Are you looking for an informative guide on roller compactor?
If yes, then you are in the right place.
This guide takes a look at various critical information on roller compactors.
Such information includes how roller compactor functions, specification, parts, as well as the different types of roller compactors available.
By the end of this guide, you will be an expert in all that concerns a roller compactor.
- What is a Pharmaceutical Roller Compactor?
- Uses of Roller Compactor in the Pharmaceutical Industry
- Advantages of Roller Compactor
- Disadvantages of Roller Compactor Equipment
- Types of Pharma Roller Compactor for Dry Granulation
- Variable Affecting Roller Compaction Process for Dry Granulation
- Parts of Roller Compactor for Pharmaceutical Industry
- Working Principle of Pharmaceutical Roller Compactor
- Considerations when Buying Pharma Roller Compactor
- Common Problems in Roller Compaction for Dry Granulation
- User Requirement Specification for Roller Compactor (Roller Compactor URS)
- SaintyCo Roller Compactor – Your Trusted Supplier for Dry Granulation Equipment
What is a Pharmaceutical Roller Compactor?
A roller compactor refers to a machine which is used in the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture tablets and capsules.
These machines agglomerate the powder which has active ingredients to forms granules.
Agglomeration of the powder happens under a particular intense force which results in the formation of the granules.
Further blending of the granules under compression results in the formation of tablets or capsules which are vital in the pharmaceutical industry.
As you can see, a roller compactor plays a pivotal role in the manufacture of most of the tablets as well as the capsules that we use.
It is for this reason that you need to know more relevant information on these machines.
That’s what we offer here.
Uses of Roller Compactor in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Perhaps the vital point to note when dealing with a roller compactor in the pharmaceutical industry is to understand its applications.
That’s why, before we go further in this guide, you need to understand the uses of a roller compactor in the pharmaceutical industry.
End product from roller compactor
You will find a roller compactor practical in the following areas
· Dry herbal extract granulation
Granulation is a critical step when you are dealing with herbal extracts due to their composition.
Most herbal extracts contain components such as sugars and organic acids that make them hygroscopic.
Roller compaction is, therefore, an appropriate step in ensuring that these herbal extracts attain the correct compression properties before tableting.
· Production of directly compressible bonding agents
Roller compactors play a vital role in the pharmaceutical industry in the production of compressible bonding agents.
A suitable bonding agent is one that is well compactible and has good flowability.
For you to have a good bonding agent, agglomeration of your material is necessary which you can only achieve using a roller compactor.
· Drug compaction and formulation
Certain drugs formulationshave inconsistent bulk properties as well as fine powder characteristics.
These properties make them unfit for human consumption.
However, by using roller compactors, you can overcome these undesirable characteristics which make them fit for human consumption.
· Manufacturing of moisture sensitive drugs
There are certain drugs which are very sensitive to moisture which means that you cannot manufacture such drugs in a moisture environment.
This makes roller compactors an ideal option for such manufacturing process.
These drugs include Aspirin and Vitamins.
Advantages of Roller Compactor
Right from its definition, a roller compactor plays an essential role in the pharmaceutical industry.
As such, there are numerous advantages that you will experience when using a roller compactor.
Section of roller compactor machine
Among the benefits that you will experience include:
The advantage of using a roller compactor is that it is cheap.
This is advantageous especially when you are considering maximizing profit since you can get rid of certain aspects of the granulation process.
For instance, the use of a roller compactor allows for the use of dry granulation.
The essence of this is, you can get rid of processes such as wetting, drying, and mixing.
· Product variation
The use of a roller compactor allows you to manufacture products of different sizes which in turn increases your productivity.
For instance, it allows for the manufacturing of grain size capsules and bulk density products.
This would have otherwise taken your time and the use of different production machines.
· Easy cleaning procedure
A roller compactor consists of a unique roll exchange system that allows for quick and easy cleanliness procedure.
This has the effect of removing dirt and other compounds which might be dangerous for the manufacturing process.
You, therefore, have an assurance of manufacturing quality products that are safe for human consumption.
· Investment cost
Of the primary consideration when purchasing a granulation machine is the affordability.
