With the opening of its new East Coast Facility in Merrimack, Spraying Systems Co. isn’t the only one reaping the benefits. Underneath the umbrella of the spray nozzle juggernaut is Fluid Air, which specializes in solid dosage technology. While the subsidiary’s main headquarters is still located in Aurora, IL, this satellite facility is housed comfortably within the newly acquired 120,000 square feet of the property. As a result, Fluid Air now operates several state-of-the-art laboratories, where products and technologies ranging from Fluid Bed Systems to PolarDryTM Electrostatic Spray Dryers are constantly being tested and refined, with customer-witnessed trials readily available. Furthermore, Spraying Systems Co. will be responsible for fabricating components and systems for the various product lines realized by Fluid Air.
Designing a spray drying process for heat-sensitive products has always been a big challenge. Traditional spray dryer technology always made use of intense heat, which ended up damaging or decreasing the quality of the end product.
With this in mind the next big change in spray drying has reached the Australian and New Zealand market, the PolarDry™ Electrostatic Spray Dryer by Spraying Systems Co.
After years of development and refinement this new system is set to change the way many companies dry their product, making the process easier and more effective while no longer sacrificing your product’s end quality.
A production testing center for powders is planned
Spraying Systems, the source of the new drying process specifically adapted to the production of active ingredients concentrates, opened an affiliate in France three years ago. With the start-up next October of a testing center, located at Treillières at the edge of Nantes, the American manufacturer is getting ready to cross over to a new stage: offering companies in the agribusiness sector, specifically, the opportunity to conduct tests under real manufacturing conditions.
The platform will be equipped with a dryer, supplemented by a fluidized bed and encapsulation, grinding and granulation equipment. As testing director, an R&D lead, engineer and doctor of process engineering, with eight years of experience in micro-encapsulation in both university and industrial settings was recruited. "My job will be to be on-site, at the client, understanding their needs and monitoring the production tests according to our process", explains Audrey Maudhuit. According to Spraying Systems, the characteristics of powder at the output of the production line are even more satisfactory since the formulation is adapted to the technology. "Clients bring us control powders that they produce using the classic drying process, where we consistently find products intended to protect active ingredients against very high temperatures. These products are not necessary with our process, because we work at low temperature", explains Stéphane Lecuyer, support engineer. In also targeting applications in human health care and chemistry, Spraying Systems estimates that its process can be used to develop powders with a higher concentration of active ingredient, in an initiative that result either in innovation, or in improvement of existing products.
L.I.S. WILL BE THE FIRST USER
Even before opening its testing center in Nantes, the manufacturer last year sold drying tools to three industry members with facilities in France, Spain and Denmark respectively. L.I.S. (Lesaffre Ingrédients Services) will be the first user of the process in France as a result: with its own applied research laboratory in Rennes (Powder Studio), the industry member ordered a pilot unit with an evaporating capacity of 1 kg/h which will be delivered to it next June. L.I.S. had good reasons for making this investment. "We are a leader in drying, our job is to provide services in the powder production sector. Logically, we have our eye on all new drying technologies. It seemed attractive to us to acquire the Spraying Systems technology which has a number of benefits. For us, the objective is to propose production tests to our clients and ultimately to acquire equipment based on market needs with an industrial-scale tool", explains Vincent Lechevallier, Marketing Director.
FOR POWDERS HIGH ADDED VALUE
Technically, PolarDry technology is based on the use of electrostatic properties which, when droplets are sprayed into a container, causes migration of the dissolved materials toward the center of the droplet, and, conversely, the migration of water toward the surface of the droplet, due to the difference of the electrical charge between the water and the dissolved materials. "One of the advantages of our process is that we work at evaporation temperatures that are much lower than drying by atomization: 80°C instead of 200° to 250°C. This results in very significant energy savings, and the characteristics of the product are also better preserved", explains Michel Thénin, Executive Director of Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems. PolarDry technology also enables drying the product and agglomerating the particles in the same equipment, without the need for additional materials. Using these inventions, the process is competitive for high value-added powders and in cases where formulations show low resistance to high temperatures. At present the dryers have a capacity of 200 kg/h.
