Solid dosage technology in fluid bed products

Spraying Systems Co Pty Ltd
Monday, 01 March, 2021

Fluid Air®, a division of Spraying Systems Co, specialise in Solid Dosage equipment for the pharmaceutical industry and is renowned for revolutionising spray drying technology with their very own Polar Dry® using electrostatic technology.

Established in 1983 with a simple goal to develop better equipment, Fluid Air eventually joining the Spraying Systems Co family in 2009, allowed Fluid Air to develop new technology on a global scale.

With a strong international presence with best-in-class global service, Fluid Air is committed to showcasing their expertise and capability in solid dosage technology. They are renowned for their revolutionary electrostatic spray drying technology that spray dries liquids at a lower temperature when compared to traditional spray-dryer that in turn works to preserve ingredient integrity and denaturalization.

Fluid Air specialise in Fluid Bed Processing, High shear granulation, size reduction, process automation and spray drying.

When it comes to Fluid Beds, the Magnaflo® and Mangnacoater® systems are designed with high-quality elements to optimise the process and ensure quality output.

Both Magnaflo and Mangnacoater models allow for system configuration in three different phases: Phase I is R&D, Phase II: Pilot Scale, and Phase IIl: Production Scale.

Magnaflo Fluid Bed Dryers, Granulators Process overview.

In fluid bed drying, conditioned gas flows through a bed of material, separating the particles and causing the bed to behave like a fluid. The fluidized particles transfer moisture to the process gas, quickly and efficiently drying the material.

Fluid bed granulation is an extension of the drying process where a binder solution is top-sprayed onto dry suspended fine particles to bind them into granules, which are then dried in the same vessel.

Magnacoater Fluid Bed Coaters Process overview.

In Wurster coating, also known as air suspension coating, the product particles are first separated from one another in an air (gas) stream. The desired coating formulation is then sprayed from a bottom mounted spray nozzles onto the particles while they are suspended. Process air entering the inlet plenum below the multi-partition coating bowl will naturally seek the route of least resistance through the system. Some partitions will see an abundance of process air while others will be starved unless corrective measures are taken. An air-starved partition will quickly fill with particles from the active partitions. The product will come in direct contact with the nozzle, resulting in over-wet product and the potential loss of an entire batch. The Magnacoater adjustable shutters allow for the air flow in each coating zone to be adjusted and maintained once proper equalization has been achieved and before any coating activity commences.

The distribution plate: The Systems feature Conidur and Turboflo bed plates, which are heavy duty and easy to clean. These plates are rugged and of strong quality which will keep them from fraying or breaking off like the finer mesh wire screens used by other pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, the weight of the plate creates pressure drop to disperse process air across the entire surface of the bowl bottom. This also aids in the elimination of dead spots, improvement of homogeneity and product uniformity.

Unlike most competitor fluid beds, the MAGNAFLO & MAGNACOATER expansion chamber is conical rather than cylindrical. During the drying process, the powder loses velocity as it reaches the conical section. This prevents the clogging of air filters and minimises the creation of undersize “fines”. Agglomeration is faster with particles suspended in the proper position, reducing process time.

MAGNAFLO systems are equipped with an agitator system located in the bottom of the bowl. The rake rotates slowly through the bed of material, breaking up over-agglomerated clumps of material and removing “dead spots”. This ensures proper fluidization of the product no matter what the operating conditions. No competitor system has this feature.

Competitor liquid delivery systems usually consist of a spray ball or cluster-type nozzle assembly mounted at a fixed distance above the fluid bed bowl. During granulation, the bed increases in height within the bowl, leading to over-wet granulation if the nozzle height is not adjusted.

The MAGNAFLO design consists of a round “chandelier” liquid-delivery manifold on a pneumatic cylinder, allowing the height of the system to be adjusted without interrupting the process. The round design is equipped with multiple Spraying Systems Co nozzles pointed directly at the bed, promoting faster, more uniform granulation.

Fluid Air fluid bed systems can be equipped with three different filter configurations to meet the needs of an application:

    A bag that extends from the bottom of the chamber to the top, preventing product from coming into contact with the chamber walls, eliminating the need to remove product build-up from the chamber walls at the end of the batch and/or when changing from one product to the next.
    Cartridge filters are installed in the upper portion of the expansion chamber, stopping fine particles from escaping during the drying process.

With twelve manufacturing plants worldwide, their innovative, solution-orientated approach towards customers put them at an advantage to success and expertise. Whatever process involved within the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries, Fluid Air’s solid dosage equipment quickly becomes a natural solution. Fluid Air continues to push the boundaries of what is possible and will always looks for ways to go above and beyond expectation.

Visit their website and book in a free consultation with a Fluid Air Expert.

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