The right conditions in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility ensure the effectiveness and quality of the drugs produced. Without humidity control for pharmaceuticals, medications succumb to potency losses, oxidative degradation, de-sterilization and irreversible destabilization. In some cases, poorly controlled environments may even lead to toxic degradation that is difficult to detect. By pairing temporary humidity control solutions with processes that prevent oxygen absorption, such as the use of special packaging, pharmaceutical manufacturers will experience reliable and constant conditions, lower production costs and improved quality.
Implications of Humidity in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Effects of High Humidity
Before a product reaches consumers, it undergoes a multitude of steps during the manufacturing processes, from micronizing to sugar coating to packaging. Throughout the processes, excess humidity risk’s a product’s yield, appearance, quality and shelf life—issues that are preventable with humidity control. High relative humidity levels can also lead to:
- Inconsistent moisture contents in tablets and capsules
- Compromises to a product’s potency and effectiveness
- Crumbling and disfigurement, which could clog machinery
- Particle agglomeration, or sticking
- Production shutdowns
Effects of Low Humidity
Just as high relative humidity levels can negatively affect pharmaceutical products, arid conditions in manufacturing facilities are also problematic. Relative humidity levels below 45 percent, for example, promote the buildup of static charges, which could cause drugs to stick to each other and cause packaging problems. Dry conditions also affect the behavior of solvents and lead to moisture losses in products.
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The need for humidity control is not just limited to production areas, it is also important within machinery. Tablets coated with aqueous solutions, for instance, need an environment that does not allow them to dry too quickly or slowly. Pharmaceutical printing processes use cool temperatures and relative humidity levels between 95 and 98 percent to prevent water-based inks from drying during processing.
Environmental Conditions Clean Rooms
Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities may use HVAC systems to control the environment in clean rooms to ensure worker comfort. HVAC equipment, however, is not designed to maintain constant temperatures and relative humidity levels. As a result, the wide-ranging environmental conditions throughout the year could lead to lower productivity levels that often remain undetected.
The World Health Organization recommends temperatures between 15°C and 25°C, depending on the product manufactured, as well as relative humidity levels below 60 percent. Because viruses, mold, bacteria, fungi and mites thrive in environments with relative humidity levels of 60 percent or greater, humidity levels around 50 percent are generally ideal.
Humidity Control for Pharmaceuticals
Water is a necessary component for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and the maintenance of the facilities in which they are produced. At the same time, the element is highly destructive in excess. Managing the impact of moisture begins with Polygon’s temporary humidity control solutions. The custom-made systems are tailored to a facility’s unique needs and work independently of HVAC systems. They not only control expected moisture levels, but also automatically adjust to unexpected moisture changes, such as seasonal variations in environmental conditions. The benefits of Polygon’s humidity control system extend past maintaining the integrity of the products manufactured, as the solutions also speed the drying of wash-down areas and improve production rates.
Polygon’s temporary humidity control systems help pharmaceutical manufacturers comply with strict hygiene regulations by producing a predictable, reliable and constant climate that workers can monitor. Our short- and long-term rental program reduces capital expenditure outlays, as a facility only uses the equipment it requires on an as-needed basis without worrying about maintenance- and service contract-related expenses. The wide variety of equipment available to rent also provides clients with low-cost product trials as they search for a more permanent solution. Contact Polygon today to learn more about how we can resolve your facility’s climate control problems and improve your operation’s bottom line.
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