Pharmaceutical R&D Technology Fluid Bed R&D Processing of Pharmaceuticals

Offering a complete range of application-specific technologies for R&D, our small-scale equipment solutions cover every aspect of pharmaceutical oral solid dosage production: from high shear mixers, fluid bed dryers and single pot systems to extruders and spheronizers, from blenders and containment solutions to tablet presses and coaters.

Unrivaled Expertise

Based on a long history of experience, thousands of completed tests and with plants installed around the world, we have established a solid base of manufacturing plant and pharmaceutical process expertise. Highlighting the importance of R&D, GEA offers three complementary laboratory scale units, capable of processing batch sizes from 50 g to more than 6 kg.

Contained and Flexible Granulation

Pharma Product Fluid-Bed R&D

Based on a long history of experience, thousands of completed tests and with plants installed around the world, we have established a solid base of manufacturing plant and pharmaceutical process expertise. Highlighting the importance of R&D, GEA offers three complementary laboratory scale units, capable of processing batch sizes from 50 g to more than 6 kg.

GEA's completely contained granulation line for R&D takes the process from dispensed raw materials to finished tablet. The system offers unsurpassed process flexibility - during high shear granulation, pelletization and/or blending, etc. – in a totally contained environment. It illustrates how GEA's inspired technology can be used to provide a total solution that's tailored to suit each user’s specific requirements, whether through integration or split valve technology. 

The system is aimed at producers of small quantities of highly potent compounds. The intelligent contained handling systems inherent in the GEA pilot plant allow it to be flexible, efficient, clean and safe without the need for expensive, bulky and difficult to clean isolator systems. Furthermore the level of containment avoids the need for costly and uncomfortable air-suits, allowing the users to focus on the product, creating faster and more secure results.

 

Process Overview

At the heart of the production plant is PharmaConnect® and the MP1 Flexstream™ fluid bed processor. PharmaConnect® is GEA’s innovative, modular granulation and blending system, offering an unbeatable range of process types and capacities. FlexStream™ is the world-leading process technology for spray granulation and pellet coating, delivering unbeatable benefits in terms of productivity, reduced running costs and a robust and scalable process.

Contained Product Transfer

The system includes examples of both rigid and disposable product transfer technologies, offering containment down to low nanogram levels. These options include

  • the disposable Hicoflex® system, providing significantly lower capital and running costs compared with rigid IBC technology and rapid product changeover for improved plant utilization
  • the unique, modular Buck® MC Valve with its simple design that enables complete container-to-container transfer flexibility
  • the Buck® TC Valve, the highest performing split valve available in the marketplace; by introducing a wash step prior to valve separation, the Buck® TC Valve is capable of low nanogram level performance.

Integrated Approach

All of these technologies are brought together in an integrated process system that mimics the hundreds of large-scale plants provided by GEA globally. It epitomizes the approach of ensuring that customers receive the same technology from the laboratory through to production, using the same containment and process technologies to guarantee seamless scale-up and the most flexible blend of process capabilities.

STREA-1™ Pharma Fluid Bed Processors are suitable for use with organic solvents - batch capacity 200 grams - 2 kg

The STREA-1™ laboratory fluid bed is ATEX certified! The STREA-1™ combines versatility with table-top practicality. Purpose designed for processing of fine powders, pellets, granules, crystals and tablets.

Strea 1™ Classic

The GEA STREA-1™ Classic is the flexible choice when taking the first steps towards process optimization.

Product drying, top spray granulating and coating – in volumes ranging from 200g to 2kg – can all be handled by the manually operated STREA-1™ Classic, thanks to its interchangeable components and containers.The STREA-1™ Classic has been supplied to research centres and companies for use in the production of pharmaceuticals, food stuffs, dairy products, fine ceramics and chemicals. Continuing GEA’s strong commitment to research and development and high quality standards, the STREA-1™ Classic is a essential addition to the laboratory benchtop. All parts of the STREA-1 unit are assembled in our own workshop to guarantee the highest level of workmanship. The units are tested at maximum capacity prior to delivery.

Dryer

Air is filtered and heated prior to passing through the distributor plate fluidizing the product and absorbing moisture. The product is completely contained within the unit due to the highly efficient product filters

Granulator

A binding agent is sprayed onto the fluidized product for controlled agglomeration. The formed agglomerates are subsequently dried.

