Express Pharma

Our aspiration is to become No.2 in the world in air compressor business

Rajesh Premchandran, Director (India, South Asia, Africa and Middle-east), ELGi Equipments, talks about the compressed air system in the pharma sector and the company's growth strategies

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Tell us about the application of the compressed air systems in the pharma sector?

Compressed air is widely used in the production of healthcare products. During the production process in the pharmaceutical industry; solid dosages, liquid orals or sterile injectable vaccines, all require high quality compressed air, with zero contamination or traces of oil in it.

Traditionally, compressed air has had several shortcomings viz, high maintenance costs and contamination risks, coupled with the presence of moisture, impacting drug manufacturing and handling. This resulted in the need for compressed air meeting the stringent requirements of ISO 8573-1:2010 and ISO 8573-7:2003 with ‘Class 0’ air (Oil-free and moisture free). Depending upon the type, size and process capabilities, the compressed air requirement could vary between 10 cfm to 3000 cfm.

How have the air compressors evolved? How are ELGi’s offerings different from its counterparts?

Air compressors have evolved from lubricated reciprocating and screw to oil-free reciprocating and screw. But, the fundamentals for selection of an air compressor today are the quality of output air and the cost of operation. Oil-free air is more expensive than oil-lubricated air. The equipment is more expensive and the running cost in terms of energy is also very expensive. So, the challenge for the industry is – how do you bring the cost down and how do you take the efficiency up of these compressors that produce these oil-free air.

The recently launched AB ‘Always Better’ series of oil-free screw air compressors is a disruption in oil-free compressed air technology, offering customers a no-compromise, oil-free solution at reduced li