The Indian pharmaceutical industry is home to 3,000 companies and over 10,500 manufacturing facilities and the country is also the largest provider of generic medicines globally. The current pandemic has put the sector in limelight once again for the growing need of drugs, testing kits, vaccines among other things and putting a lot of stress on the players to always have everything available at the highest standard of quality there is.
For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has relied on the dehumidification technology to surround the pharma products with dry air during processing, storage packaging, and testing. Moisture is a major menace for the pharmaceutical industry because majority of pharmaceutical products are highly hygroscopic and tend to suffer physical, microbiological and biochemical deterioration after coming in contact with moisture. Thus, each pharmaceutical manufacturing process requires highly controlled environmental conditions before the finished product is packaged and finally reaches the customer.
In the post COVID-19 scenario, as pharma companies aim for an agile and efficient structure to reduce losses due to wastage, it is imperative to deploy Air quality solutions. The quality of COVID-19 rapid test kits, diagnostic kits, API (vial filling, tablet compression etc.), and nutraceuticals which is in high demand during and post COVID-19 require strict moisture control. Every year pharma companies bear losses due to moisture related troubles because of weather uncertainties. For instance, during powder milling the contact of water vapour with the product makes the material resilient, and therefore difficult to grind. The material clings to the grinding machine, and defies pneumatic conveying from one process to another. Excess moisture reacts with the effervescent tablets, makes them stick to the machines and affecting their surface finish.
In Soft Gelatine capsule manufacturing if the temperature and humidity are too high, gelatine will start softening and prevent solidification and during Dry Powder/Vial Filling high humidity may cause the powder to stick and cluster together in the conveyor, thus hampering airveying and filling operations. This is not a risk that smart pharma companies would like to take in the post pandemic work environment. Making dehumidification an integral part and a long term partner for them.
Medical plastics such as syringes, medical bottles, MRI equipments, sophisticated analytical instruments, and analysers etc. are made of high end plastic which are sensitive to temperature, humidity, and dust. The tests require simulation of a broad range of natural environmental conditions — usually created in controlled humidity laboratories or test chambers. At the Diagnostic Rooms in a hospital Inaccurate or erratic readings, malfunction of sophisticated and sensitive analytical instruments and analysers are common problems which are caused due to uncontrolled temperature and humidity. Another area that has picked up in demand for moisture control solutions are nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are essentially dietary supplements, medical and functional foods, which are usually hygroscopic and require humidity control. Moist environment can yield inconsistent product and reduce production rate of nutraceuticals. For example, Spirulina tablet is an example of nutraceuticals, which is processed from its organic form (blue-green algae) into tablets under strict conditions of moisture control to maintain the desired quality.
Local players in the HVAC&R industry are fully prepared to serve the need of the pharma industry and have been putting their years of expertise to test by manufacturing energy efficient, low dew-point dehumidifiers in India with pride for the world. The local players have successfully served cutting edge environment control solutions to the international players setting up shops in India across various industries including pharma, automotive, F&B, and more. Making a mark on the world map, Indian players are serving the dehumidification needs of various industries across the world including China and this demand is expected to grow in the post pandemic new normal.