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Piab vacuum conveyor solves micro bacterial contamination issue at a pharma plant

Split unit vacuum conveyor


Micro bacterial contamination was their biggest issue. The customer was using a refurbished competitive conveyor. Due to their lack of ability to reach desired flow rates, they decided to use a Piab MLL800 vacuum pump with the conveyor. After some months of use, they became part of a major investigation surrounding microbiological contamination with the product that they manufacture and distribute. The contamination issue was a result of improper cleaning of their filters (washed in sink), competitive unit had never worked as designed, and was partially responsible for the heightened FDA investigation. They wanted to start new – with only Piab equipment.


The customer is transferring powder from a drum and conveying it to a tablet press. They wanted to keep the filter isolated from the product being conveyed so Piab used a split vacuum conveyor. Above the customer’s tablet press was an empty piFLOW®p vacuum conveyor unit that would contain the powder that was drawn into this unit by another piFLOW®p unit that contained the vacuum pump as well as the filter. This other unit with pump/filter would be placed near the floor for easy access.


We showed that Piab was suited for the FDA process and also able to supply them superior support; from the in house testing performed by the representative to the internal support and education provided by the application engineering team, to the diligence of the sales team to secure the order. They understood that Piab was focused on their productivity more than simply procuring an order. The split design of the vacuum conveyor fulfilled the customer’s need of isolating the filter from the product receiver. They did not want the filter submerged in the product due to more concerns about micro bacterial contamination.


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