Coater

Liquid is sprayed onto the product from below to ensure uniform coating. An attachment for top spray coating is also available.

Main Features

  • Easy maneuverability due to table-top size 
  • Ready to plug into standard laboratory utilities 
  • Easy operation 
  • Simple to clean and maintain 
  • Special air distributor plate for controlled product movement 
  • Continuously operating blow-back filter cleaning system 

Available Options

  • Instrumentation for measuring air flow, product and filter pressure drop 
  • Two-fluid nozzle for atomizing liquids 
  • Heatable nozzle for atomizing melts 
  • Selection of material for product filter 
  • Device for product sampling 

Technical Data

Technical Data Product volume 0.2 - 2 kg
Air Flow 2m3 / min
Stat. pressure 5000N / m2
Motor power 0.75 kW
Type of current single or 3 phase
Heating capacity
delta t = 60° C
delta t = 90° C
-
1.5 kW
2.2 kW
Container volume 16.5 liter
Weight 43 kg
 

STREA-1™ Pro

The GEA STREA-1™ Pro fluid bed combines 'process ability' and table-top practicality of the well established STREA-1™ Classic with the advantages of OP / PLC Control. 

OP / PLC Control

This control system unites functionality and process visualisation with data recording via a separate paperless recorder. It provides a level of process automation with recipe control. 

Product drying, top spray granulating and coating – in volumes ranging from 200g to 2kg – can all be handled by the STREA-1™, thanks to its interchangeable components and containers.The STREA-1™ has been supplied to research centres and companies for use in the production of pharmaceuticals, food stuffs, dairy products, fine ceramics and chemicals. Continuing GEA’s strong commitment to research and development and high quality standards, the STREA-1™ Pro is a vital addition to the development benchtop.

Dryer

Air is filtered and heated prior to passing through the distributor plate fluidizing the product and absorbing moisture. The product is completely contained within the unit due to the highly efficient product filters.

Granulator

A binding agent is sprayed onto the fluidized product for controlled agglomeration. The formed agglomerates are subsequently dried.

Coater

Liquid is sprayed onto the product from below to ensure uniform coating. An attachment for top spray coating is also available.

Main Features

  • Easy manoeuvrability due to table-top size 
  • Ready to plug into standard laboratory utilities 
  • Easy operation 
  • Simple to clean and maintain 
  • Special air distributor plate for controlled product movement 
  • HEPA filter for process air 
  • Continuously operating blow-back filter cleaning system 
  • Instrumentation for measuring air flow, product and filter pressure drop 
  • Allen Bradley color PLC Controls 
  • Data and trend recording

Available Options

  • Two-fluid nozzle for atomizing liquids 
  • Heatable nozzle for atomizing melts 
  • Selection of material for product filter 
  • Air volume control system 
  • Atomising air control system 
  • Device for product sampling 
  • DQ, IQ, OQ qualification on-site and documentation 
  • PLC-PC communication

Technical Data

Product volume 0.2 - 2 kg
Air Flow 2m3 / min
Stat. pressure 5000N / m2
Motor power 1.00 kW
Type of current single or 3 phase
Heating capacity
delta t = 60° C
delta t = 90° C
-
1.5 kW (110 volt)
2.2 kW (220 volt)
Container volume 16.5 liter
Weight 75 kg
All parts of the STREA-1 unit are assembled in our own workshop to guarantee the highest level of workmanship. The units are tested at maximum capacity prior to delivery.

MP-1 Pharma Fluid Bed Processor - with FlexStream™ Technology

The MP-1 Multi-Processor is a compact, mobile system designed for laboratory scale drying, coating and spray granulation. Fully self-contained, with all controls and ancillary air handling devices built into the machine base, the MP1 capacity ranges from 0.2 up to 6 kg.

The MP-1 Model

Developed by GEA to meet the industry's requirements for flexible unit operations, the MP1 is based upon the principle that one basic unit can be used for numerous processes simply by interchanging a module. 

