If you’re planning to buy a new fluid bed dryer, then you’ll like this guide. Here, you’ll learn about all the fluid bed dryer specifications.

I find this subject important, especially for people who are investing in the fluidized bed dryer in the pharmaceutical industry.

Depending on the fluidized bed dryer design, you may go for one with a granulation or coating capability.

Don’t worry as I will discuss everything you need to know in this fluid bed dryer buying guide.

To begin with, I want you have a rough idea of the working principle of a fluid bed granulator.

Here is a complete video that shows every detail in the fluid bed dryer process:

Now, what are some of the fluid bed dryer specifications? Here we go:

1. What is the Production Capacity of the Fluid Bed Dryer?

Well, this is the first question you need to ask. As a matter of fact, fluid bed dryer capacities vary depending on the size of the material container alongside other specifications.

Take for instance the SaintyCo Mini FBG Laboratory Fluid Bed Process, which has a drying capacity of 50 to 200 grams.

FBG Fluid-Bed Granulator

A fluid bed dryer machine

The production capacity of fluid bed dryers can be as high as 250kg. This will depend on the specific application of the machine.

Closely related to this is the total volume of the product container.

That is, the space available within the product container where you’ll put either powder or granules.

Normally, a fluidized bed with a large total volume of product container will definitely have a high production capacity.

This is if all other parameters are kept constant.

2. Consider the Volume of Air Flow

At what rate does air flow into the product container. Remember, in fluidization, we use air to convert powder or granule particles into a dynamic fluid-like state.

fluid bed granulator with a top spray system

Particles floating in air

Normally, high rate of air flow implies fast fluidization.

In most cases, laboratory fluid bed equipment have a volume flow rate of 0.8m3/min.

Again, you cannot talk of air flow rate or volume without mentioning the fluid bed dryer compressor.

Air compressors come in a wide range of designs and configurations.

As fluid bed manufacturers, we install air compressors depending on the capacity of the machine.

For example, where the air flow rate should be 0.8m3/min, we can install an air compressor of 0.4-0.6m3/min.

The power consumption of this compressor is about 0.15Kw.

This may vary depending on the size/capacity of air compressor.

In case you want to learn more about air compressors, here is a useful resource: Choosing the Best Air Compressor.

3. What is the Average Power Consumption of the Fluid Bed Dryer

A fluid bed drying machine is made of various components such as air compressors, blowers and heaters.

All these components use electrical energy.

It is critical that you know the average power consumption of the machine. There are two aspects you need to consider here:

  • Power consumption; this depends on the type of machine. For instance, a small fluid bed processor may use 2 kW and it can be as high as 12 kW.
  • Power source; the system should be compatible with the mains from the power supplier. For instance, a machine may use 220V/60Hz or 220V/50Hz.

Any incompatibility can be detrimental to your machine.

4. Know the Exact Specifications of the Blower

A blower is the device that pushes air into the fluidization chamber.

An efficient blower will guarantee faster fluidization and material processing.

fully processed granules

Air from the blower causes particles to move in different directions

We rate blowers depending on the number of revolutions per minute (r/min) and power consumption (kW).

Again, the blower should deliver an appropriate amount of air and this makes it one of the most critical fluid bed dryer specifications.

The amount of air a blower can deliver is quantified in the form of air volume/hour.

This may range from 320m3/h to over 900m3/h, depending on the capacity of your fluid bed dryer machine.

You can learn more about blowers here: Types of Blowers and Industrial Fans.

5. Consider an Efficient Electric Heater

Do dry materials in the fluid bed dryers; you need an efficient heater with an appropriate heating capacity.

It is this element that will heat dry air from the air compressor, which the blower will direct to fluid bed dryer fluidization chamber.

As an essential fluid bed dryer specification, you should analyze key aspects that guarantee an optimal performance of the electric heater.

These include:

  • Power consumption rates in kW
  • Temperature range; this can be 15°C to 120°C.

With this system, you can vary its temperature range to meet the exact specifications of materials you intend to dry.

6. You Must Know the Exact Specifications of the Electric Motor

An electric motor converts electric energy to a mechanical force.

For instance, the electric motor will rotate fluid bed dryer blower to a designed speed that ensures maximum fluidization.

Fluid-Bed Granulator

A fully assembled fluid bed dryer machine

Any motion you could see in the video illustrating how a fluid bed dryer works is due to an electric motor.

It includes both rotary and linear motion.

Of course, this machine may have gears and mechanical systems that reduce the motor speed to a desirable motion.

Whenever you’re choosing a motor, some critical fluid bed dryer specifications to consider include energy consumption in kW and speed of rotation in revolutions/minute.

7. Consider the Dimensions and Weight of the Fluid Bed Dryer

With this information, you’ll know the total space needed to install the fluidized bed machine.

The space should be big enough to accommodate both the machine and technicians.

In most cases, the dimensions of this fluidized bed equipment are stated in form of length by width by height.

Again, as a fluid bed equipment manufacturer, we do indicate the exact weight of the machine.

You need this information to choose where to install the fluid bed processor.

8. Spraying Mechanism

Although this is not a mandatory fluid bed dryer specification, if the machine is designed for other material processing procedures, then it is a must have accessory.

The type of spraying mechanism will depend on the specific application of the machine.

spray process during fluid bed granulation process

Fluid bed dryer and granulator with a top spraying system

That is for:

  • Fluid bed dryer and granulation machines you need a top spray.
  • Fluid bed dryer and coating machine you will have s bottom spray
  • Fluid bed dryer granulation and coating machine you need tangential spray

NOTE: At times you may change the position of the spray nozzle to suit the nature of any application at hand.

Other aspects to consider include type of control system, cGMP compliance and the cost of operating these machines.

Conclusion

It is from these fluid bed dryer specifications that we come up with different brands and series when naming or identifying our machines.

That is, a specific series or brand of fluid bed processor is likely to have different specifications such as production capacity, size or more functionality, just to mention a few.

In case you find it difficult to analyze different specifications of a fluid bed dryer, don’t hesitate to contact our technical team. We are here to help you.

Further Reading