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Why is humidity important for pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities?

Many processes in pharmaceutical manufacturing require tight control over humidity. Tablet coatings with aqueous solutions need precise humidity to ensure the coating does not dry too fast or too slowly.

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Recommended humidity level for your pharmaceutical facility

The recommended humidity levels for pharmaceutical facilities are:

  • Powder storage, Milling room, tablet compressing, tablet coating, gelatin capsule, capsule storage: 35 +/-3%RH.
  • Colloids: 30 to 50% RH.
  • Cough drops: 40 +/-3%RH.
  • Ampoule manufacturing: 35 to 50%RH.
  • Serums and animal rooms: 50+/-1%RH

(Reference: ASHRAE Handbooks)

Some specific and more stringent humidity level might be required by Industry standard.

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How can you bring humidity to your pharmaceutical manufacturing facility?

Most of the humidifier technologies can be applied to humidify pharmaceutical plant.

Most of the time, pharmaceutical production plant requires humidifier able to produce very accurate humidity level with tolerances of +/-1%RH during the production process and sometimes to maintain proper humidity levels 24/7.

Selection of the proper humidification solution should be based on the following:

  • What is the required maximum humidification capacity (load) required?
  • What sources of energy are available on site?
  • Which humidification technology will be able to meet the required humidity level accuracy and the constant humidity production?
  • How is the ventilation system installed and how is the air distributed?
  • Which humidification system will require the least amount of energy – calculated for the overall HVAC system?

It is common for this application to require a 24/7 humidification, with no drop of humidity during production processes, as well as a quick response time. Those specific requirements will narrow the selection to isothermal humidifiers supplied with pure water in order to eliminate regular and automatic drain of the steam generator.

Pure water is generally already used in pharmaceutical processes and available on site. Care should be taken to ensure that the capacity of the water purification system will be able to cover humidifier water requirement.

IER electric steam humidifier from steamOvap is an easy and efficient solution to control precise to very precise humidity level (up to +/-1%RH) for pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.
IER can accept RO treated water without additional option.

ISE steam exchange or ILS Live steam humidifier are another solutions to be considered,
If raw steam from boiler is not contaminated and suitable for direct injection in the air stream, ILS humidifier is the easiest way to bring humidity to the building with a relatively low cost of ownership since minimal maintenance is required,
If raw steam from boiler is not suitable for direct injection, or if you need very safe, sterile and pure source of atmospheric steam then ISE humidifier is the best choice.

Gas fired humidifier or other technologies able to deliver large humidity capacity can be considered.

Contact us to locate our local steamOvap representative.