powder handling

Custom Powder Systems is a forerunner in the powder handling and containment sector. We pride ourselves on our extensive industry experience which allows us to create unique solutions tailored to our customer’s exact specifications and are experts at developing systems that make manufacturing processes more economical and efficient through automation – saving our clients significant amounts of time, money, and labor.

In food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical manufacturing, efficiency and precision are not just desirable, but essential – and Custom Powder Systems is committed to understanding the unique challenges and requirements of each client. As companies seek innovative solutions to maximize efficiency and productivity while ensuring compliance with industry regulations, solutions that streamline manufacturing processes such as automated powder handling systems pave the way for business growth and development and guarantee product integrity.

Case Study: Automated Powder Handling System

In 2016, CPS began working with a pharmaceutical company to engineer and supply a powder handling system to automatically discharge drums of expedient to be screened and blended with the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). After the material was blended, it needed to be transferred and discharged into vial filling machines, all while ensuring complete isolation and sterility during the process, with the least amount of operator intervention as possible.

In partnering with the client, CPS formulated and wrote the User Requirements and Specification (URS) and Functional Specification (FS) for the project and subsequently proposed the flow and equipment layouts. Then, CPS began to address the specific challenges of drum loading, conveying, decontamination, lid removal, weighing, and discharging – all within an aseptic environment.

In the system that was created to accomplish these goals, drums are loaded onto a CPS Column Lift, lifted, and moved into the decontamination and delidding isolator. The isolator is then sealed before the drums are decontaminated. Next, each drum’s lid is removed robotically before moving into the discharging isolator where they are sealed. The drum is then clamped and inverted, and the contents are discharged through a screener into a blender vessel with the API. Finally, the empty drum is moved through the back of the discharge chamber isolator, through a Restrictive Access Barrier (RAB) isolator, and onto a second CPS Column Lift which lowers them to the ground floor for unloading.

The blending vessel is automatically disconnected from the isolator’s split valve, moved to an open space, and lifted, where the product is homogeneously blended using a CPS Column Lift Blender. The lift then raises the blending vessel and discharges the product through a spit valve into smaller IBCs that are moved and lifted by another CPS Column Lift to discharge it into a vial filling machine.

This process eliminates the manual handling of the containers, leading to substantial time savings in the powder processing and clean-up, and guarantees the final product will be completely sterile through all stages of the process.

After the discharging batch is completed, both isolators, the blending vessel, and the transfer station are automatically washed, sterilized, and dried before their next use. The smaller IBCs that are used to transfer the material are washed, sanitized, and dried in a separate contained wash station.

Part of CPS supply and responsibility for this project was the validation process. Using extensive product knowledge and expertise, CPS quickly and efficiently ensured that the equipment was installed properly (IQ), operated according to the requirements (OQ), and worked as intended (SAT). This saved even more time and client expenditure by eliminating the need for external validation services.

As companies continue to search for ways to maximize their economic approach to manufacturing processes, solutions for creating more efficient operations such as ones provided by Custom Powder Systems will be essential resources for establishing the most effective strategies for business growth and development.

For more information, contact us, and let us know what problems we can help you solve.

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