Working of a HVAC System and Its Functions : Pharmaceutical Guidelines

Working of a HVAC System and Its Functions

Heating ventilation and air conditioning system is used to maintain the clean room area in sterile as well as non-sterile manufacturing.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is the key to ensuring that the pharmaceutical products manufactured by an industry are of good quality. It ensures that there are all the necessary favorable conditions for successful manufacturing. A basic working HVAC system works as explained below:
First, the system collects fresh air from outside the plant from where it is filtered using a filter. Here, the cooling coil gets rid of excessive humidity and takes it out through the drainage system.

The filtered air goes through the supply duct and further filtration is done through the Air Handling Unit. The air handling unit then supplies the filtered air to different rooms within the manufacturing plant. The air supplied to each room is determined by the temperature and humidity that is required in the room. In addition to the Air handling unit, air is additionally filtered through the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) systems which guarantee up to 99.995% efficiency.

HVAC System

The core functions of an HVAC system include the following:
1. Controlling micro-organisms, particles in the air and dust. A working HVAC system has to primarily control dust, which is eliminated through filtration. Dust can be a cause of contamination in the manufacturing process if not taken care of. Airborne particles that are found in the air can also interfere with the manufacturing process and result in contamination. Micro-organisms are also a potential threat to the successful processing of pharmaceuticals since the environment in the plant should be sterile. All these are eliminated through the HEPA systems.

2. Maintaining the right temperature in the production spaces. Temperature is very key in any pharmaceutical industry. if the temperature is not well controlled, it may cause micro bacteria to grow in the spaces or on workers, which may affect their health adversely.

3. Maintaining the right pressure in the room. In the pharmaceutical industry, there are areas and surfaces that must be kept cleaner at all times. These areas must, therefore, be kept at a positive pressurization at all times. The air floor at these areas should be more at the opening areas. The HVAC system ensures that positive pressurization is achieved by keeping the air flower into the clear spaces more than the air that exits at the same time. this ensures that there is no chance or space for the growth of micro-organisms.

4. Maintaining the right relative humidity. Controlling the moisture in the manufacturing spaces is achieved by the installation of desiccant dehumidifiers. Having the right humidity levels in the space is key to manufacturing stable drugs. The correct relative humidity is usually needed to ensure that tablets are well manufactured.

Conclusion
The main reason why each pharmaceutical industry strives to have a working HVAC system is to ensure that the quality of the products they manufacture is not compromised. Also, the manufacturing process sometimes includes emission of harmful by-products such as gases. This is controlled by these systems through proper ventilation. With that in mind, we can say that working HVAC systems are part of upholding the health and safety of operators.

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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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