Fluid Bed Processing for Pharma Applications

FlexStream Fluid Bed Processor

FlexStream is a new multi-purpose processor that addresses the current shortfalls of traditional fluid bed processing, including linear scale-up, fully contained loading and unloading for Pharmaceutical applications.

Pharma Product FlexStream 2

Traditional Fluid Bed Technology

Fluid bed operations such as drying, granulation or particle coating are often major process steps in the production of solid dosage forms. And, even though the technology has been in use by pharmaceutical companies, globally, for more than 50 years, it has still a lot of shortfalls. Each unit operation needs dedicated machinery or process containers to achieve optimal performance. Another area of concern is scale-up, a task that is often complicated by different bed heights and inconsistencies between fluid bed processors. From a performance standpoint, granules produced by fluid bed granulation often show an excellent compression behaviour but can be weak and flow poorly (compared with high shear granulation). Some formulations can’t be granulated in a fluid bed at all, and coating applications based on conventional Wurster columns are subject to a number of drawbacks, such as scale-up issues, loss of coating material and agglomeration loses.

FlexStream Technology

Using proven GEA fluid bed technology to achieve fluid bed granulation, drying and pellet coating (or tablet coating) in a single module, FlexStream is a new multipurpose processor that addresses the current shortfalls of traditional fluid bed processing, including linear scale-up, fully contained loading and unloading, and superior product homogeneity for both LOD and PSD. Offering only one product container for all unit operations, the FlexStream reduces your build envelope (both height and footprint) and provides PAT-compatible in-line particle growth measurement.

The FlexStream Concept

The FlexStream concept has the additional advantage that no mechanical adjustment is necessary to switch between using the equipment as a dryer, a granulator or a coater. And, impressive test data prove that, in addition to these commercial benefits, FlexStream gives superior product quality when compared with conventional top-spray granulation or Wurster coating.

Key Features

  • WIP and CIP: Process optimisation depends on efficient, effective cleaning. Automation of the cleaning process ensures repeatability, allows validation and minimizes downtime.
  • Rapid discharge using lean phase conveying system: enhanced by the Non-Sifting Gill Plate airflow from both above and below the air distributor is used to discharge the dry granules in a very efficient manner, avoiding the need to place the receiving container under negative pressure.
  • Through-the-wall installation: ensures that all auxiliary equipment is housed outside the process room. This greatly simplifies GMP compliance.
  • Solvent emission control: A range of open- and closed-cycle systems to remove or recover organic solvents is available.
  • Spraying systems: Nozzles, pumps and liquid preparation units are supplied according to process needs.

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