Stable micro systems improves efficiency in powder handling

Enabling pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturers to characterise powders quickly and easily

Texture analysis expert, Stable Micro Systems, is enabling pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturers to characterise powders quickly and easily – without compromising accuracy – with the development of two new rigs.

The devices are designed to assess both flowability and compressibility, to enhance quality and production efficiency in powdered products, capsules and tablets.

Powder compacts under its own weight during storage, which can cause blockages in the hopper and restrict flow.

The new Powder Vertical Shear Rig can be used to test the ease of flow of a powder from a packed state, to determine the correct hopper outlet size.

The rig enables manufacturers to explore the possible use of flow additives or changing the powder formulation accordingly.

Alternatively, the hopper outlet size can be altered to encourage a better flowing powder.

Stable Micro Systems has also updated its Powder Compaction Rigs to accommodate even lower compaction forces.

Manufacturers can now quickly assess the compressibility of a powder across 10 indexable samples of up to 50 kg on the same test carriage – improving test efficiency and increasing sample throughput.

With two aperture size options available, the larger hole provides an easy test option, while the smaller rig is particularly suited to limited sample amounts, such as in the drugs research industry.

The Indexable Powder Compaction Rigs can also be used in “target force” mode, to assess the compressibility of a powder. This allows manufacturers to determine the effect of fill level and weight on tablet thickness, resulting in powder compacts with consistent porosity.

In addition, the rigs provide details on the loading, hold and unloading periods of a hold until time graph, to calculate relaxation, stiffness and elastic recovery, as well as compressibility.

Jo Smewing, Applications Manager at Stable Micro Systems, said: “Precision performance is crucial in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors, particularly given the valuable nature of the ingredients in formulation.”

“Using a combination of the Powder Vertical Shear Rig and Indexable Powder Compaction Rig allows manufacturers to simplify the testing process and reduce production downtime.”