AutoPak Engineering Corp.

Jan. 30, 2006
Deduster Enhances Tablet/Capsule Dust Particle Removal

AutoPak Engineering Corp. has introduced the vito, a tablet/capsule dust removal machine that uses electrically charged ions to help detach dust particles from tablets and capsules after their forming process.

"We use an air-assisted static eliminator that employs a gentle airflow to deliver a balanced level of positive and negative ions to all tablet/capsule surfaces," explains Ignacio Muñoz-Guerra, General Director for AutoPak Engineering Corp. "In addition to preventing dust particles from clinging to tablet surfaces, the air flow blows the neutralized dust to the dust-collecting system, leaving the product clean and dust-free."

The vito cleaning chamber is based on a helicoidally shaped brush using conductive hairs and core (all FDA direct contact-approved materials). vito uses vertical movement and a gentle brush scuffing action to liberate the attached dust particles from the product. Then, the induced electrically charged ion airflow neutralizes the dust particles, preventing them from sticking to other products or to the brush itself. The externally attached vacuum system removes the dust particles from the vito cleaning chamber.

vito is designed to help pharmaceutical packagers meet strict FDA cleaning requirements. It features a completely separate and sealed power transmission chamber. The deduster column does not have any crevices at any point, or on its base: it is flush with the seals. Tri-clamp joints are used in all parts that must be disassembled for cleaning, and mirror finish stainless steel is used in the deduster cleaning chamber.

As in all AutoPak designs, ergonomic considerations have top priority: "We believe that the efficiency of a process is directly proportional to operator comfort, physically and emotionally. Both areas enhance the manual labor process: physically by making it easier and emotionally for the satisfaction of a well done job," adds Muñoz-Guerra. The deduster column is easily assembled and disassembled without the need for hand tools; all components weigh less than 20 lbs; the operator control panel is at an ergonomic height; easy movement is enhanced by swivel total-break casters, and operation produces minimal noise.

vito’s flexibility includes the choice of dedicated or non-dedicated brushes. With the vito Brush Flow Cleaner, the brushes can be cleaned fast and thoroughly for use with different products. Following AutoPak’s philosophy to lower operational costs in all its products, the vito brushes do not have to be dedicated to particular products.

Other distinctive qualities of vito are its broken tablet separation capability and its communication signals. Without the use of any external components, vito discharges broken tablets into the vacuum exhaust as complete tablets exit through the top. AutoPak has also added two electrical dry contacts on the unit: one to start the deduster upon an external signal (tablet press, etc.), another to signal that the unit is in operation (alarms, control feedback, etc.).

vito incorporates the capability to include a metal detector in its footprint. This provides a compact unit for your dedusting and metal detection process.

To complement the unit, AutoPak includes a complete validation package at no additional cost.