Minimizing variability in the feeding process is important for continuous manufacturing since materials are fed individually and can impact the final product. This study demonstrates the importance of measuring powder properties and highlights the need to characterize the feeding performance both offline with multiple refills and in the intended configuration for the continuous manufacturing equipment. The standard grade hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) had material buildup on the loss-in-weight feeder barrel from triboelectric charging and resulted in more mass flow excursions and failed refills which were not observed with the direct compression grades. The location of the electrostatic buildup changed when the feeder was connected to a hopper instead of feeding offline into a collection bucket. Overall, the direct compression HPMC exhibited better flow which resulted in more accurate loss-in-weight feeding with less excursions from the target mass flow and all refills were completed in the first attempt. The improvements with the direct compression HPMC would be beneficial when running any continuous process (wet granulation, roller compaction, or direct compression) or other processes where loss-in-weight feeding is utilized, such as melt extrusion or twin screw granulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Powder flow
- Screw feeder
- Triboelectric charging