PROMIS Centre, a research centre focused on the development of methods for
analysis and optimisation of pharmaceutical processes, has built a new and
unique continuous processing pharmaceutical production line – the only one of
its kind in Europe. The production line was created for R&D purposes, but it
also caters for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, as continuous
processing offers possibilities to increase cost-efficiency in pharmaceutical
Based in the city of Kuopio, PROMIS Centre is a multidisciplinary research
consortium involving the University of Eastern Finland, VTT Technical Research
Centre of Finland, and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.
Assuring uniform quality in pharmaceuticals
The new production line is located in the facilities of the University of
Eastern Finland, and it can also be used for training purposes in the fields
of pharmacy and engineering.
Continuous processing in pharmaceutical manufacturing is a way of making the
manufacturing process simpler and faster while reducing the need to perform
intermediate and final product analyses. This is possible with the help of
modern systems which measure the quality of the sub-processes even in real
time. In continuous processing, the flow of material stays even and there are
no pauses in between the manufacturing stages. This assures a more uniform
quality of the end product than possible in traditional batch production.
The production line comprises feeders, mixers, conveyors and a tablet machine;
however, the core of the production line is built around a roller compactor
for dry granulation. The production line also observes the environment, as no
solvents are used.
A test bed for the international pharmaceutical industry
Globally, the pharmaceutical industry is in a serious crisis due to ever
lowering marginal profits, and this is why the new manufacturing concept has
attracted a lot of attention both in Finland and abroad. The production line
serves as a good test bed for the pharmaceutical industry to study what kind
of products can and should be manufactured using continuous processing, and
what kinds of modifications are required in, e.g., product composition.
PROMIS Centre was established in 2008, and each of the research partners has a
distinct role in the consortium. The University of Eastern Finland is
responsible for R&D related to materials, processes, and manufacturing
devices; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is in charge the development
of measurement devices and control systems; and Savonia University of Applied
Sciences is responsible for the device integrations needed.
In addition to the research partners, the activities of PROMIS Centre have
also involved some 20 corporate partners representing the pharmaceutical
manufacturing industry, measurement device development, as well as control and