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Webinar – Powder Flow Enhancement in Batch & Continuous Processing
By Freeman Technology

Guest Speaker – Marek Lachmann, Business Development Manager at Chemische Fabrik Budenheim KG

Optimal powder flow is essential in almost all pharmaceutical processes. Not only in unit operations involved in the production of solid dosage forms such as tableting, capsule filling and roll compaction, but also for processes used to produce liquid or semi-solid preparations. Poor flow can lead to processing problems, e.g. inconsistent feeding, air entrainment, but more importantly also to rejections due to compromised dosage uniformity. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in particular often exhibit poor flowability.

Multiple factors contribute to poor powder, many of which have been identified and described in detail. Particle size and particle size distribution (PSD) for example have a major influence on flowability but particle shape and other factors such as electrostatic charge can have a significant impact.

Batch processing has traditionally dominated pharmaceutical production but in recent years, continuous manufacturing has grown in popularity due to the benefits it can deliver, e.g. improved and accelerated scale-up, enhanced process understanding and in particular real-time quality control. Monitoring raw material and product flow using in-line tools enables to process parameters to be adjusted real-time in response to any deviations detected. However, new technologies often come with new challenges. In continuous manufacturing, powder flow becomes even more critical if high product quality and a stable manufacturing process are to be maintained.

Glidants, such as colloidal silicon dioxide, are often used to enhance flowability and can offer an efficient and economical alternative to granulation. However, use of this material in a continuous process can be challenging due to its low bulk density and poor feeding capability. The webinar will provide an introduction to glidant materials and how their impact on flowability of blends has been successfully evaluated using the FT4 Powder Rheometer. The presentation will include several case studies on continuous and batch processing, including the use of a novel tribasic calcium phosphate glidant material to overcome flowability challenges.