Fluid Air’s PolarDry technology utilizes new electrostatic spray drying. The low-temperature spray drying provides the means to make new drug formulation ideas a reality. Applications include API production where high temperature is a limiting factor and new avenues for drug delivery where perfect encapsulation is a must.
The selective agglomeration creates particles that can be produced at ambient to 80°C inlet conditions. This is possible since the electrostatic effect drives highly polarizable water/solvent to the outer shell of the particle making it easy to dry the particle. Low temperatures eliminate ingredient loss, degradation, or denaturalization. Less polarized active and excipients are driven to the core, which microencapsulates the active and virtually eliminates surface active, resulting in high encapsulation efficiency.
PolarDry technology advantages include: superior morphology, higher bulk density, longer shelf life, non-reactive processing, minimal emissions, and low energy consumption.
PolarDryTM Wins Award from R&D 100 Awards
Standing along side federally funded research institutions, academic and government labs, and Fortune 500 companies, Fluid Air accepted an award from the prestigious R&D 100 Awards during an awards ceremony held in Walt Disney World on November 17, 2017. Our revolutionary PolarDryTM Electrostatic Spray Dryer was recognized as one the of the top 100 most technologically significant new products of the year by a panel of more than 50 judges representing various fields.
View the full list of winners here.
About the R&D 100 Awards
Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards program, an integral part of the R&D Magazine brand, identifies and celebrates the top 100 revolutionary technologies of the past year. Past winners have included sophisticated testing equipment, innovative new materials, disruptive chemistry breakthroughs, new biomedical products, breakthrough consumer products, and new technologies spanning industry, academia, and government.
A spray-drying technology that applies an electrical charge to feedstock as it exits the atomizing nozzle allows significant reductions in processing temperature and can eliminate downstream processing steps. The charge application can improve control over particle morphology, lengthen shelflife of products and lower energy consumption.
Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co. (Aurora, Ill.; www.fluidairinc.com), launched a new technology, known as PolarDry, in late 2016 after five years of internal development. The company is now testing PolarDry with products of potential users. These include heat-sensitive or easily oxidized compounds, such as proteins, active pharmaceutical ingredients, nutraceuticals, vitamins, antibiotics and chemicals.
As feedstock slurry and atomizing gas pass through PolarDry’s nozzle, a charge is applied, so that each product-containing droplet has an electrical charge. Within the charged droplets, the molecules of high-polarity solvent (usually water) pick up a higher proportion of electrons and achieve a higher charge density, while the less polar product molecules pick up fewer electrons.
The repulsive forces of like charges drive the solvent to the surface of the droplet, while the spray-drying…
The editors of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing have their own trophies to award in this issue. Equipment suppliers strategized and fielded winning teams that produced technological innovation in the pharma world. They delivered game-winning solutions to increase efficiencies and decrease costs in drug manufacturing operations. Although not a comprehensive list, we bring you our highlight reel of MVPs (most valuable products).
As in the All-Star game, we showcase a variety of players from different ends of the country. All-Star Innovators include recently introduced technologies, systems and services that, based on their applicational and technical merits, were selected by Pharmaceutical Manufacturing’s editors and advisors to be on this year’s roster.
Batting first for the solid dose players, Fluid Air’s PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryers use electrostatic technology, which allows for low temperature spray drying, “near perfect” encapsulation and selective agglomeration in the creation of particles. Electrostatic spray dry technology has many advantages including superior morphology, longer shelf life, non-reactive processing, minimal emissions and low energy consumption compared to traditional spray drying processes, according to Fluid Air fans.
The company says this technology will open a new branch of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients that previously could not be produced in a powder form due to the required high temperatures of traditional spray drying. Using PolarDry technology, particles can be produced at ambient to 80° C inlet conditions. Low temperature processing eliminates ingredient loss, degradation or denaturalization. Also, this single step process eliminates the need for secondary operations.
