One of the Covid-19 pandemic beneficiaries has been the nutraceuticals market, with explosive growth in the industry being driven by a renewed consumer focus on preventive healthcare and wellness.
At the same time, increasing worldwide regulation in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries requires more stringent manufacturing practices, and successful companies adopt a rigorous quality improvement focus.
A leading global developer and manufacturer of science-based nutraceutical products have all their products manufactured to strict Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance. The company have always had a philosophy of investing in cutting-edge manufacturing technology and equipment to continuously improve the production of the highest quality Natural Medicines.
Eliminating Production Inefficiencies
The Australian arm of this business operates from a custom-built plant in Queensland. When their engineering team was in the planning stages of connecting two new machines to a powder production line back in 2009, they wanted to ensure they installed the equipment to enhance efficiency for their whole manufacturing process into the future.
“We were installing the two machines at the bottom of a single gravity feed chute, and they needed to be connected in a way that allowed for some slight movement of the machines involved as well as a constant vibration,” said their engineering supervisor. “They also needed to be fast and easy to remove, clean, and replace to ensure we avoided any unnecessary production downtime.”
They also ideally wanted to have visibility of the powder flowing through the connections.
BFM®’s Innovative Solution Halved Usual Set-up Time
The engineering team researched the options available and decided to try an innovative, flexible connector system that was, at the time, relatively new to the market, the BFM® fitting system.
“Because of the nature of the fine powder being processed and the strict hygiene requirements in the plant, we needed something that could ensure a sealed transition, with no product leakage or contamination,” he said. “The BFM® fitting was a new concept with the connector sitting on the inside of the pipe, pushing outwards to form a seal, instead of traditional leak-prone clamps that were fastened on the outside of the pipe.”
When the two initial BFM® fittings were installed on the assembly, they immediately halved the usual set-up time previously experienced for this type of position. The seal of the BFM® connector ensured absolutely no product leaked, even with the vibration and movement of the machinery.
The simple snap-fit of the BFM® made changeovers and cleaning much easier for staff.
“During cleaning procedures, our operators were impressed with how easy it was to remove and reinstall the BFM® fitting connectors,” he said. “The transparency of the Seeflex connectors also gave us excellent visibility of product flow through the system.”
Impressive outcomes demanded further rollout
Shortly after implementing those first two BFM® fittings back in 2009, the company’s Continuous Improvement LEAN Process outcomes demanded they purchase more due to the time savings during set-ups, the reliability of the seal, and the ease of assembly and cleaning for their operators.
The Australian plant has since fitted them to all their gravity transfer systems and product mixing bins.
“In those 13 years, we have never had a BFM® connector let go or lose product, which can be a costly event in the pharma industry,” said the engineering supervisor. “That’s pretty impressive in my books!”.
If you want to improve the efficiency of your powder processing, talk to one of our experienced Distributors about the advantages of BFM® fitting.