Q:Specifically in pharma, the tablet presses are used for a variety of applications, including data
acquisition and analysis. How do they support those
Murray: We offer a comprehensive range of machines
for feasibility, small-scale development, and scale-up,
including a data acquisition capability that will analyze the
compression force waveforms.
The PharmaResearch Data Acquisition System collects
and automatically analyzes the data to permit formulation
development and process optimization. Compression
profiles may be generated to define the relationship
between compression force, tablet hardness, and tablet
dissolution at different operating speeds. Ejection force
profiles may be used to optimize the lubricant system.
A compression curve overlay function permits products to
be characterized, or “fingerprinted” to support future troubleshooting efforts. This function also permits the process
on different sized tablet presses to be compared to support
Q:When projecting out over the next 5 to 10 years, what changes do you see developing in
the market and will it have any impact on tablet press
design and capabilities?
Murray: Over the next 5 to10 years, products are going to
get more complicated as more efficient0and effective drug
delivery platforms are developed. In addition, the pressure
on uptime and productivity will only increase. KORSCH is
extremely well prepared to meet these challenges given
the flexible design platform and emphasis on fast change
and on-board help on the HMI.
Future machines will have smart sensors that will anticipate potential risks of downtime and provide proactive
feedback to take remedial action before problems occur.
The tablet press will be fully integrated to the central site
SCADA to permit comprehensive data management, and
automated OEE tracking. Technical service and customer
training will be supplemented by new technologies based
on augmented and virtual reality platforms.
Continuous manufacturing technology will also gain
favor to streamline product development and transfer to
production scale. KORSCH is already well positioned in the
CM marketplace and has extensive experience with the
integration of the KORSCH press in continuous lines.
The integration of analog level sensors on the material
inlet, NIR, and RAMAN probes in the feeder, and the
seamless read and write communication with the central
line SCADA permits the press to be fully controlled
remotely, while passing all critical quality parameters to
the line historian.
Finally, there will be more products that require high-
containment (OEB 4/OEB 5) technology at both the
development and manufacturing scale, fully integrated
tablet compression systems, which incorporate air handling,
contained peripherals, and a recipe-driven wash-in-
place capability. KORSCH offers a complete equipment
range of WipCon technology, including the XL 400 MFP
WipCon, which incorporates multi-layer flexibility in a high-
Q:KORSCH America is introducing a new machine at INTERPHEX this year. Can you give us some
details about the new equipment, the advancements it
offers to the market, and the potential benefits it will
provide to users?
Murray: The XL 4004 is the 4th generation XL 400 machine.
Since 1998, the XL 400 has offered a new standard in tablet
press technology with an innovative carrier plate design and
the placement of all major press components in the rear multi-function cabinet. The FT version incorporated a fast change
capability, and more recently, the XL 400 MFP incorporated
the inherent flexibility to produce single-layer, bi-layer, tri-layer,
tablet-in-tablet, and microchip-in-tablet formats.
The XL 4004 is available in both a single-layer only (SFP)
execution and full flexible (MFP) execution. The SFP and
MFP share common components and interchangeable
turrets to ensure full compatibility in a production
environment where the product portfolio includes both
single-layer and multi-layer tablets.
The XL 4004 further enhances the XL 400 concept
with an integrated electrical cabinet to permit a smaller
footprint, and a highly advanced torque drive to provide
precise and robust control under all operating conditions.
In addition, the water-cooled torque drive and integrated
cabinet permit a completely closed machine. The new
Smart-Touch HMI incorporates a wide rang e of on-board
help features, while maintaining the standard Siemens or
Allen-Bradley PLC platform.
The benefit is a fast change, fully flexible machine, without a remote electrical panel, which will offer high-speed,
maximum efficiency, versatility, and reliability.
Q:What was behind the decision to develop this new equipment and are you providing demonstrations
or instructional sessions at your booth during the show?
Murray: KORSCH has continued to innovate for nearly 100
years. Every machine can be improved and the development
of the XL 4004 reflects that philosophy. The elimination of
the main electrical cabinet while preserving the standard
PLC controls platform permits the XL 400 technology to be
used in smaller rooms. The design compatibility between the
XL 4004 SFP and XL 4004 MFP permit the technical design
advantages to be leveraged in any production environment.