After completing his Bachelor of Science degree and Ph.D. in Physical Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Dale E. Wurster began working as a professor at the University. During his time there, he began research in Wurster fluid bed coating with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). Dr. Wurster invented and patented a method for applying coatings to tablets and particles in an air-suspension chamber until his leave from University of Wisconsin in 1971.
Harlan S. Hall began work at WARF in 1971, where he was hired as the Laboratory Coating Manager. Working closely with the patented work from Dr. Wurster, Hall gained detailed knowledge about the prototype machine and its coating process. In 1976, Hall and his business partner purchased the intellectual property for Wurster fluid bed coating and prototype Wurster coating equipment. Coating Place, Inc. was established in Verona, Wisconsin to further grow the coating method. At this time, the company experienced a number of expansions, enlarging the roughly 3,000 ft2 facility in which they established their contract manufacturing operations.
By 1982, Coating Place was able to introduce the first micro-coater for research purposes. This single-nozzle Wurster fluid bed coater was capable of producing a batch of product of roughly 20 grams. This unique unit was created using the prototype technology from Dr. Wurster’s original patent. The company continued to advance the Wurster coating technology with the 7-nozzle Model 4600 production unit built in-house in 1989. A unit of this size allowed Coating Place to uniformly coat batches of material up to 800 kg in size.
In 1997, Coating Place revolutionized the Wurster fluid bed coating process when they introduced the 3-nozzle Wurster unit, allowing for proprietary linear scalability from research batches in the micro-coater to production batches in the single-nozzle, 3-nozzle or 7-nozzle Wurster units. This gave rise to the opportunity for Coating Place to begin commercial microencapsulation manufacturing for thin film-coating of pharmaceutical drugs, food-grade products, and specialty chemical materials. In 1999, Tim and Kendall Breunig purchased majority ownership in Coating Place, ushering in a time of enlargement and growth for the company in its GMP contract manufacturing services.
The 2000’s marked a time of facility growth for Coating Place. From 2001 to 2003, Coating Place fabricated two Model 3200, 3-nozzle units for production and added an enlarged warehouse for raw and finished material storage. It was also during this time that Coating Place was granted a DEA license to work with controlled substances, greatly expanding the products that the company was capable of producing.
The 2004 expansion enclosed the courtyard at Coating Place, connecting all areas of the company through internal, controlled corridors. During this time, they also built two additional 7-nozzle, Model 4600 units for production purposes. In 2007, the company experienced another major renovation with the addition of the 78,000 ft2 warehouse and production suite expansion. This warehouse expansion included temperature-controlled cold storage and independent solvent storage. The production expansion allowed the inclusion of another two Model 4600 Wurster units and suites to house a ball mill, pan coater and tablet press. Finally, a 2009 expansion of 3,000 ft2 to the shipping and receiving dock now allows for more efficient in-flow and out-flow of materials.
Coating Place expanded its administrative offices in 2011 and also built a larger, ambient controlled substance warehouse to allow for more adequate storage of raw and finished materials. In January of 2012, Coating Place expanded its manufacturing capabilities with the purchase of a processing facility in Sauk City, Wisconsin. This facility originally focused on specialty chemical products with its three 7-nozzle Wurster units. In 2014, the Sauk City facility expanded by 55,000 ft2 bringing its total processing and storage space to 110,000 ft2 with the capability to fabricate and operate 8 additional Wurster fluid bed coating units. The Sauk City facility was upgraded and became FDA-approved for food manufacturing in 2019. The Sauk City facility now focuses on Food & Specialty products.
Today, between the two manufacturing facilities, CPI is equipped with twenty-three proprietary, highly advanced Wurster fluid bed coating units capable of producing batch sizes between 0.010 Kg and 800 Kg. Our research and development department utilizes four Wurster fluid bed coatings units; a model 400, model 600 and model 900 located in Verona, WI and one model 400 unit located in Sauk City, WI. When research is complete, linear scalability allows Coating Place to efficiently transfer a product to one of our model 1800, 3200 or 4600 commercial Wurster fluid bed coating units for commercial manufacturing.
At the end of 2015, Coating Place broke ground on its phase four facility expansion, which includes expanded Quality Control laboratory space, additional research and development suites for development work, and an upgrade to three of the current Model 1800 suites. This expansion also creates more office space for our growing workforce. The administrative offices were expanded in 2017 with completion a year later.
Looking to the Future
As capabilities and services expand, Coating Place continues to grow its knowledgeable staff to ensure the highest quality consulting and technology support for our clients.