  •  Drying module 
  •  Top Spray Granulation module 
  •  FlexStream™
  •  PRECISION-GRANULATOR™ module 
  •  PRECISION-COATER™ module 

These modules are available in sizes ranging from the MP-1 lab unit up to full production scale equipment built in compliance with current GMP and safety standards. Only the highest quality materials are used to build the MULTI-PROCESSOR™ giving you a long lasting and reliable unit for your process work. 

MP-1 Standard Features

  • Self-contained control and air handling unit 
  • PLC control system with touch screen HMI
  • ProcessView software
  • Automatic recipe control function 
  • Data- capture equipment 
  • Peristaltic Pump
  • Hinged Expansion Chamber
  • Inlet and Exhaust HEPA filtration
SizeLab BowlDevelopment Bowl
Dryingkg0.2 - 30.4 - 6 *
Top Spray Granulationkg0.2 - 21 - 4 *
FlexStream™
kgN/A 1 - 5*
PRECISION-COATER™kg0.2 - 30.4 - 5 **

*  Products with bulk density of 0.5gms/cm³
** Products with bulk density of 0.8gms/cm³

 

Options for Special Applications

The standard MP-1 is equipped to carry out the majority of every day processing. However, to meet special customer requirements a range of options is available. 

  • Dehumidification of inlet air 
  • Loss-in-weight scales
  • Wash Lance 
  • PAT ports
  • Selection of filter materials 
  • Secondary filtration for coating processes
  • GPS Proces Manager
    • 21 CFR part 11 compliant data handling  and recipe management 

All process can be easily scaled-up to larger pilot or production-scale Fluid Bed Processor.

Alternative Containers:

  • Lab-Scale Stainless Steel Product Container 
  • Lab-Scale Polycarbonate Product Container 
  • Development -Scale Polycarbonate Steel Product Container
  • Precision Coating Modules
  • Selection of air distributors 
    • Standard hole plate and mesh
    • The GEA overlap gill  plate
    • Precision Coater Fielder plate

Technical Data

Standard Development Product ContainerMin. batch weight400 g
Max. batch weight6.0 kg
Standard Lab-Scale Product ContainerMin. batch weight200 g
Max. batch weight3.0 kg
Peristaltic pumpThroughput rate300 ml / min
Customer SupplyEurope3 x 400 v
USA3 x 480 v
Electrical dataEurope50 Hz
USA60 Hz
Electrical power (max.)18 kW



Compressed air6 barg
Weight (approx.)850 kg
Dimensions (L x W x H)1700 x 1000 x 2800 mm

FlexStream™ 90 - Contained Pharma Fluid Bed Processing - development scale.

The FlexStream™ 90 brings production scale technologies onto an R&D platform to ensure the highest levels of process containment at the 0.5 to 5.0 kg range

FlexStream™ 90

The FlexStream 90™ was developed to specifically to meet the expanding requirements of the pharmaceutical industry for highly contained process equipment at the research and development scale.

By mimicking the  technologies employed on production equipment FlexStream™ 90 operates safely at the OEB 5 level when integrated with suitable Buck® containment valve technologies.

The FlexStream 90™ offers the following process capabilities:

  • Fluid Bed Drying
  • Top Spray Granulation 
  • FlexStream™ Granulation
  • FlexStream™ Pellet Coating

To meet the highest cGMP standards a FlexStream™ 90 is built on a Through-the-Wall (TTW) basis.  The air handling and ancillary equipment are located in the technical area removing maintenance requirements from the process room.

 

FlexStream™ 90 Features

  • TTW Design 
  • GPS ProcessManager PLC/HMI Control System 
  • Integrated Loading and Discharge Valves 
  • Sample Port designed for Buck® Contained
  • Sampling device 
  • FlexStream™ system for Coating and Granulation 
  • Top Spray system for Granulation Processes 
  • Integrated Peristaltic Pump 
  • Fabric Filter System with Compressed Air Blowback 
  • Wash nozzles allowing WIP operations 
  • Configurable Inlet and Exhaust Air Handling systems

FlexStream™ Options

  • Replacement Product Container for Precision Coating 
  • Stainless Steel filtration for CIP Operations 
  • Vacuum discharge system incorporating GEA’s Lean-Phase technology 
  • End Product Handling, including dry mill and containment valve