JUL 2017

Electrostatic Spray Drying Protects Heat-Sensitive Products

A spray-drying technology that applies an electrical charge to feedstock as it exits the atomizing nozzle allows significant reductions in processing temperature and can eliminate downstream processing steps. The charge application can improve control over particle morphology, lengthen shelflife of products and lower energy consumption.

Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co. (Aurora, Ill.; www.fluidairinc.com), launched a new technology, known as PolarDry, in late 2016 after five years of internal development. The company is now testing PolarDry with products of potential users. These include heat-sensitive or easily oxidized compounds, such as proteins, active pharmaceutical ingredients, nutraceuticals, vitamins, antibiotics and chemicals.

As feedstock slurry and atomizing gas pass through PolarDry’s nozzle, a charge is applied, so that each product-containing droplet has an electrical charge. Within the charged droplets, the molecules of high-polarity solvent (usually water) pick up a higher proportion of electrons and achieve a higher charge density, while the less polar product molecules pick up fewer electrons.

The repulsive forces of like charges drive the solvent to the surface of the droplet, while the spray-drying…

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MAR 2017

The Future Is Now: Cooling the Spray Dry & Microencapsulation Process

Spray drying technology dates back to the late 19th century, but there has been little true innovation since its introduction. Similarly, aside from perforated tablet coaters and the Wurster fluid bed in the 1950s, solid dosage technology in the pharmaceutical industry has remained largely unchanged for well over a century.

During this same era, the pharmaceutical industry has exploded with innovation — from the science of formulation, to advancements in testing and beyond. It’s time for a spray dry transformation that meets the needs of modern pharmaceutical research and development.

Enter a true industry-changer: The incorporation of electrostatic technology...

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MAR 2017

What's Hot in Innovation

Electrostatic Spray Dryers
Fluid Air's PolarDry electrostatic spray drying technology allows water evaporation at significantly lower processing temperatures (from ambient to 80 °C) compared to traditional spray drying. Improved microencapsulation can extend the shelf life of the tested product from six months to two years, a factor of four. Features include:

  • A streamlined one-step process
  • Controls the electrostatic charge applied to the feed on an intermittent basis
  • Enables the agglomeration of particulates as they are being spray dried
  • Patent-pending Pulse Width Modulation precludes the need for expensive secondary granulation machinery and eliminates further heating
  • Requires less raw material resulting in cost savings
  • Disposable inner chamber liner that can be changed in a matter of minutes
  • Entire system is designed to be washed in place

MAR 2017

Manufacturing of more dense powders

Spraying System invented a new process—PolarDryTM—for the manufacturing of powders. At the heart of the system is an electrostatic sprayer that causes water to migrate to the surface of the droplet and, conversely, sends dry matter to the center of the droplet. The advantage is that the operation takes place at lower temperatures than with the conventional method (80 °C instead of 200 °C). The denaturation effect is therefore lessened. Moreover, this method makes it possible to better control the wettability of powders, with better regularity from one batch to another because the installation is simpler to pilot. What about applications in the dairy sector?

"Our process makes it possible to agglomerate while drying, which makes it possible to produce denser granulates, and it is an ideal process for microencapsulation of caseins, caseinates or yeasts, for example," the company declares.

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FEB 2017

Spraying Systems improves drying with electrostatic forces

More than eight years of collaboration with an industrial partner were necessary for Spraying Systems to introduce their PolarDry drying unit that uses a patented electrostatic spray technology. This process ensures the migration of water or solvent to the surface of the droplet and the active principle towards its core. The temperature required for evaporation is reduced and the active ingredients are consequently better preserved. Another advantage of the technology lies in the possibility of agglomerating particles during drying. By intermittently controlling electrification of the electrostatic charge, it makes it possible to produce damp or sticky particles. By colliding, they form agglomerated particles which also benefit offer a good fluidity. This avoids the need for secondary agglomeration operations such as fluidized beds.

The PolarDry prototype has been tested for more than 12 months with an industrial partner. The technology allows drying of ingredients at room temperature and up to 80 °C. It is also an opportunity to develop new products.
Hall 5 - Booths D6 and E10

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FEB 2017

Drying by electrostatic spraying

This unit dries ingredients at a low temperature, with a controlled agglomeration of particles.

