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Freeze-drying systems for your high-quality product manufacturing

We support you all the way from the first laboratory trials through the demanding task of process development to the high-quality production of your valuable products.

Our many years of experience and expertise in the design and manufacture of production systems enables us to provide application-specific solutions fully tailored to the needs of our customers.

We typically manufacture production systems with ice condenser capacities from 20 kg to 500 kg or more. Either single-chamber or double-chamber systems can be used, depending on the characteristics of the product.

We cover the full spectrum of typical applications with three basic system types.
 

Production systems for aseptic production of active ingredients (double-chamber systems)

Non-sterile pharmaceutical and diagnostic processes

Loading and unloading system LyoShuttle Drive

Drying bulk materials (single-chamber systems)

 

 



   




LyoShuttle Drive


Loading and unloading system LyoShuttle Drive

The product range of the Martin Christ Company has been expanded to include the new, patent-pending LyoShuttle Drive automated loading and unloading system. The freeze-dryer is loaded by a loading robot that uses timing belts to move horizontally. 

The loading robot moves on a set of rails mounted at the constant loading level alongside the shelf set. Motive force is provided by battery-powered stepper motors. The batteries are charged wirelessly when the robot is in the parked position in front of the freeze-dryer. The loading robot communicates wirelessly with the controller.

Thanks to its flexible and space-saving construction, the LyoShuttle Drive option is particularly suitable for production freeze dryers in the pharmaceutical field, including under insulated conditions, and requires significantly less space. 

The LyoShuttle Drive system from Martin Christ has outstanding advantages to ensure product quality and production reliability:
 

  • No moving parts above the vials
    Many common systems have an unloading bar that moves above the vials filled with the product. With the LyoShuttle Drive system from Martin Christ, the shelf package is raised a few centimeters to allow unloading of the vials. The integrated unloading beam of the LyoShuttle Drive moves beneath the loaded shelves to a parked position behind the shelf package. The shelf to be unloaded can then be moved to the unloading height (constant loading level). With LyoShuttle Drive, there is never any moving part above the vials filled with the product, even after capping. Conclusion: In summary, with the LyoShuttle Drive, we only move in front, behind and beneath the vials.
     
  • No additional space needed above the vials
    With most of the usual push-pull systems, up to 50 mm of additional space above the capped vials – for each shelf – is necessary for unloading freeze dryers with an unloading bar. This makes the freeze dryer 50 to 100 cm higher than usual, significantly increasing production costs. The unloading bar of the LyoShuttle Drive system moves below the shelves loaded with vials. No additional space is necessary above the vials, so the freeze dryer can be made lower. 
     
  • Compact, easy-to-clean construction with proper insulation
    All GMP aspects have been consistently taken into account in the design of the LyoShuttle Drive system. Particular attention has been given to compact construction for use in isolators or LAF units, along with good accessibility and excellent cleaning capability. Service-friendliness was also given special attention as the design was developed.
     
  • Integrated automation LPCplus
    With LPCplus, we offer a comprehensive automation solution for process visualization and documentation, which we have further adapted for LyoShuttle Drive. All processes can be visualized, operated, and documented continuously from loading and unloading to freeze drying. Of course, integrated solutions for insulation technology and filling lines are no trouble at all with our open and flexible solution approaches, and have already been proven in practice many times over.
     
  • Optional redundant drive technology
    For the first time in a fully automated loading and unloading system, we offer redundant system components in order to ensure system availability with cGMP compliance, even in critical situations. For example, electrical drives, rechargeable batteries, and charging stations are designed to be redundant. All systems are sized to be able to support full cycles. The redundancy thus significantly improves the availability of the system. 

 

 



   

Drying Bulk Materials


Drying bulk materials (single-chamber systems)

Christ Epsilon single-chamber systems are always a good choice when the primary consideration is high drying performance with low capital expenditure and low energy costs. They also ensure reliable and economical operation year after year. With large shelf area and adjustable shelf spacing, they are general-purpose systems with high ice condenser capacity.

Advantages of Christ single-chamber systems:

  • Easy, simple and user-friendly operation
  • Ice condenser adjacent to shelves for high efficiency and short drying times
  • Product and condenser icing can be observed during the drying and defrosting processes
  • Fast defrosting of the ice condensor (20 to 30 minutes)
  • Easy cleaning of the drying chamber and the ice condenser
  • Low operating and maintenance costs
  • Compact construction, easy transport and simple system installation
  • Optionally available with electro-hydraulic stoppering device and adjustable shelf spacing.
 

