Optima Pharma’s Expert Zone proved to be a big draw for visitors at Achema 2022 in Frankfurt. Many visitors agreed that the technologies and innovations presented in the exclusive visitor area perfectly reflected the diverse requirements in fill and finish, isolator technology, and freeze drying. Topics ranged from the premiere of a new machine to the CSPE approach (comprehensive scientific process engineering) and digitalization. New system concepts, climate-friendly refrigeration technology for freeze drying, and ultra-efficient decontamination systems were highly sought after.
Despite the vacation season, the Optima Group’s Pharma business unit recorded heavy visitor traffic at the pharmaceutical trade show, which was held in Frankfurt am Main from August 22 to 26.
Gerhard Breu, chairman of the Optima Pharma Division, says, “Together with our partners, we have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, which has unleashed a wave of innovation. A massive amount of new products are entering the clinical phase. As a result, we are now much more than a machine builder. In fact, we are a strategic partner and solution provider with a holistic approach – from designing complete lines to providing support in the qualification phase, right through to the start of production. Direct feedback from ACHEMA visitors helps us understand their individual requirements.”
Many visitors at the trade show focused on the new efficiency potential offered by digitalization, says Breu. The approaches are many and varied: The services range from the systematic, automated evaluation of performance and sensor data from systems to augmented reality in service. Optima Engineering actively uses digital technologies, for example, for the comprehensive simulation of complete systems.
Integration of pharmaceutical lines further increased with CSPE 2.0
These simulations are part of CSPE 2.0, which was presented at ACHEMA. “Comprehensive scientific process engineering (CSPE) is a technical and scientific approach developed by Optima Pharma that massively accelerates processes from system design to production startup,” says Matthias Poslovski, vice-president of sales at Optima Pharma. Comprehensive simulations as well as integrated factory acceptance tests of complete systems are an integral part of this. The CSPE process particularly offers significant advantages for comprehensive turnkey projects. As part of CSPE 2.0, Optima Pharma is increasing the degree of integration of the systems, which the trade show visitors found very interesting. For example, in the new CSPE Center II, filling and closing lines with isolators – and for the first time also with freeze-drying systems – will be fully assembled. During integrated factory acceptance Tests (iFATs), the system is tested as a single optimally coordinated unit with all functions – all measures that massively shorten the time to production startup, Poslovski says.
Precision despite top speed with the multiuse system
The unveiling of the new high-speed version of the Optima multiuse system was another highlight at the booth. With up to a 10-digit version, up to 24,000 objects can be processed per hour. A special feature here is that all product-saving functions and the extremely high filling accuracy are retained even at high output. Flexibility is also part of the concept: Different container types and sizes can be achieved with virtually no format change parts; different product paths – including freeze-drying – are also easy to implement.
Future-proof, alternative refrigeration technologies
In the expert zone, future-proof alternatives in refrigeration technology were presented which do not use refrigerants that are harmful to the environment. The most important variants used by Optima Pharma range from cascade refrigeration to liquid nitrogen cooling and air refrigeration. The opportunity to try out an air cooling system at a production system, which Optima Pharma will offer at the beginning of 2023, attracted considerable interest.
Metall+Plastic’s award-winning Decopulse bio-decontamination system also attracted considerable attention, since rapid cycle times and extremely homogeneous H2O2 distribution in isolators continue to be key production advantages. The new complementary method of cycle development using enzyme indicators was also presented.
New system concepts for cell and gene therapies were another highlight in the expert Zzone. Optima has developed a holistic concept for producing and filling these particularly high-quality medicines. Visitors to the trade show got the chance to experience the automated, modular, and highly flexible machine platform and the digital integration of innovative technologies. Specific machine solutions for highly active ingredients and energy-saving machine technologies were additional focal points for trade visitors in the Expert Zone at Optima Pharma.