Spray drying technology dates back to the late 19th century, but there has been little true innovation since its introduction. Similarly, aside from perforated tablet coaters and the Wurster fluid bed in the 1950s, solid dosage technology in the pharmaceutical industry has remained largely unchanged for well over a century.
During this same era, the pharmaceutical industry has exploded with innovation — from the science of formulation, to advancements in testing and beyond. It’s time for a spray dry transformation that meets the needs of modern pharmaceutical research and development.
Enter a true industry-changer: The incorporation of electrostatic technology...
Electrostatic Spray Dryers
Fluid Air's PolarDry electrostatic spray drying technology allows water evaporation at significantly lower processing temperatures (from ambient to 80 °C) compared to traditional spray drying. Improved microencapsulation can extend the shelf life of the tested product from six months to two years, a factor of four. Features include:
- A streamlined one-step process
- Controls the electrostatic charge applied to the feed on an intermittent basis
- Enables the agglomeration of particulates as they are being spray dried
- Patent-pending Pulse Width Modulation precludes the need for expensive secondary granulation machinery and eliminates further heating
- Requires less raw material resulting in cost savings
- Disposable inner chamber liner that can be changed in a matter of minutes
- Entire system is designed to be washed in place
Manufacturing of more dense powders
Spraying System invented a new process—PolarDryTM—for the manufacturing of powders. At the heart of the system is an electrostatic sprayer that causes water to migrate to the surface of the droplet and, conversely, sends dry matter to the center of the droplet. The advantage is that the operation takes place at lower temperatures than with the conventional method (80 °C instead of 200 °C). The denaturation effect is therefore lessened. Moreover, this method makes it possible to better control the wettability of powders, with better regularity from one batch to another because the installation is simpler to pilot. What about applications in the dairy sector?
"Our process makes it possible to agglomerate while drying, which makes it possible to produce denser granulates, and it is an ideal process for microencapsulation of caseins, caseinates or yeasts, for example," the company declares.
Spraying Systems improves drying with electrostatic forces
More than eight years of collaboration with an industrial partner were necessary for Spraying Systems to introduce their PolarDry drying unit that uses a patented electrostatic spray technology. This process ensures the migration of water or solvent to the surface of the droplet and the active principle towards its core. The temperature required for evaporation is reduced and the active ingredients are consequently better preserved. Another advantage of the technology lies in the possibility of agglomerating particles during drying. By intermittently controlling electrification of the electrostatic charge, it makes it possible to produce damp or sticky particles. By colliding, they form agglomerated particles which also benefit offer a good fluidity. This avoids the need for secondary agglomeration operations such as fluidized beds.
The PolarDry prototype has been tested for more than 12 months with an industrial partner. The technology allows drying of ingredients at room temperature and up to 80 °C. It is also an opportunity to develop new products.
Hall 5 - Booths D6 and E10
Drying by electrostatic spraying
This unit dries ingredients at a low temperature, with a controlled agglomeration of particles.
PolarDry drying units
are based on the use of an electrostatic sprayer which moves the water or solvent towards the surface of the droplet and the active principle towards its core. The required evaporation temperature is reduced. Loss and degradation of active ingredients are eliminated.
By intermittently controlling electrification of the electrostatic charge, the PolarDry technology agglomerates the particles during drying process. The patented use of pulse-width modulation [PWM] avoids the use of secondary agglomeration operations such as fluidized beds. Indeed, the variations in the voltage applied to the droplets produced by atomization produce wet or sticky particles. The latter then collide, forming an agglomerated particle.
A finished product is thus obtained combining a large proportion of larger particles with a smaller number of particles of small size and characterized by good fluidity. PolarDry technology works at low temperatures (around 80°C), allowing for the drying of sensitive products such as proteins or many other ingredients. For microencapsulation applications, the effectiveness of the active ingredient is increased, as is the stability and shelf life of the product, while ensuring very good dissolution. A prototype has already been tested for one year with a flavor manufacturing partner.
