Processing Facilities

An interior image of one of Kottakkal's Processing Facilities

Arya Vaidya Sala manufactures more than 500 classical formulations. The manufacturing activity takes place at two centres, one at Kottakkal and the other at Kanjikode near Palakkad. Both Factories operate on manufacturing license issued by the Drugs Controller of the State and both possess GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certificate issued by the Government.

The important feature of the two Factories is the fact that the basic principles and practices of medicine manufacture are still based on the specifications in the classical text books. At the same time, extensive mechanisation has taken place as a necessary consequence of adapting industrial methods. This change is essential when scaled up and bulk level production of medicines becomes necessary.

All the processing activities are done in pharmaceutical grade stainless steel vessels. There are several electro-mechanical equipments which are employed for achieving efficiency in production. Major areas where mechanisation has been incorporated are: Fire wood has completely been replaced by boiler generated steam for boiling purpose. There is 15 tons/hr and 6 tons/hr steam generating capacity at Kottakkal and Kanjikode respectively. Major functions like disintegration, sifting, filtration, concentration, incineration, compression, filling, blistering, packing, etc are done with the aid of heavy equipments. The introduction of modern dosage presentation forms of tablets and capsules has also necessitated the incorporation of modern pharmaceutical machinery like punching machine, mass mixer, granulator, drier, blender, encapsulation equipment, blister packing machine, etc.

Both the Factories work round the clock in three shifts. More than 600 personnel are engaged in manufacturing activity including work-men, and supervising, clerical and support staff. Every Section of the two Factories is managed by qualified and trained Physicians under the overall control of a Factory Manager and Production Manager.

The production activity is scheduled by the Production Planning Unit. It draws up annual / monthly / weekly / daily production schedule by taking into account the requirement of the Marketing Department and by maintaining close association with the Materials Department, Factory Managers and Finance Department. The operations of the Factories are supported by Personnel Department, QA Department and Engineering Department.

The Personnel Department takes care of human resources development related matters. There is a Labour Welfare Officer who works closely with the recognised Unions of the workmen and associates with the Personnel and Production Departments.

QA Department has a well-equipped laboratory and trained chemists. They carry out regular analytical tests to ensure the quality of raw materials as well as that of finished products. Issue of a Quality Certificate is a necessary step for accepting every item of raw materials. Standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) are generally followed in the QC Laboratory. The QC Certificate issued by the QA Department forms an integral part of the Batch Manufacturing Record (BMR) of every product. In the case of finished products, the Pharmacopoeial Standards specified by the Government of India are followed. A high level Quality Control Cell comprising senior physicians examines samples from every batch of products.

The Engineering Department looks after procurement, installation and maintenance of the plant and machinery of the Factories. Under the control of Sr. Manager (Engg.), there are electrical / mechanical / classical Engineers and a Maintenance Engineer looking after the functions of the Department, which are manned by about 70 skilled and professionally qualified workmen. Additionally, there is Civil Engineering Department under the control of an Executive Engineer, which looks after the civil construction and maintenance requirements.

There is heavy transfer of information and data between different Sections of the Production Units as well as between different Departments and the Factories, which crucially influence the speed and correctness of Factory operations. Appropriate software for information / data transfer and for passive control of work have been specially got prepared for this purpose. A full-fledged IT Department maintains the database in addition to designing/upgradation of software as per the changing requirements.