By Sharon Nowak, Coperion K-Tron USA
Continuous processing is a manufacturing practice that has been used in the plastics, chemical and food industries for decades. Although primarily used for liquid processing, the innovations made in dry powder feeder technologies have enabled the use of continuous dry ingredient feeding for a variety of applications. Even advances in the traditional batch pharmaceutical industry have paved the way forward for implementation of continuous processing for tableting. The recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of drug formulations made by continuous processes for Vertex and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, both using continuous loss-in-weight (LIW) feeder technologies, have indicated an ongoing paradigm shift in this industry. Processes such as continuous blending/mixing, continuous milling/micronization, continuous hot melt extrusion, continuous wet extrusion or granulation, and continuous coating are just a few examples of the processes used by many industries. At the heart of each of these continuous processes is the LIW feeder. This article defines the items necessary for accurate feeding and outlines the important role that accuracy can play in the end product and process quality of any continuous operation.
© Copyright Endeavor Business Media. Reprinted with permission from Processing magazine.