The new patent-pending PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryer from Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co., uses electrostatic technology, rather than heated drying gas, for microencapsulation. This technology eliminates the intense heat of traditional spray drying and is more effi-cient at encapsulating the active ingredient. The system also allows agglomeration during the drying step, eliminating the need for secondary agglomeration operations. The spray dryer’s electrostatic technology drives water to the shell and active to the core, lowering the evaporation temperature and eliminating active ingredient loss and degradation, thus creating a longer shelf life, and higher bulk density. Inlet drying temperatures remain low (from ambient to 80 °C).
The machines incorporate a patent-pending collection and particle-separation plenum that can be configured for batch or continuous processing. The systems are currently available in four scales: the feasibility scale (Model 001) with a once-through design for the laboratory, an R&D scale (Model 004), a pilot scale (Model 032), and a production scale (Model 050). The R&D scale is a semi-portable unit with a recirculating gas-handling system and a nominal evapora-tion rate of 4 kg/h; this unit uses the same nozzle as the larger-scale units for ease of scale-up. The pilot-scale unit has a nominal evapo-ration rate of 30 kg/h, and the largest unit has a rate of 50 kg/h.
The new, patent-pending PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryer from Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co., uses electrostatic technology, rather than heated drying gas, for microencapsulation. This technology eliminates the intense heat of traditional spray drying and is more efficient at encapsulating the active ingredient. The system also allows agglomeration during the drying step, eliminating the need for secondary agglomeration operations.
The spray dryer’s electrostatic technology drives water to the shell and active to the core, lowering the evaporation temperature and eliminating active ingredient loss and degradation, thus creating a longer shelf life, higher bulk density, and superior morphology. Inlet drying temperatures remain low (from ambient to 80 °C).
In addition, the patent-pending Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) feature can control the electrostatic charge applied to the feed on an intermittent basis to agglomerate particulates as they are being dried. By controlling the voltage applied to the spray droplet as it is being atomized, some particles form an outer shell readily while others develop their shell gradually, resulting in a wet or tacky particle. As these two types of particles colloid, they bond and form an agglomerated particle. The finished product flows more freely and has larger particles and fewer fines compared to traditional agglomerated product.
The machines incorporate a patent-pending collection and particle-separation plenum that can be configured for batch or continuous processing. The systems are currently available in four scales: the feasibility scale (Model 001) with a once-through design for the laboratory, an R&D scale (Model 004), a pilot scale (Model 032), and a production scale (Model 050). The R&D scale is a semi-portable unit with a recirculating gas-handling system and a nominal evaporation rate of 4 kg/h; this unit uses the same nozzle as the larger-scale units for ease of scale-up. The pilot-scale unit has a nominal evaporation rate of 30 kg/h, and the largest unit has a rate of 50 kg/h.
This fall, Fluid Air released its revolutionary new patent-pending PolarDryTM Electrostatic Spray Dry Technology. This new technology based on the use of electrostatic, leads to outstanding benefits never before achieved in Spray Drying such as low processing temperature spray drying, near perfect encapsulation, and selective agglomeration in the creation of particles. Specifically, after years of development and testing, the PolarDryTM Technology is proven to bring multiple advantages to the pharmaceutical industry that include superior morphology, higher bulk density, longer shelf life, non-reactive processing, minimal emissions, and low energy consumption compared to traditional spray drying processes.
High-shear mixers that can be quickly and cost-effectively customized to meet unique processing challenges. Mixing processes vary from each application but having a flexible bowl configuration offers greater efficiency and permits working volumes from 30 – 90% of full capacity. Here are a few key functions to look for in all mixers: auto-cleaning and liftable tool systems for easy clean-up and inspections, saving much time in cleaning while reducing set-up time, but most importantly reducing downtime between batches. Having a hydraulic drive system permits torque down to ¼ RPM providing plenty of break-out torque at slow speeds for additional mixing after inspection and continuous discharging to wet milling systems. Another tip is to check to see where the impeller and chopper are located, the best performance is if the impeller is bottom-driven and a side mounted chopper, having a consistent impeller tip speed for all models ensures scale-up. Lastly look for an elliptical or dome shaped lid to permit the product to perform a complete roll over, ensuring a homogeneous mix. Mixers come with a variety of options and features that can include vacuum loading, vacuum drying, nitrogen inerting system, and bowl water jackets just to name a few, each companies needs vary depending on the end results needed.