That is precisely what a roller compactor offers.
Most roller compactors require minimal investment cost.
On top of that, there are several designs and models that you can select for your application.
It is very hard for you to miss an appropriate roller compactor for your application.
· Environmentally friendly
A roller compactor is a machine that guarantees less negative effect on the environment.
For instance, it reduces the dust burden, the packaging size for your product as well as environmental contamination.
In this era of environmental conservation, this is one machine that you need to have on your application.
Disadvantages of Roller Compactor Equipment
Like any other machine, you will experience several difficulties when using a roller compactor.
However, these limitations are so minor that they should not discourage you from using a roller compactor.
Roller compactor material processing
Such disadvantages include:
· Loss of reworkability
Loss of reworkability refers to a phenomenon where the capsules tend to have inferior tensile strength.
Such capsules may be weak during packaging.
To prevent this, you need to use little force and also ensure the size of the capsules are small.
· Non compounded powder
The main disadvantage you will realize when using a roller compactor is the formation of non-compounded powder.
This is common especially in the formation of certain tablets since the process does not use any liquid.
The use of liquid has a binding effect on the wet granulation process.
However, since roller compactness is a form of dry granulation, there is no use of liquid.
· High energy bills
A significant observation when using a roller compactor is that your electricity bills will be high.
Roller compactors tend using a high amount of energy which means you will have to pay more for your bills.
However, when you compare to its productivity, the high electricity bills are a minor sacrifice to pay.
A buildup of static charges
The probability of the formation of static charges while using a roller compactor is high.
This is mostly because the entire process does not use a liquid which can assist in lubrication.
This can be hazardous as it can lead to sparks which can ignite the machine.
The proper maintenance procedure is, therefore, necessary to avoid such instances.
Types of Pharma Roller Compactor for Dry Granulation
The advantage of a pharma roller compactor is that it offers you two varieties of roller compactors from which to select from.
That is a fixed gap and floating gap roller compactors.
These two types of roller compactors consist of the same parts; however, they differ slightly at some point.
Roller compactor equipment
But what is the difference between these two?
Well, let’s have a look at each of these roller compactors in detail.
a) Fixed Gap Roller Compactor
By having a fixed gap roller compactor, the volume of the powder that flows to the compaction zone between the rolls will be inconsistent.
The effect of this is that you will have to apply different forces on the powder bed.
However, the net effect of having a fixed gap roller compactor is that it leads to fluctuation on the thickness of the ribbon. In the end, the granule properties will differ.
b) Floating Gap Roller Compactor
The gap distance between the rolls in a floating gap roller compactor change.
This change depends on the volume of the powder that flows between the rolls.
floating gap roller compactor
This means that there will be consistency on the application of force which results in a uniform ribbon.
At the end of it, the granules will have similar properties.
c) Roller configurations
The configuration of the rollers of a roller compactor plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency of the machine.
As we shall see later in this guide, there are three types of rollers available for configuration on your roller compactor.
That is, flat rollers, punch shaped rollers and pocketed rollers.
Each of the rollers has its application and limitations.
Also, while configuring the rollers, you need to pay attention to the directional flow of the rollers as well as the speed of the rollers.
The directional flow of the rollers needs to be the same as that of the powders.
Lastly, while you are configuring the rollers, you need to ensure that they are rotating in an anti-clockwise direction to each other.
Variable Affecting Roller Compaction Process for Dry Granulation
One thing that you will notice when it comes to a roller compactor is that the end product will always differ.
Various factors affect dry granulation, including the following:
i. Roll speed
The roll speed for your roller compactor is indirectly related to the compaction time of your material.
There are two factors that you need to adjust when it comes to the roll speed of your roller compactor.
That is, you need to ensure that you adjust the roll speed as per the feeding speed and the flow of the powder material.
If the roll speed is high, it results in a faster flow of the powder which deprives it the proper compaction.
In the end, you will have a ribbon with inconsistent properties.
ii. Feeding speed
The feeding screws are the ones that determine the feeding speed of your roller compactor.
