A collaborative research project between Freeman Technology and GEA Pharma Systems provides new insight into the development of continuous tablet manufacturing processes. Within the pharmaceutical industry, the replacement of batch tablet production units with continuous manufacturing suites has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and reduce costs, according to Freeman Technology. A primary research focus is identifying metrics that provide a sound basis for the effective control of continuous manufacturing processes.
GEA’s ConsiGma 1 continuous granulation unit produces granules for tableting, which are then characterized using Freeman Technology’s FT4 Powder Rheometer. Direct correlations are observed between the flow properties of the granules and critical quality attributes of finished tablets, such as hardness. The correlations highlight the potential of dynamic powder testing as an at-line process analytical technology (PAT) for continuous tablet manufacture, according to the company.
Building on early success in applying powder flowability data to scope the design space for the ConsiGma 1, current goals are to establish links between wet granule flow properties and observed tablet weight variability at production speeds. A partial aim of the current work is to show how dynamic powder characterization can be used to optimize continuous granulation.
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