Particle separation is required for the production and processing (drying, mixing, grinding µnization, tablet pressing) of a wide variety of synthetic and natural Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) as well as Final Product Formulations in the powder form.
Efficient recovery of powders after spray drying can be quite challenging, especially for expensive products and for powders with a small (~6µm) or very small (~2µm) particle size (inhalables).
Pharmaceutical spray drying arrangements typically include a high efficiency cyclone following the dryer, a sanitary bag filter and a HEPA filter at the very the end of the line to ensure that no product is ever leaked into the atmosphere.
In this application the cyclone is mostly unavoidable due to its unique hygienic properties. Unlike bag filters, cyclones avoid product contamination with filter fibers and are usually mandatory in pharmaceutical spray drying layouts. Cyclones can swiftly and effectively separate a variety of powder batches without any product cross-contamination since they are readily, fast, and effectively CIPable (cleaned in place automatically). For these reasons, the bag filter, which is positioned downstream of the cyclone to catch its losses, only serves to protect the HEPA filter; the powder it collects is regarded as waste/disposable.
Product losses due to cyclones' low efficiency represent a high cost. Even for a few applications where the losses may not be so costly (less expensive products), they are not environmentally and socially responsible, with waste management being an additional problem to tackle.
Clients need cyclones that maximize powder yield, but are also easy and fast to clean and disinfect to allow for fast batch turnover.
ACS solutions for GMP compliant high efficiency cyclones (HR up to MK families) dramatically reduce losses (down to 1/8 of other cyclones) and achieve unmatched efficiency, even for very fine inhalable products. These can be equipped with state-of-the-art CIP, insulation, heat tracing and many other features. All models are tailor optimized and designed by our team to meet the client's requirements for each installation.
Smaller units are fabricated using break-apart construction, using only tri-clamps for fast and effort free dismantling.
Tablet Pressing and Encapsulation
Tablet pressing and encapsulation machines generate dust that can be hazardous for operators. It can also cross contaminate other products from subsequent batches. These machines are therefore connected to the local exhaust ventilation system (LEV) where sets of cartridge filters followed by HEPA filters are used.
Cyclones placed in the process room, downstream of the LEV, offer local batch loss reconciliation, a best-practice solution to the problem of capturing and accounting for waste powder, by capturing any lost powder. When recovered powder can be reintroduced in the process, cyclones can also improve the yield of the process.
ACS has a wide range of different GMP compliant cyclone families for tablet pressing and encapsulation both for waste powder accounting and powder recovery, when applicable. Units include a catch pot with a sight glass, a structure with wheels for smooth mobility and are fabricated using break-apart construction, using only tri-clamps for fast and effort free dismantling.
Please check some case studies below.