The feeding speed which we can also refer as the screw speed is a parameter that you need to be keen on.
The optimum screw speed depends on the flow of the powder, the roller gap as well as the roller speed.
If the screw speed is low, it implies that the powder that will reach the nip region is not of sufficient amount.
This has the effect of forming a weak ribbon.
On the other hand, if the screw speed is high, it will result in high amounts of powder will reach the nip region.
The effect of this is it allows for cracking or melting of the particles.
It, therefore, follows that if you want to achieve an effective ribbon, you need to ensure that you have the correct screw speed.
iii. Pharma roller compactor design
The design of your roller compactor is yet another parameter that will influence its operation.
There are different designs available in the market, and the selection depends on your requirements.
Roller compactor design
The design can be in terms of the types of rollers present as well as the type of screw feeder.
As we shall see later in this guide, there are three types of screw feeder for selection, and each has its application.
Also, you have three types of rollers with each having a specific function.
You, therefore, have to pay attention to the design of the roller compactor before purchasing.
iv. Compaction pressure
The compaction pressure is a vital parameter that affects the roller compaction process.
Significant pressure is necessary to compact loose powder.
The pressure has the effect of densifying and bonding the powder resulting in the formation of a ribbon.
Increasing the pressure results in an increase in ribbon density, the granule size, and granule flowability.
Roller compaction process
The maximum compaction pressure which results in the required granule properties differs depending on the materials used.
However, exceeding the maximum compaction pressure results in breakage of the ribbon thus affecting the granule characteristics.
The result of using excessive compaction pressure is that your tablet may have high friability and low capping.
To avoid such results, always ensure the compaction pressure of your roller compactor is at its optimum.
v. Type of material
The type of material affects the operation of your roller compactor in terms of its characteristics.
Several characteristics determine if you can use a given material for dry granulation.
For instance, the material’s flowability characteristics will determine the roller speed as well as the screw speed.
The speed is vital in the granulation process since it will determine the size of the granules formed.
The cohesiveness nature of a given material is also an important characteristic.
Remember, ribbon formation is as a result of binding of the powder.
It is therefore vital to ensure you select a material with the correct characteristics that will result in optimum performance of the roller compactor.
Parts of Roller Compactor for Pharmaceutical Industry
A roller compactor constitutes of different components that function together in ensuring the success of a roller compactor.
Each of these parts performs various functions
Parts of roller compactor machine
In detail, the parts of a roller compactor include:
· Feed hopper
The feed hopper is the topmost part of the roller compactor.
There are different designs available for a feed hopper depending on the design of the roller compactor.
However, the function of the roller compactor remains the same regardless of the design.
That is, the feed hopper is the point of entry of all the materials that you are to use for your granulation process.
In most cases, the entry of the materials is by gravitational means with rotors arms assisting in ensuring all the material get into the roller compactor.
The rotor arms are the lower part of the feed hopper.
· The screw feeder
Below the feed hopper, you will find a cylindrical shaped part which houses the screw feeder.
There are three main types of screw feeders that you will find for your roller compactor.
You have a vertical, horizontal and inclined screw feeder.
Each of these screw feeders has its share of benefits that you will experience while using them.
For instance, using the vertical screw feeder increases pre-compaction while deaerating the powder while it is in the hopper.
The use of this type of screw feeder is common in a free-flowing powder that is dense.
However, there is a various limitation to the use of a vertical screw feeder.
First, it causes the distribution of the powder to be uneven.
Also, there is a limitation to the powder that you can use with this screw feeder.
This is particular with powder that has a fine and fluffy texture and poor flow.
The advantage of an inclined screw feeder includes its ability to be adjusted while operating your roller compactor.
This ensures you can use powder with different texture and flow properties.
However, it does not allow for pre-compaction of the powder as well as deaeration.
Lastly, a horizontal screw feeder has good mixing capability which makes it a favorite if you are using different powders.
It is suitable for use on light and fluidizing powder that is voluminous.
It also allows for distribution of the powder evenly onto the compacting rollers.
However, the disadvantage of using a horizontal screw feeder is that it allows for leakages of the powder.
