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Easy scale-up of new powder drying processes 

De Dietrich Process Systems' RoLab is a filter/dryer for R&D and pilot production

Whether for new compounds or the development of cleaner, more efficient processes for existing molecules, scale-up is a crucial step in the powder production of molecules of interest, intermediates or APIs. Drying, which also determines the product’s added value, is often the limiting stage in the industrial process. To prepare the scale-up and to size the industrialisation correctly, the Gołąb Filter/Dryer from De Dietrich Process Systems is an easy-to-access solution.

De Dietrich Process Systems’ RoLab is a compact, versatile Filter/Dryer for R&D and pilot production. The RoLab is extremely practical and easy to use, simply connecting the usual utilities for compressed air, electricity, heat transfer fluid and, if required, nitrogen. It is even available as a turnkey skid with utilities, vacuum pump for product transfer and in-situ cleaning system. Based on the long-standing liquid-solid separation know-how of the Rosenmund-Guedu subsidiary of De Dietrich Process Systems, the RoLab has been designed to be as versatile as possible. Mobile, it can easily be moved from one operating area to another. It can be adapted to ATEX zones and HPAPIs handled in contained environments. Above all, the RoLab is a representative model of the industrial production tool. It is frequently used for reliable scale-up. For this purpose, all the usual industrial equipment options are available: reduction of drying time through integrated agitator heating or microwave heating, complete and automated powder discharging with the gas knife system, cGMP or FDA production with Clean-in-Place. 

Pilot scale filter-dryer: RoLab 

Guided process optimisation

The easy-to-use interface enables process optimisation by testing different parameters. De Dietrich Process Systems’ experts are also on hand to provide support during this phase of the scale-up. They guide the process and can advise on the best process optimisations for your product.

Optimisation of the final process is done in three steps.

The first step is to select the potential optimisation levers depending on the product, and the associated risks of thermal or mechanical deterioration. This enables the best parameters to be selected in line with drying time and cost objectives: cake volume and height, agitation mode with the necessary paddle design, complementary heating options such as heated shafts or microwaves.

The second stage is based on representative tests on the RoLab, on machines ranging in size from 0.17 to 0.4 m². The associated test design is then used to calculate the missing data. The tests then serve to validate the adjustments to the process and performance targets.

The final stage of the study correlates the theoretical data with the test data to design the equipment. De Dietrich Process Systems’ teams have already optimised the operation of 10 m² equipment based on tests on RoLabs as small as 0.2 m². This is only possible thanks to a detailed knowledge of drying equipment and a high-performance design that facilitates the transition to industrial scale.

The whole process of scale-up and drying optimisation can be carried out in-house, thanks to the RoLab’s ease of use and flexibility. De Dietrich Process Systems’ teams can then intervene to carry out optimisation based on the results of its customers’ experiments. For one-off requirements, RoLabs are also available on a rental basis, for both scale-up and pilot production.

Finally, scale-up and process optimisation can also be carried out on RoLabs at De Dietrich’s new Tech Lab in Semur-en-Auxois. The Tech Lab is a new, ATEX-compliant facility that brings together analysis equipment, pilot production equipment and the expertise needed to support manufacturers in these process development activities.

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