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Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco compressor supplies oil-free, energy-efficient compressed air for sensitive pharmaceutical processes

Atlas Copco compressor supplies oil-free, energy-efficient compressed air for sensitive pharmaceutical processes

2014-05-19

Wilrijk, Belgium, May 2014. Farmalogica S.A., which develops, produces and sells pharmaceutical and surgical products, relies on the Atlas Copco oil-free rotary tooth compressor ZT 37 full feature to supply Class 0 certified oil-free air for the penicillin and cephalosporin packaging process at its plant in Colombia.

Pharma lab

Pharma lab at Farmalogica, Columbia


Since the quality of the final product can be contaminated directly by compressed air, compressors play a critical role at Farmalogica. According to the 1998 World Health Organization guide to good manufacturing practice requirements, the compressed air process must be validated when preparing pharmaceutical products. This is the reason why Farmalogica must ensure that the supplied compressed air is 100 % oil-free throughout the entire production process.

Certified Class 0 100% oil-free compressed air for critical processes

“In a process as delicate as ours, which deals with a sterile product, contamination can lead to quality problems and even the complete shutdown of the plant by the regulating body,” says Robinson Pabon, Critical Support Systems Coordinator at the Farmalogica plant. “In addition, the quality of our end product is paramount.”

Pharma products

Pharmazeutical production at Farmalogica, Columbia


To meet these strict requirements, the company chose an Atlas Copco oil-free Class 0 rotary screw compressor ZT 37 full feature (FF). The ZT 37 compressor provides pure, clean air that complies with  the latest edition of ISO 8573-1. Class 0 means zero risk of contamination, zero risk of damaged or unsafe products and zero risk of losses from operational downtime. Atlas Copco was the first manufacturer in the world to receive such certification for an oil-free compressor.

The ZT series of oil-free rotary tooth compressors were developed specifically for applications that demand these higher levels of purity, such as the pharmaceutical sector and the food preparation and electronics industries.  At Farmalogica, the compressed air is used in the washing, powder dosing, capping, sealing and labeling processes.

“The new 2010 ISO 8573-1 standard requires a pharmaceutical-grade oil-free compressor that complies with various moisture characteristics. The dew point must enable the sterile conditions of the products to be maintained and prevent the product from becoming contaminated,” says Pabon.

A significant reduction in power consumption

Robinson Pabón and Diego Vega

Robinson Pabón, Systemcoordinator at Farmalogica and Diego Vega, project engineer, Atlas Copco


Robinson Pabon adds, “We have noticed a significant reduction in power consumption compared with the previous compressor, and the equipment’s efficiency has been reallygreat, considering that our air demand tends to be fixed and that we run a 24-hour operation.” In addition, the full feature concept with integrated dryer enables further compressed air quality while making the best use of valuable floor space.

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Farmalogica Located in Bogota, Colombia, the Farmalogica S.A. plant produces 8 million units of penicillin and 6 million units of cephalosporin every year. The company is committed to the health and well-being of human beings through its products and has received GMP (good manufacturing practices) certification by Colombian regulating body INVIMA – Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos. 

Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics.  The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees.

Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. The business area has a global service network and innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China and India.