The modern Biotech Unit of Libbs Farmaceutica Ltda in Embu das Artes near São Paulo is currently the largest of its kind in South America. When customer requests for biological drugs against cancer and autoimmune diseases rapidly increased, Libbs decided to expand production capacities with a new granulation line and to simultaneously modernize the granulation process. “We were looking for a partner who could support us with the necessary technology transfer and provide the machine quality we wanted,” says Diogo Fonseca, project engineer at Libbs.
An unusual challenge
However, an intriguing problem had to be solved first: one of Libbs’ products led to the corrosion of stainless-steel machine parts. The experts from the German Bosch subsidiary Hüttlin sent samples of different corrosion-resistant materials and found the ideal solution: Hastelloy, a nickel-based alloy that is particularly resistant to aggressive corrosive media, which was subsequently used for the new granulation line.
As opposed to the former planetary mixing system, the new Hüttlin high-shear mixer and granulator HBG 600 uses the Gentlewing system. Its Z-shaped impeller ensures maximum mixing quality and reduces both mechanical stress and product loss. The fluid bed system HDGC 200 replaces Libbs’ drying oven. Its patented process gas distributor plate Diskjet provides uniform fluidization. In addition to significantly reducing process times, the system ensures uniform residual moisture and improved process reproducibility.
Successful technology transfer
After the implementation of the new line for ten products, the Bosch experts also helped Libbs register the new process with the authorities. “The support from the Bosch team was very good, both on site in Brazil and from Germany”, Diogo Fonseca says. “They were always right at our side, from development to installation and validation. Trust and safety are essential to any collaboration. Bosch consistently delivered both aspects to our complete satisfaction.”
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