Pharmaceutical vessels are used in areas where the liquid is part of a product. Let’s look at what are the pharmaceutical vessels, their types, and some accessories used on them.
Pharmaceutical vessels are one of many types of equipment common in the pharmaceutical industry. They are used in departments where the liquid is a component in the manufacturing process. Their main application is in manufacturing and storing different liquids in the pharma industry. Examples of such departments include Oral Liquid Dosage and Parenteral department.
Pharmaceutical vessels are metallic containers that can be used to store and contain liquid pharmaceutical products in it. They come in varying sizes. Their product contact part comprises Stainless Steel 316L; the outer body is also metallic and generally made up of Stainless Steel 304.
The types of pharmaceutical products that can be contained include Oral Liquid, Injectable, Different chemical compounds, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), Purified water, and Distilled Water. These liquid products can be finished or raw.
They are also provided with different accessories and components to produce the required conditions for product characteristics. For example, temperature control devices can create the desired temperature conditions.
Types of Pharmaceutical Vessels
Various pharmaceutical vessels are used in the pharma industry for different purposes. Some of them include the following.
Manufacturing Vessels are designed for manufacturing pharma products in it. They contain accessories, such as jackets and temperature control features, necessary for manufacturing a product.
They contain mechanical assemblies such as a mixer or agitator to mix the constituents. They also have specialized pneumatic fittings to smoothly transfer different chemicals and solvents from and to the manufacturing vessel.
Storage vessels are used to store a pharma product in it. They act as temporary storage in between two processes when a pharma product needs to be stored.
For example, during the laboratory sampling process, pharma product is stored in storage tanks until laboratory results are satisfactory and the pharma product is allowed to fill in the containers.
Another example could be storing purified or distilled water in storage tanks before distributing it to the entire plant.
Pressure Vessels are also enclosed containers that contain high pressure in them. Unlike other pharma process vessels, they can bear pressure higher than atmospheric pressure. By design, any vessel manufactured to operate at a pressure higher than 15 psi is called a Pressure Vessel.
If the pressure of a vessel exceeds its rating value, it can explode and damage the vessel. In this case, pressure vessels can also become hazardous for man, machine, and material.
To prevent over-pressurizing of the pressure vessel, the safety valve is installed at the vessel. The safety valve is rated at the same value as the vessel’s maximum value. If the vessel’s pressure exceeds its rated value, the safety valve opens its vent and releases the excess fluid. When the pressure decreases and comes in the normal range, the vent is closed, and valves stop releasing the fluid.
Application of Pharmaceutical Vessels in the pharma Industry
Let’s look at some common areas where pharmaceutical vessels are frequently used
The pharmaceutical industry uses the parenteral department to manufacture dosage forms directly administered into the body. Process vessels are used in the parenteral department to manufacture the product.
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in liquid forms are mixed into the vessel. The mixer is installed on the vessel to facilitate the mixing process. Also, a temperature control function is added where the manufacturing process requires high temperatures.
After manufacturing, the product is transferred to pressure vessels for storage purposes. In a pressure vessel, pharma product is stored under pressurized nitrogen gas; an inert gas used to prevent contamination. Pressure vessels store pharma products during laboratory testing and filling operations.
Oral Liquid Dosage
Oral Liquid Dosage forms are administered orally, and vessels are used to manufacture these types. Storage vessels also store the liquid during laboratory testing and filling operations.
Pharma Water Systems
Water Treatment plants are used to process raw water and convert it into Purified and Distilled forms. Storage vessels are used in pharma water systems to store the output water in these vessels. Water is stored in these storage vessels before being distributed or circulated at their point of use.
The water level of these storage vessels is synchronized with the purified and distilled water plant. When the storage vessel is filled up to the maximum level, it stops the plant operation until water is consumed and the water level drops. When water levels drop below the threshold value, the water plant automatically starts to fill up the water level.
Accessories for Pharmaceutical Vessels
Pharmaceutical vessels require accessories to facilitate the necessary function and operation. Without these accessories, it becomes impossible to attain the desired product characteristics.
Some accessories standard in pharmaceutical vessels include the following
Load cells are used to calculate the vessel’s weight. The vessel’s weight is directly proportional to the volume of liquid inside the vessel, which is calibrated according to the vessel’s volume.
The level sensor is used to measure the liquid level inside a vessel. Two types of level sensors are used on pharmaceutical process vessels – Contact and Contact Less.
Contact types sensor is installed inside the vessel. Liquid touches the sensor, and the point of contact between the sensor and the liquid is translated into the desired liquid level.
Contactless types are installed at the vessel opening, using different technologies to measure level wirelessly. Some techniques for contactless include Ultrasound and Radar technology.
The temperature sensor measures the liquid’s temperature inside process vessels. Both analog and digital temperature sensors can be used.