The leakages are common between rollers as the compaction process take place.
Immediately after the screw feeder, you will find the rollers.
The function of the rollers is to compact the powder available in the gap region of the rollers.
There are different types of rollers available in the market.
However, the most common ones include flat rollers, punch shaped rollers and pocketed rollers.
Each of these types is suited for a particular purpose.
For instance, the pocketed rollers are suitable for products that can quickly cleanly release from the rollers.
The punch shaped rollers are of importance on powder that is light, voluminous and highly fluidizes.
Lastly, flat rollers are ideal for powders which tend to stick on the rollers’ surface.
There are two considerations that you must put in mind when dealing with rollers.
First is the gap between the rollers.
You need to ensure that this gap is constant since it will determine the efficiency of the roller compactor.
Secondly, is the direction of the rollers.
You must ensure that the rollers rotate in the direction in which the powder flows from the hopper.
· Flake crusher
The function of the flake crusher is to crush the compacted powder.
It consists of six blades which assist in the cutting of the flakes that have been compacted by the rollers.
When it comes to the flake crusher, you need to pay particular attention to its speed.
The speed affects the ratio of the fines to granules.
· Pre and fine granulator
The function of this part of your roller compactor is to generate finer granulates of the compacted powder.
It does this by taking the flake pieces that fall from the hopper and crushing them further to more exceptional granulates.
The mesh size of the granulator determines the size of the granulates.
· The controlling unit
The purpose of the controlling unit is to help you monitor the operation of the roller compactor and adjust specific parameters.
It is usually a protruding part of the roller compactor consisting of buttons and switches.
Depending on the design of your roller compactor, operating this unit is not that much of a hassle.
Working Principle of Pharmaceutical Roller Compactor
How does this machine work?
How do you start a roller compactor on or switch it off after use?
Such are the common questions that you might be asking yourself on this machine.
Answering these questions is crucial when you want to operate a roller compactor.
That is why in this section, we take a look at the functionality of a roller compactor to give you a keen understanding.
Basically, the working of a roller compactor is quite simple.
That is feed, roll, crush, and pack.
Quite simple, right?
Not that quick, it entails more than that.
However, if you have already understood the functions of the different parts of the roller compactor, then you are good to go.
Let’s go through these steps in details.
1. Weighing of the raw materials
Before we even start with how the machine works, you need to have all your materials ready for the granulation process.
This involves availing all the materials in the correct quantities and ratios.
The essence of this is to ensure that your end product has uniformity.
This facilitates your work when it comes to tablet or capsules manufacturing.
2. Feeding the materials to the hopper
Now that you have the materials that your machine is going to operate on, you can move to the next step.
This step involves feeding all the materials you will require for your dry granulation into the roller compactor through the hopper.
Certain roller compactors have a drill which helps in facilitating the feeding process.
3. The flow of the material
Placing the material on the feed hopper allows for them to flow downwards by a gravitational pull to the screw feeder.
It the function of the screw feeder to force the material forward by rotation towards the compaction region.
Roller compaction for dry granulation
Also, as the material moves forward, deaeration takes place while recompressing the powder.
The design of the screw feeder is such that there are gaps between the screw feeder that carries the material forward.
Remember, there are different screw feeder types which have different characteristics.
This allows for different uses depending on the characteristics of your materials.
Check our earlier explanation on the different types of screw feeders.
4. Roller compaction
From the screw feeder region, your material flows to the roller compaction region.
This region consists of two rollers rotating in a counter direction to each other in the direction the materials flow.
This rotation allows the rollers to compress the materials forming ribbons or flakes.
Two factors affect the end product of roller compaction.
The first one is the speed of your rollers.
This speed should be in such a way that it allows for maximum compaction of the rollers.
Compaction is what determines the quality of the flakes or ribbon.
The second factor is the direction of your rollers.
The rollers need to rotate in the direction the material is flowing.
At the same time, they should be in a counter-clockwise rotational movement to each other for maximum compaction.
5. Flakes milling
The end product of roller compaction is the flakes or ribbons.
The size and design of the rollers determine the size of your chips.
