When Plethico Pharmaceuticals, a US$ 10 Million company based in Indore, decided to go for backward integration, to manufacture lozenges for the fiercely competitive export market, the equipment vendor heading their list for this foray was none other than the German major Klöckner Hänsel Prozesstechnik GmbH.
Plethico has established a brand named "TRAVISIL" in the east European market, over the past few years, and were keen to expand their sales by penetrating the West European and US markets. No mean feat, with the stringent approval regime in both these areas.
It was the brainchild of Mr. Bhaskar Patel (Executive Director) and Mr. Shashikant Patel (Chairman and Managing Director), to put up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Kalaria near Indore.
The requirements were clearly outlined: To install a sophisticated continuous line, that would meet US FDA standards, for the production of hard boiled lozenges "TRAVISIL".
Our initial meetings with Mr. Shashikant Patel were to determine their exact requirement. Plethico, being a pharmaceutical company, clearly required a system with following basic features.
"The line meets all the requirements and more," says Dr. M. K. Biyani (President - Technical), who would be co-ordinating efforts for FDA approval "Some of the standard features in the Kloeckner line are simply brilliant, and makes our job easier to validate the process and other parameters. Klockner Hansel GmbH thinks of every little detail during execution, and all we need to do is complete the paperwork for necessary approvals."
The flash-off chamber has a patented extraction design (other suppliers use a pump instead). This allows Plethico to reach a vacuum of 90%. Such an arrangement, coupled with a Rotocooker, gives the user unparalleled flexibility to produce a wide range of products.
Mr. Bhaskar Patel tells us "We started out with a plan to buy a cooker that can process basic sugar + water + glucose recipes, but guidance from the vendor strengthened our belief that we could have a Universal Thin Film Rotocooker by investing a little more.
Now we are in a position to produce standard products and milk based recipes. Moreover, the Strada 700, with Chain Die forming machine, allows us to make high filled hard and soft candies."
Mr. Ramesh Pandit (Consultant Engineer) adds, "the radical design of the extraction screw and closed in-line mixer ensures uniform mixing of all ingredients with sugar mass. Also, there is no loss of expensive ingredients into atmosphere. This is crucial for production of medicated candies and lozenges. No other supplier has this design."
S. Ranjana Lele states, "The extraction screw allows us to reach the highest level of vacuum. This is necessary for production of nearly zero caramelized milk products and to cook Isomalt." Mr. Manoj Varangaonkar (Maint. Engineer) notes, "It requires approximately 40 minutes to thoroughly wash and clean the line. We are ready to run a new product within a short period with minimum scrap."
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