Fluid Bed Dryer

SaintyCo fluid bed dryer is a highly efficient cGMP compliant machine designed to uniformly and effectively dry powder and granules. With a multifunction capability, every fluid bed dryer can integrate top spray granulating, bottom spray coating and tangent spray pelleting or coating.

SaintyCo offers 5 series of fluid bed machines: Mini DPL Lab Fluid Bed Dryer, Mini FBG Laboratory Fluid Bed Processor, DPL Fluid Bed Dryer Granulator and Coater, FBG Fluid Bed Dryer Granulator and FG Fluid-Bed Dryer.

How Fluid Bed Processor Technology Increases Efficiency in Pharmaceutical Industry

Increasing the efficiency and productivity in pharmaceutical material processing requires a thorough understanding of fluid bed processor technology.

This is one subject that is rarely discussed in a number of fluid bed equipment forums.

In this article, I am going to take a more analytical approach barked with a range of past studies.

Like other material processing procedures in the pharmaceutical industry, fluid bed processor technology involves a wide range of stages.

From our analysis, every stage can extensively affect the efficiency of the entire process.

From a study conducted by Remon J.P. et aland published on PharmaTech, it’s quite clear that many factors may affect the desired outcome of fluid bed technology.

Remember, at any given point, we aim to improve properties of powder such as compressibility and flowability.

Fluid Bed Dryer Design

A Fluid Bed Dryer Design

Now, let’s focus on how to improve efficiency of powder or granules processing by understanding the fundamental concepts of fluid bed processor technology:

1. Fluid Bed Dryer Depends on the Principle of Fluidization

Quite a number of fluid bed dryers use the principle of fluidization. You can see this clearly from the design and shape of the fluid bed dryer machine above.

Let’s watch this fluid bed dryer video. It will help you understand what I am about to discuss in this section:

From the video, you can see that:

  • Gas or hot air is introduced to the bed with solid particles (powder or granules)
  • The hot air or gas moves upwards to the spaces between the solid particles
  • Solid particles are subjected to upward drag force as the velocity of gas/hot air increases. This process continues until the upward force is equal to the gravitational force.

It is at this point that we say the bed is fluidized – particles are suspended in the fluid.

From this alone, you can easily increase the efficiency of the material processing in the pharmaceutical industry.

Remember, by adjusting certain parameters of the fluid bed equipment, you can attain an optimal drying of pharmaceutical granules and powders.

The efficiency in the fluidization principle of the fluid bed processor technology manifest itself in the sense that:

  • Increased rates of drying powder and granules
  • Improved thermal efficiency
  • High drying capacity within a small area
  • Precise process control, i.e. you can control the rate of air flow, temperature, etc.
  • Decreased product handling costs, hence, high ROI

Ideally, this makes fluid bed technology a perfect choice for most material processing in the pharmaceutical industry.

Apart from having the know-how in the working principle of fluid bed technology, another aspect to consider is:

2. Ability to Control Fluid Bed Drying and Granulation Process Variables

Ability to maintain quality of the end product in fluid bed granulation is a critical aspect.

It is one subject that has been explored in different capacities.

Take for instance, these two studies that were published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

As a matter of fact, there are certain aspects with the ability to influence the quality of the final product of the fluid bed processor technology.

Normally, it is advisable to buy fluid bed equipment that you can adjust its various parameters to compensate for any changes in the system.

Normally, you’ll find that failure to understand the various solid state transitions may result in many process problems.

This can be an impediment to achieving 100% pharmaceutical material efficiency.

A fluid bed granulator

A fluid bed granulator

In a study conducted by Tanja Lipsanen, called the Process Analytical Technology Approach to Fluid Bed Granulation and Drying, the author outlines key parameters you can consider to improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Here are key parameters in the fluid bed processor technology:

Apparatus parameters

Process Parameters Product Parameters
Air distributor plateBed load

Type of binder

Shape and size of granulator bowl

Inlet air flow rateQuantity of binder
Nozzle heights           Inlet air temperature

Binder solvent

Positive/negative pressure

Inlet air humidity

Concentration of granulating solution

 Atomization

-Nozzle type

-Spray angle

-Spraying regime

-Liquid flow rate

-Atomization air flow rate

-Atomization air pressure

-Droplet size

Temperature of granulating solution
 Starting materials

-Fluidization

-Powder hydrophobicity

By monitoring and adjusting all these aspects, you can easily increase the efficiency of the overall process.

The good thing about the modern fluid bed equipment is that: you can control all these parameters through the control panel.

This is the main reason why modern fluid bed processor technology features a robust and modern instrumentation system.

It measures all critical parameters, which in turn help to regulate the entire process.

3. Unique Designs Guarantee High Efficiency in Adverse Material Processing

Fluid bed processor machines come in a wide range of designs and functionalities.

For instance, depending on the nature of the application, you may opt for:

  • A fluid bed dryer

Fluid-Bed Dryer

  • Fluid bed granulator

FBG Fluid-Bed Granulator

  • Fluid bed granulator and coater

DPL Fluid-Bed Granulator & Coater-Combo

Clearly, there are so many options to choose from depending on the specific needs of your applications.

This implies that you can choose a pharmaceutical fluid bed equipment that guarantee maximum efficiency.

You can realize a fast, gentle and homogeneous mixture.

Furthermore, the modern fluid bed processor technology allows for simple modifications to accommodate many processes such as drying, granulating, powder coating, particle coating and pelletizing.

Moreover, the spray may be located at different points such as:

  • Top spray
  • Tangential spray
  • Bottom spray

Again, the material you intend to process may flow either horizontally or vertically.

These aim to make these machines multifunctional, hence you can adapt them to any material processing operation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Remember, all these fluid bed equipment designs aim to optimize operation and efficiency.

For instance, one fluid bed machine may perform two operations.

A good example is the SaintyCo FBG Fluid Bed Granulator that can dry and granulate powder.

Conclusion

The modern fluid bed processor technology increases efficiency in the pharmaceutical industry by allowing for multiple functionalities such as drying, granulating and coating.

Even though every design aims to achieve optimal performance, it is important that you consider all the operating parameters of the equipment.

For questions of inquiries about fluid bed equipment,contact us today.

Further Reading