There is a choice of five standard sizes with shelf area from 1.76 to 18 m² and ice condenser capacity from 20 to 180 kg. Taylormade capacities are available on request.
 

Applications:

  • Food industry (e.g. fruit, vegetables or flavourings)
  • Chemical industry (e.g. ceramic powders or nanoparticles)
  • Pharmaceutical industry (e.g. diagnostic products or intermediate pharmaceutical products)
  • Conservation of materials (e.g. archaeological objects)
  • Book drying

 



   

Non-sterile Pharmaceutical And Diagnostic Processes


Non-sterile pharmaceutical and diagnostic processes

If your production processes must comply with stringent GMP requirements but do not need conventional steam sterilization (SIP) our double-chamber system with a large opening to the ice condenser chamber is an especially good choice.

As with our freeze dryers typically used in pharmaceutical applications, we provide comprehensive support for component layout and system designs tailored to your specific needs. This is rounded out by expert system qualification and technical service to ensure long-term trouble-free operation of your system.

We work with you to devise system and loading concepts for an extremely wide range of tasks and process requirements and implement them in manufacturable designs.

The double-chamber design developed by Christ places the ice condenser directly below the drying chamber. There is a wide choice of sizes, with ice condenser capacities from 12 kg to more than 500 kg. The shelf area ranges from 1 m² (specifically for process optimization) to over 40 m², depending on the unit type.

Our Epsilon D units feature:

  • Optional clean in place (CIP) capability
  • Compact design for minimum space requirement
  • Manual door lock
  • Acrylic or stainless steel door
  • LSCplus with standard software; Siemens S7 used in case of additional options, such as CIP
  • LPCplus SCADA system for GMP-compliant process documentation
  • Freeze Drying of bulk materials
  • Optimal designed for product trays

Applications

  • Intermediate pharmaceutical products
  • diagnostic products
  • Food industry (e.g. fruit, vegetables or flavourings)
  • Chemical industry (e.g. ceramic powders or nanoparticles)
  • Conservation of materials (e.g. archaeological objects)
  • Book drying


   

Production Systems For Aseptic Production Of Active Ingredients


Production systems for aseptic production of active ingredients (double-chamber systems)

Custom system projects

Long before your system dries the first batch of your valuable product, our qualified project management, engineering and service team provides the necessary advice and support for everything from system design, seamless quality control during production, on-time installation, commissioning and qualification, and ensuring the reproducible and trouble-free long-term operation of your freeze drying system. If technical problems arise, you can count on fast response from our Service team 24/7, 365 days a year.

Structural or component positioning modifications for adaptation to space constraints are possible, as well as alternative arrangements for vacuum, cooling and control. We offer a broad selection of solutions at various levels for secure freeze dryer loading and unloading solutions, which is naturally a significant issue for users. They range from configurations with attached isolators to semi-automatic loading carts and fully automatic loading and unloading systems. The latter systems can be implemented conventionally using conveyor belts or transfer carts, or innovatively using cleanroom robots for unparalleled precision and reliability. Mature solutions are assured by our ‘best partner’ approach, which means working with leading specialists in their fields. Christ normally assumes the role of lead supplier to minimise the number of contact persons.

All systems and equipment fulfil the most stringent requirements with regard to the materials used and functional safety, and they are extensible and upgradable for future applications. Advanced automation concepts simplify operation for users and ensure fully reproducible drying processes. Our experts are active in major associations and working groups, including ISPE and the German PAT group, and are therefore familiar with stringent regulatory requirements, particularly with regard to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

We work with users to devise system and loading concepts for an extremely wide range of tasks and process requirements and implement them in manufacturable designs.

The double-chamber design developed by Christ places the ice condenser directly below the drying chamber. There is a wide choice of sizes, with ice condenser capacities from 12 kg to more than 500 kg. The shelf area ranges from 1 m² (specifically for process optimisation) to over 40 m², depending on the system type.

Our Epsilon DS freeze drying systems feature:

  • Pressure chamber > 2.5 bar for steam sterilisation (SIP)
  • Hydraulic/pneumatic door locking system
  • Stainless steel door (optional slot door)
  • Automatic filter test (FIT)
  • Siemens S7 control system with LPCplus
  • Optional cleaning in place (CIP) capability
  • Compact design with minimum space requirements


Typical applications

  • Pharmaceutical industry (e.g. aseptic production of vaccines, cytostatic agents)
  • Biopharmaceutical industry