Powder Flow Analyser
Stable Micro Systems’ Powder Flow Analyser is an accurate and reliable method of measuring the flow characteristics of powders. Manufacturers can assess and avoid typical problems such as batch and source variation of ingredients, caking during storage or transportation and problems with discharging from hoppers or bins.
The Powder Flow Analyser is supplied with library tests, so operators can start testing quickly and conveniently after straightforward installation and calibration. Users can, however, fully program the instrument to carry out slicing, shearing, compressing, compacting and aerating cycles in any combination.
If yours is one of the millions of companies using powders in a manufacturing process, you don’t need us to remind you how vital it is to keep your production line running smoothly.
The consequences of, for example, consolidation during storage or transport or the formation of a blockage in a hopper could be both very inconvenient and very costly.
Measurement of the flow properties will enable objective accept/reject decisions to be made, whilst the knowledge of a powder’s characteristics before and during its processing will enable the formulation and key process steps to be optimised when conveying, mixing, tabletting and storing the powders, resulting in a more cost effective controlled operation of the process.
Quality Control – Batch and Source Variation
When a new supplier is selected, or even when a new batch of product is delivered from the usual supplier the variation in flow properties can lead to large problems during storage and handling.
The Powder Flow Analyser allows the quality control of the newly delivered items. Tests can be carried out in a short time to generate a reading that tells an operator whether the powder will handle/perform in an acceptable manner.
This philosophy allows users to test powders in small volumes before deciding to fill up a silo or start processing, thus leading to large savings in terms of time and money usually resulting from unloading jammed silos.
Formulation Development & Quality Improvement
R&D teams need to optimise the mixing of powders and addition of flow aids in order to make the optimum performing final product without risking flow problems or over-using expensive flow improvement additives which may cause end product deterioration and costly waste.
The Powder Flow Analyser allows product development teams to test out the flow properties of new product recipes and mixes before running the powder through the process or loading up a large container. You will be able to rank and relate powder measures to process and end product features.
During the course of a product’s life cycle, cheaper alternative ingredients are likely to be discovered.
Whilst on the surface these cheaper ingredients might appear to have the same specification, they may not behave “the same”, as a product with the same name can have a wide variation of properties.
Confidence checks will need to be carried out to ascertain whether they convey and flow after storage in the same way, whether they are equally affected by, for example, moisture and temperature, and whether these cheaper ingredients would ultimately increase factory costs as a result of having to spend time unblocking processes and silos.
Measurement of powder flow enables assessment of behaviour when in Conveyors, Chutes, Silos, Air lifts, etc. and when, for example filling packs, bottles and capsules to a minimum weight.
During storage, conveying and in transportation such issues as segregation, attrition and agglomeration can occur.
Obtaining measures of cohesion, caking, powder speed flow dependence means that powders can be characterised by several numbers to create a “fingerprint” rather than inadequately with a single value. The fingerprint can then be investigated with reference to changing parameters such as humidity, compaction pressure, particle size and shape (to name but a few).
EMEA, FDA, Weights and Measures
Measurement of powder flow enables assessment of behaviour when, for example, filling packs, bottles and capsules to a minimum weight.
Flow behaviour will undoubtedly affect tablet hardness and capsule fill weight, both of which are likely to be strictly controlled to tight specifications.
Understanding and improving the variation in fill weights due to tighter control of the flow properties of the powder allows reduction in waste and subsequently improves profit.