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31. March 2016

New solutions in compacting technology

Two brand-new developments serve to extend HOSOKAWA ALPINE's spectrum of solutions in the field of compacting technology: the small Pharmapaktor C80 and the multi-purpose crusher MPC 150. Efficient servo drives are installed in both machine types.

Compaction, in other words the compression of powders between two synchronised, counter-rotating rollers is often used in process technology, for example as a means of increasing the bulk density of fine materials or to prevent the formation of dust. As one might therefore expect, the fundamental processes are fully developed. Nevertheless, an ever more demanding market environment calls for new and efficient solutions so that companies from the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries are able to meet the increasingly high requirements in development and production on a long-term basis. Both of the new HOSOKAWA ALPINE developments succeed in opening up completely new possibilities.

Pharmapaktor C 80

The new Pharmapaktor C 80 is the smallest Pharmapaktor model yet. The machine is characterised above all by an extremely small roller diameter of only 80 mm that is unique in the branch. In spite of this, the pressure between the rollers still reaches the customary high value of 6 kN/cm. The roller dimensions and an adjustable roller gap width (between 0.5 and 2.0 mm) make the practically loss-free compaction of small product quantities from about 10 g possible in the same quality as a larger machine. One big advantage: the development of new applications can be achieved with much less material. Especially with expensive and scarce raw materials, the savings effect makes itself very noticeable. Over and above this, the machine design permits the processing of extremely small particles, which in turn means that especially the pharmaceuticals industry can react to the general trend towards ever finer particle sizes.

For the compaction technology of HOSOKAWA ALPINE, the Pharmapaktor C80 also sets new standards in terms of the control concept: the entire control matrix was completely re-developed on the basis of robust fuzzy logic principles. Automatically detected values – such as the pressure forces – are made allowances for as standard practice. Intelligent functions make the uncomplicated setting of different parameters possible such as adjustment of the roller gap via an electric spindle drive. Servo drives are used for this. They react extremely fast and precisely to control commands. Even small product quantities can be processed in this way with great precision. In addition to this, compact servo drive systems – a combination of amplifier and motor – operate more efficiently than conventional machine drives because less waste heat is generated.

And last but not least, a number of different options can be realised for the Pharmapaktor C80, for example a containment variant with isolator, automatic and semi-automatic cleaning systems (WIP/CIP) or dust- and gas-tight designs. The machine is suitable for both continuous and batch operation. The throughput rate ranges between 5 and 30 kg/h.

Multi-purpose crusher MPC 150

In many applications, the compacted material is comminuted or granulated in a second step with a flake crusher or hammer mill, for example to improve the flow properties. The distribution of particle sizes is dictated thereby by the combination of rotor speed and screen size. With its different modules, the multi-purpose crusher MPC 150 can be converted to three mill types: Bexmill (basket-type mill) for soft to medium-hard materials, flake crusher for brittle materials and hammer mill for coarser comminution tasks. The technical modules for all three variants are each available in different sizes. Because no tools are needed, the modules can be exchanged correspondingly fast.Dependent on the grinding process, the size of available screens ranges between 0.3 and 20 mm. Especially in the extremely fine range, these screens offer application possibilities that were barely possible before. The rotational speeds range between 15 and 40 m/s for extremely fine grinding tasks and 1 m/s for coarser materials. Most applications are operated in the range between 1 and 20 m/s.The drive technology also plays a crucial role with this new development: one and the same motor drives all three exchangeable modules at high speed with no gear unit. The energy efficiency on the one hand and a high torque in the low speed range on the other hand speak in favour of a servo drive. Above all, however, the electronically controlled servo drive makes it possible to realise complex movement patterns, for example a pendulum movement or alternating rotational directions.

Without exception robust, the machine design of the MPC 150 is available in GMP-approved design and as a containment variant with isolator. Besides the pharmaceuticals industry, the machine is also suitable for use in the chemicals and foodstuffs industries for a diversity of comminution tasks.