The efficient operation of granulation processes depends on continuous particle size measurement for:
- Reliable endpoint detection.
- Precise granulation profile control.
- Effective control in continuous processing.
- Real-time monitoring and control of fines.
Granule size specifications control various performance characteristics including: solubility, bioavailability, and processability. It may be necessary to control unbound fines because of their impact on downstream process performance or to ensure a safe product with acceptable dusting levels.
Granulation is widely applied as a precursor to tableting. Here, granule properties and fine levels must be optimized in order to achieve steady flow through the tablet press, blend homogeneity, effective compression and high quality tablets. Within the pharmaceutical industry, ongoing efforts to move from batch tabletting to continuous manufacturing suites are intensifying the need for improved granulation control.
High shear granulation demands robust, continuous particle size measurement at high solids loadings within a damp, sticky environment. Measurement within a fluidized bed granulator is similarly exacting. The Parsum probe uses the technique of spatial filter velocimetry and is uniquely well-suited to this application. Installed directly into the granulator, it offers proven reliability, producing real-time data, 24/7, without fouling. Probes of different lengths allow measurement from pilot to commercial scale.
Dry compaction is a granulation technology especially well-suited to moisture sensitive materials. Here the associated requirement for dry particle size measurement and the need to measure the transition from fine powder to granule is met by laser diffraction technology.
Whatever the granulation technology, Malvern works in partnership with equipment suppliers.