PolarDry drying units are based on the use of an electrostatic sprayer which moves the water or solvent towards the surface of the droplet and the active principle towards its core. The required evaporation temperature is reduced. Loss and degradation of active ingredients are eliminated.
By intermittently controlling electrification of the electrostatic charge, the PolarDry technology agglomerates the particles during drying process. The patented use of pulse-width modulation [PWM] avoids the use of secondary agglomeration operations such as fluidized beds. Indeed, the variations in the voltage applied to the droplets produced by atomization produce wet or sticky particles. The latter then collide, forming an agglomerated particle.
A finished product is thus obtained combining a large proportion of larger particles with a smaller number of particles of small size and characterized by good fluidity. PolarDry technology works at low temperatures (around 80°C), allowing for the drying of sensitive products such as proteins or many other ingredients. For microencapsulation applications, the effectiveness of the active ingredient is increased, as is the stability and shelf life of the product, while ensuring very good dissolution. A prototype has already been tested for one year with a flavor manufacturing partner.

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JAN 2017

Spray Dryer for Efficient Microencapsulation

The new patent-pending PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryer from Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co., uses electrostatic technology, rather than heated drying gas, for microencapsulation. This technology eliminates the intense heat of traditional spray drying and is more effi-cient at encapsulating the active ingredient. The system also allows agglomeration during the drying step, eliminating the need for secondary agglomeration operations. The spray dryer’s electrostatic technology drives water to the shell and active to the core, lowering the evaporation temperature and eliminating active ingredient loss and degradation, thus creating a longer shelf life, and higher bulk density. Inlet drying temperatures remain low (from ambient to 80 °C).

The machines incorporate a patent-pending collection and particle-separation plenum that can be configured for batch or continuous processing. The systems are currently available in four scales: the feasibility scale (Model 001) with a once-through design for the laboratory, an R&D scale (Model 004), a pilot scale (Model 032), and a production scale (Model 050). The R&D scale is a semi-portable unit with a recirculating gas-handling system and a nominal evapora-tion rate of 4 kg/h; this unit uses the same nozzle as the larger-scale units for ease of scale-up. The pilot-scale unit has a nominal evapo-ration rate of 30 kg/h, and the largest unit has a rate of 50 kg/h.

DEC 2016

Spray Dryer Uses Electrostatic Technology for Efficient Microencapsulation

The new, patent-pending PolarDry Electrostatic Spray Dryer from Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co., uses electrostatic technology, rather than heated drying gas, for microencapsulation. This technology eliminates the intense heat of traditional spray drying and is more efficient at encapsulating the active ingredient. The system also allows agglomeration during the drying step, eliminating the need for secondary agglomeration operations.

The spray dryer’s electrostatic technology drives water to the shell and active to the core, lowering the evaporation temperature and eliminating active ingredient loss and degradation, thus creating a longer shelf life, higher bulk density, and superior morphology. Inlet drying temperatures remain low (from ambient to 80 °C).

In addition, the patent-pending Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) feature can control the electrostatic charge applied to the feed on an intermittent basis to agglomerate particulates as they are being dried. By controlling the voltage applied to the spray droplet as it is being atomized, some particles form an outer shell readily while others develop their shell gradually, resulting in a wet or tacky particle. As these two types of particles colloid, they bond and form an agglomerated particle. The finished product flows more freely and has larger particles and fewer fines compared to traditional agglomerated product.

The machines incorporate a patent-pending collection and particle-separation plenum that can be configured for batch or continuous processing. The systems are currently available in four scales: the feasibility scale (Model 001) with a once-through design for the laboratory, an R&D scale (Model 004), a pilot scale (Model 032), and a production scale (Model 050). The R&D scale is a semi-portable unit with a recirculating gas-handling system and a nominal evaporation rate of 4 kg/h; this unit uses the same nozzle as the larger-scale units for ease of scale-up. The pilot-scale unit has a nominal evaporation rate of 30 kg/h, and the largest unit has a rate of 50 kg/h.

DEC 2016

The Future, Low Temperature Spray Dry/Perfect Microencapsulation

This fall, Fluid Air released its revolutionary new patent-pending PolarDryTM Electrostatic Spray Dry Technology. This new technology based on the use of electrostatic, leads to outstanding benefits never before achieved in Spray Drying such as low processing temperature spray drying, near perfect encapsulation, and selective agglomeration in the creation of particles. Specifically, after years of development and testing, the PolarDryTM Technology is proven to bring multiple advantages to the pharmaceutical industry that include superior morphology, higher bulk density, longer shelf life, non-reactive processing, minimal emissions, and low energy consumption compared to traditional spray drying processes.