The next step involves milling these flakes into sizeable granules.
Most roller compactors have a flake crusher which aids in the milling process
The flake crusher crushes the flakes into smaller granules.
However, in most cases, crushing has the effect of producing granules that are of unequal sizes.
That is, you may find granules which are more prominent while others are smaller in size.
So how do you end up with granules of the same size?
Two functions assist you in achieving this.
First, the bigger particles will remain in the milling part and crushing will continue till they are of the right size.
The second function is the sieving of the smaller particles and the powder.
Most roller compactors have a recycling unit.
It is the function of this unit to collect the smaller particles as well as the powder and flows it back to the starting point.
The process is fully automatic which ensures little human interference thus allowing the machine to operate efficiently.
This allows for the powder and the particles to start the compaction process again.
By doing this, you can maximize the materials as well as ensuring the efficiency of your roller compactor.
On the other hand, granules of the right size flow out of the milling system.
It is these granules that you can use for manufacturing tablets or granules.
Considerations when Buying Pharma Roller Compactor
The advantage of a roller compactor is that there are different types and brands available in the market.
However, this can also pose as a disadvantage especially when you are a first-timer.
For this reason, you need to consider several factors before purchasing your roller compaction machine for dry granulation.
Some of the factors that you need to consider include:
· Technical specifications of pharmaceutical roller compactor
Different roller compactors have different technical specifications that you need to consider before selecting one for your application.
There are various technical specifications that you have to pay attention to for the right roller compactor. Technical specification of roller compactor
Such specifications include the power output, the granulation capacity, air consumption, and the roller rotational speed.
Other technical specifications include the roller pressure, tableting capacity and the overall dimension of your roller compactor.
Selecting the right technical specifications ensures optimal productivity of your roller compactor.
Ensuring that you have the correct specifications can be tricky especially if you are a first-time buyer.
However, you can facilitate this by engaging an expert who will guide you through the precise technical specifications.
· New Technology in Pharma Roller Compactor
One of the essential considerations when selecting a pharmaceutical roller compactor is the technological advancement a particular roller compactor has.
For efficiency and productivity purposes, it is always advisable that you check for a roller compactor with the latest technology.
HMI for roller compactor
Technology can be as necessary as the type of hopper or complex as the recycling system of your roller compactor.
For instance, having a roller compactor with a recycling system ensures maximum utilization of the materials.
This has the effect of increasing your productivity.
Also, you can check on the automation aspect.
Automation has the effect of increasing efficiency of your roller compactor by reducing human interference.
· Quality Compliance of Roller Compactor for Pharmaceutical Industry
If there is one aspect of your roller compactor that you need to be keen on is quality compliance.
With roller compactors, there are various quality compliance measures that they have to pass.
For starters, you need to ensure it is CGMP compliance.
The purpose of this compliance is to ensure that your roller compactor does not pollute the environment as a result of air pollution.
cGMP compliant roller compactor
Remember, you will be dealing with materials which are of powder form, chances of air pollution are high.
By your roller complying with such, it ensures minimal air pollution.
Another compliance that you need to ensure your roller compliance has is the FDA compliance.
The function of the roller compactor is to manufacture drugs mostly for human consumption.
It is therefore crucial that you avoid contamination of the drugs as possible.
An FDA compliance certificate implies that your roller compactor is safe for the manufacturing of drugs for human consumption.
One of the characteristics of an FDA certified roller compactor is that it is of stainless steel.
This is because stainless steel does not react efficiently with several factors of production.
Lastly, you need to ensure your roller compactor has the CE quality assurance mark.
The mark is relevant in ensuring that your roller compactor adheres to the available health, environmental safety standards.
By going through these quality compliance marks, you will be able to obtain a roller compactor that is safe for your usage.
It also ensures that the products attain the relevant safety standards for human consumption.
Common Problems in Roller Compaction for Dry Granulation
So, what are some of the frequent problems that you will experience when using a roller compactor?
In as much as you will experience efficiency when using a roller compactor, here is a look at the possible problems and their appropriate solutions.
