen itself is presented in widescreen format and presents a graphical touchscreen.
We also offer software upgrades for coaters that are already in operation. If you purchase a tablet coater from us and years down the line new software becomes available, we can upgrade the software without you having to purchase a new coater. Coating machinery and equipment are a substantial investment. Modifications like this keep those coaters relevant for years to come, which gives you a greater return on your investment. Upgrades like this also keep your operations current and your company on the cutting edge.
The Benefits of Exchangeable Drums in the Coating Process
When we were looking at all of the ways we could improve our systems and coaters, we identified an opportunity in the way the coating drum is managed. Many of our coaters now come with the option for exchangeable drums. In the past, an organization would have to purchase multiple coaters for their different batches or take the time to sanitize the drum for their single coater between batches. With exchangeable drums, you can have one coater and just swap the drums out as needed.
You can plan ahead for dedicated drums for different lines of your products or different sizes based on the needs of your latest batch. This advancement makes your coater more valuable and more versatile for your needs. We only just scratched the surface here on the advantages of the tablet coaters from Thomas Engineering. Coatings and solutions like the ones our systems deliver are crucial to so many processes. You need an equipment partner with years of expertise and a dedication to creating the best outcome for your organization. To learn more about our line of coaters and everything we do to optimize your operations, reach out to Thomas Engineering today.