The development of new technology to coat is vital to achieving the desired results in the absorption process. Introducing a new concept in tablet coating systems that can be custom designed and optimized for flexibility and a variety of tablet coating requirements. The system consists of a modular air atomizing manifold, liquid delivery skid and Batch ArchitectTM process controls. The removable spray bar provides cleaning advantages and features anti-bearding nozzles, internal recirculating guns, a shut-off valve that keeps liquid moving, reducing product build-up and a mounting design which prevents tablet entrapment. The liquid delivery skid can perform manually and automatic operation with closed-loop solution/liquid delivery metering using loss-in-weight, mass flow sensing, and totalizing, ultimately saving time in costly trial and error efforts. With the custom PLC and touch-screen the process controls automates the liquid delivery skid or entire pan operation with phase or recipe-based controls to provide optimal results.
The Tablet Coating System is a tablet coating solution delivery system that improves coating results. It can be custom designed and optimized for flexibility and a variety of tablet coating requirements. The system consists of a modular air atomizing manifold, liquid delivery skid and Batch ArchitectTM process controls. The removable spray bar provides cleaning advantages and features anti-bearding nozzles, internal recirculating guns, a shut-off valve that keeps liquid moving, reducing product build-up and a mounting design which prevents tablet entrapment. The liquid delivery skid can perform manually and automatic operation with closed-loop solution/liquid delivery metering using loss-in-weight, mass flow sensing, and totalizing, ultimately saving time in costly trial and error efforts. With the custom PLC and touch-screen the process controls automates the liquid delivery skid or entire pan operation with phase or recipe-based controls to provide optimal results.
Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co. specializing in solid dosage processing equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, announces the development of a new fluidized bed coating system that uses ultrasonic vibration.
The new fluidized bed coating system uses ultrasonic vibration. Designed for use in laboratory research and development applications, the system uses an ultrasonic spray nozzle for gentle Wurster (fluid bed) coating. Instead of atomizing air pressure, the nozzle uses a tiny ultrasonic horn, which vibrates at a fixed frequency to break up the droplets. The nozzle can achieve uniform, thin-film particle coatings with droplet sizes in the 10 to 30 micron range. The system also features a controller for fine-tuning of the spray pattern and shape, providing users with adjustable, automated control over the size of the droplets. The Wurster coating process involves suspending fine particulate substances in the bowl of a fluid bed while a nozzle applies the coating.
The Challenges of Solid-Dosage Manufacturing
Tom Tappen, Director of Business Development for Fluid Air, was interviewed by Pharmaceutical Online's Lori Clapper at Interphex 2012. Speaking from his 30 years of experience in the industry, Tom answers questions about the challenges that face manufacturers of solid dosage
Fluid Air, a US-based manufacturer of solid dosage processing equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, has announced plans to extend its distribution and sales operations into several emerging international markets, including China, Singapore, Brazil, and the Middle East.
As the number of people with access to health care increases in these developing or transitional economies, the consumption and demand for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical drugs continues to rise. Drug manufacturers in these regions now face new, more stringent process requirements as governments tighten or expand regulations to meet higher standards of safety and quality control. In many cases, domestic suppliers are not yet able to produce systems with the necessary level of sophistication or specialization that manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs require to meet these regulations.
Company's expertise is in solid dosage technology and they offer custom solutions for pharmaceutical processing needs from R&D to production scale. Company will be showcasing their complete line of R&D equipment, including the newly redesigned fluid bed system (in operation), PHARMX® high-shear granulating mixer, and GRANUMILL® size reduction mill. The new fluid bed features an integral base for easy transportation, enhanced filter design, more precise air flow, automated data logging with Batch ArchitectTM process control software and a variety of other improvements designed to increase usability and minimize downtime.