Manually executed cleaning techniques and procedures have been utilized to wash small change parts and equipment since the inception of oral solid dosage manufacturing. As processes, procedures and perceptions have matured the apparent risks associated with manual cleaning have become a frequently discussed topic throughout the pharmaceutical industry.
Why haven’t companies completely transitioned to automated parts washing? Capital cost is a consideration that limits some companies from an upgrade to a cabinet style parts washer. Along with the cost of the equipment and the facility modifications, specific washing racks must be designed and maintained for each set of designated components. Another consideration is that cleaning validations must be performed as new products and materials are introduced into the facility. And after your capital investment and your time and effort to complete a cleaning validation, there is still a manual element of loading the washer, which can be considered a risk.