Air/solids cyclone technology provides an effective and very efficient solution for the separation and collection of powders in dust extraction applications.
Pharmaceutical Powder Processing
This well established principle offers any number of major benefits for powder containment, however generally, the use of air/solids cyclone separators in pharmaceutical processing environments has been virtually non-existent until now.
The main benefits for many common pharmaceutical powder processing applications is that by using filter-less powder transfer, there are no moving parts and no loss in performance as a result of pressure drops caused by clogged filters contaminated with product.
It was while working on a project for a major pharmaceutical client several years ago that Hanningfield Process Systems discovered the many benefits of cyclone technology. The client needed to ensure that waste material from a high speed capsule filling machine could be arrested and recovered within the process room.
The early designs of this system employed the use of a hybrid design generally based upon established vacuum conveying techniques with which Hanningfield had gained much experience while manufacturing its own Uni-Vac Vacuum Conveying System.
Although the original design provided a solution to the customers’ problem of powder containment, it soon became apparent that the system would greatly benefit from the use of filter-less air/solids cyclone technology. Hanningfield invested in an all new design and development project which incorporated as many GMP desirable options as possible. Based around established cyclone principles for air and solids separation, the design put much emphasis on an easy-clean hygienic construction with an option of a full safe-change facility for the powder collection receptacle.
A further benefit of the filter-less design meant that filter cleaning by compressed air is no longer necessary, further simplifying the system and improving the integrity of the design.
Powder Recovery System
The benefits of the Uni-Dust Powder Recovery System are of great significance to any powder processing application requiring the highest levels of containment and efficiency. As waste material is retained within the confines of the process room it ensures that centralised dust collectors are able to operate in a clean condition for longer than average, thus saving money by reducing the number of filter changes. During government MHRA and FDA inspections, the added benefit of batch loss reconciliation also provides evidence of powder loss control.
The Uni-Dust filter-less cyclone is of compact design which allows the unit to be easily installed within existing process facilities such as tablet compression suites and high speed capsule filling suites. It can also be used with existing ‘in-house’ dust extraction systems or alternatively, supplied with a dedicated vacuum unit supplied and installed by Hanningfield’s own technicians. The supply of an optional police HEPA filter, guarantees that any small amounts of carry-over that are not trapped by the cyclone, are arrested before reaching the vacuum source. The specially designed all stainless steel construction HEPA unit, can be installed in the process room wall creating a neat unobtrusive installation with easy access within the controlled environment of the process room.
Numerous systems are now in full operation both the UK and the USA and the most recent installation at one of the UK’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, has provided an essential part of the closed system for containment and safe recovery of excess material.