Roller compactor sieve system
· Less compaction time
If your roller compactor experience low compaction time, you need to check on the speed of your rollers.
By regulating the speed, compaction of the powder can take place efficiently.
Remember, if your materials are not compacted enough, you may end up having an inconsistent ribbon.
This has the effect of affecting the quality of your tablets or capsules.
· Leakage of powder
The other problem that your roller compactor may experience is the powder leaking.
If your powder is leaking, it will affect the efficiency of your roller compactor as well as the output.
To prevent the leakage, you need to ensure that you replace all seals that are worn out.
Also, the leakage may be due to the seals being loose, therefore, ensure that you have tightened them.
· Entrapment of air
At times air gets trapped within the roller compactor which is not ideal for the operation of your roller compactor.
To remove the entrapped air, you need to use a deaeration system.
In most cases, the roller compactor has its deaeration system that will assist you with that.
· The ribbon being too hard
The main cause of your ribbon being too hard is when you allow too much of the powder to flow to the compaction area.
The effect of this is that there will be a compaction of more powder per area which results in the ribbon being hard.
So, how do you stop this from happening?
Quite simply, you need to check on the speed of the screws.
As you know by now, the screws are responsible for pushing the powder forward to the compaction area.
By reducing the screw speed, you can reduce the amount of powder flowing to the compaction area.
The effect of this is the ribbon will be as per your requirements.
User Requirement Specification for Roller Compactor (Roller Compactor URS)
One document that will never miss in your roller compactor package is the URS.
It refers to a document that your manufacturer prepares detailing various aspects of the roller compactor.
Most people will confuse this document with the user’s manual that also comes with the package.
Are they the same?
SaintyCo Roller Compactor
Whereas the manual dictates the procedure of using the roller compactor, the URS details the various technical specifications of the roller compactor.
These specifications include among other things the design, quality standardization, testing and the inspection protocol of the roller compactor.
So, what does a roller compactor URS contain in detail?
As we have seen, your roller compactor has to meet several compliance measures before it becomes operations.
The approval section of your URS contains a detailed list of these certifications.
The first part of the URS has the details of your manufacturer, the testing and inspection of the roller compactor.
In some instances, it will also include the practical element of the roller compactor and the results therein.
You will also expect to find supporting documents indicating the validity of the roller compactor for a given task.
It is important to note that the relevant professional bodies approve these validation documents.
Validation may include the installation process, operation, and performance process.
The overview summarizes the working principle of the roller compactor.
· Machine specification
As we have stated earlier, different roller compactors have different technical specifications.
It is therefore important to identify the specific specification of your roller compactor that will fit your application.
You will find these specifications under this segment.
They include among other things the utility requirement, the physical parameters, as well as the maintenance and spare parts.
· Plans and documents
Plans and document section of your URS has different documents ranging from the installation manual, the service manual, and the operational manual.
It also includes a host of certification documents from your supplier declaring the conformity of your roller compactor.
Under this section, you will find an outline of the responsibilities of the relevant parties.
That is you as the buyer and user of the roller compactor and your supplier.
The responsibility of your supplier will include the export packaging responsibility as well as the delivery job.
Also, they will handle the insurance and protection of your roller compactor during the shipment period.
SaintyCo Roller Compactor – Your Trusted Supplier for Dry Granulation Equipment
There are several benefits that you will incur when purchasing a roller compactor from a reliable supplier.
First, you have the assurance of the quality and reliability of your roller compactor.
Also, a reliable supplier will offer a warranty which in case of a malfunction, they can quickly repair it for you at no cost.
SaintyCo is one such company that you can rely on when you are purchasing your roller compaction equipment.
We have been in the industry for over 20 years to understand our clients’ requirements on roller compactors.
With our pocket-friendly prices, you will definitely find a roller compactor of your choice.
As you can clearly see, a roller compactor is a critical machine in the pharmaceutical industry.
This guide has explained the essential factors necessary for the success of your roller compactor.
However, the most vital factor in selecting a reliable roller compactor supplier.
A supplier who will supply quality as well as durable roller compactor for your application.
Contact SaintyCo today and let us supply you with your perfect roller compactor.