Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical Centrifuge Engineering Services

“Horizontal Peeler type centrifuges are a perfect solution for the pharmaceutical industry where they must meet stringent hygiene and containment criteria.”

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Pharmaceutical Industry 3

The horizontal peeler centrifuge has been around far longer than most people realise. Records show machines still in operation that are over 75 years old. However, they are a long way removed from designs and specifications required of today’s pharmaceutical industry.

Originally they were specifically designed to fully process a product at a single speed, thus challenging the performance of the more conventional vertical batch basket filtration centrifuge configurations, which had a considerable amount of “dead” time as it accelerated and decelerated between differing processing speeds.

While this is still the case to some extent, many more benefits can now be realised with the horizontal axis designs, especially when closely following cGMP requirements. From the images below, kindly provided by leading manufacturers, it can be seen how the following of cGMP requirements and current legislation has resulted in the configuration/design of the centrifuge becoming almost identical.

One common feature adopted by most of the manufacturers is to incorporate a “through the wall design”. Essentially this is where the centrifuge layout is divided into two, forming a “clean end” and a “dirty end”. This is achieved by a large plate that goes around the centre of the centrifuge. The centrifuge is then pushed through an opening in the wall up to the plate and sealed in place via a flexible membrane.

Compliance with cGMP requirements in the pharmaceutical processing industry, especially when considering centrifuges, has resulted in virtually all new installations being of the horizontal axis type. For those offering horizontal centrifuge axis units, and continually developing their designs, the future remains promising.

These designs can offer the following key features;

  • Through the wall design for clean room requirements
  • Fully ATEX compliant
  • Product containment in hygiene area
  • Reduced exposure of final product to the outside environment
  • Full opening outer casing door for easy inspection, cleaning and maintenance
  • Full depth plough discharge mechanism
  • Heel removal systems that increases product yield
  • Compliant with latest cGMP and cGAMP requirements
  • Fully Automatic control with product recipe capabilities
  • Validated Clean-In-Place (CIP) and Sterilisation-In-Place (SIP) systems
  • Capable of Inert Gas Blanketing and O2 Analysis Systems when processing hazardous flammable solvents

The days of the vertical axis batch filtration centrifuges in today’s cGMP orientated pharmaceutical processing sector have been sadly numbered for some time. If filtration centrifuge separation technology is to be employed in the pharmaceutical processing industry it is now likely to involve the Horizontal Peeler or the Horizontal Inverting Cloth type centrifuges.


NCD Separation Solutions Ltd. is a unique company that can offer a complete range of centrifuge consultancy and centrifuge engineering services.