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MAY 2013

High-shear Mixers

High-shear mixers that can be quickly and cost-effectively customized to meet unique processing challenges. Mixing processes vary from each application but having a flexible bowl configuration offers greater efficiency and permits working volumes from 30 – 90% of full capacity. Here are a few key functions to look for in all mixers: auto-cleaning and liftable tool systems for easy clean-up and inspections, saving much time in cleaning while reducing set-up time, but most importantly reducing downtime between batches. Having a hydraulic drive system permits torque down to ¼ RPM providing plenty of break-out torque at slow speeds for additional mixing after inspection and continuous discharging to wet milling systems. Another tip is to check to see where the impeller and chopper are located, the best performance is if the impeller is bottom-driven and a side mounted chopper, having a consistent impeller tip speed for all models ensures scale-up. Lastly look for an elliptical or dome shaped lid to permit the product to perform a complete roll over, ensuring a homogeneous mix. Mixers come with a variety of options and features that can include vacuum loading, vacuum drying, nitrogen inerting system, and bowl water jackets just to name a few, each companies needs vary depending on the end results needed.

MAY 2013

Tablet Coating Systems

The development of new technology to coat is vital to achieving the desired results in the absorption process. Introducing a new concept in tablet coating systems that can be custom designed and optimized for flexibility and a variety of tablet coating requirements. The system consists of a modular air atomizing manifold, liquid delivery skid and Batch ArchitectTM process controls. The removable spray bar provides cleaning advantages and features anti-bearding nozzles, internal recirculating guns, a shut-off valve that keeps liquid moving, reducing product build-up and a mounting design which prevents tablet entrapment. The liquid delivery skid can perform manually and automatic operation with closed-loop solution/liquid delivery metering using loss-in-weight, mass flow sensing, and totalizing, ultimately saving time in costly trial and error efforts. With the custom PLC and touch-screen the process controls automates the liquid delivery skid or entire pan operation with phase or recipe-based controls to provide optimal results.

APR 2013

Tablet Coating Solution

The Tablet Coating System is a tablet coating solution delivery system that improves coating results. It can be custom designed and optimized for flexibility and a variety of tablet coating requirements. The system consists of a modular air atomizing manifold, liquid delivery skid and Batch ArchitectTM process controls. The removable spray bar provides cleaning advantages and features anti-bearding nozzles, internal recirculating guns, a shut-off valve that keeps liquid moving, reducing product build-up and a mounting design which prevents tablet entrapment. The liquid delivery skid can perform manually and automatic operation with closed-loop solution/liquid delivery metering using loss-in-weight, mass flow sensing, and totalizing, ultimately saving time in costly trial and error efforts. With the custom PLC and touch-screen the process controls automates the liquid delivery skid or entire pan operation with phase or recipe-based controls to provide optimal results.

FEB 2013
JAN 2013

Ultrasonic Fluid Beds

The new fluidized bed coating system uses ultrasonic vibration. Designed for use in laboratory research and development applications, the system uses an ultrasonic spray nozzle for gentle Wurster (fluid bed) coating. Instead of atomizing air pressure, the nozzle uses a tiny ultrasonic horn, which vibrates at a fixed frequency to break up the droplets. The nozzle can achieve uniform, thin-film particle coatings with droplet sizes in the 10 to 30 micron range. The system also features a controller for fine-tuning of the spray pattern and shape, providing users with adjustable, automated control over the size of the droplets. The Wurster coating process involves suspending fine particulate substances in the bowl of a fluid bed while a nozzle applies the coating.

MAY 2012

The Challenges of Solid-Dosage Manufacturing

Tom Tappen, Director of Business Development for Fluid Air, was interviewed by Pharmaceutical Online's Lori Clapper at Interphex 2012. Speaking from his 30 years of experience in the industry, Tom answers questions about the challenges that face manufacturers of solid dosage

APR 2012

Fluid Air Expands Distribution To Reach Developing Pharmaceutical Markets Abroad

Fluid Air, a US-based manufacturer of solid dosage processing equipment for the pharmaceutical industry, has announced plans to extend its distribution and sales operations into several emerging international markets, including China, Singapore, Brazil, and the Middle East.

As the number of people with access to health care increases in these developing or transitional economies, the consumption and demand for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical drugs continues to rise. Drug manufacturers in these regions now face new, more stringent process requirements as governments tighten or expand regulations to meet higher standards of safety and quality control. In many cases, domestic suppliers are not yet able to produce systems with the necessary level of sophistication or specialization that manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs require to meet these regulations.

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APR 2010

Fluid Bed System Offers More Precise Air Flow

Company's expertise is in solid dosage technology and they offer custom solutions for pharmaceutical processing needs from R&D to production scale. Company will be showcasing their complete line of R&D equipment, including the newly redesigned fluid bed system (in operation), PHARMX® high-shear granulating mixer, and GRANUMILL® size reduction mill. The new fluid bed features an integral base for easy transportation, enhanced filter design, more precise air flow, automated data logging with Batch ArchitectTM process control software and a variety of other improvements designed to increase usability and minimize downtime.