Glatt Engineering: 3D planning of the production facility including the Glatt fluid bed/spouted bed granulator ProCell® System 250 for continuous drying, granulation and coating processes

New production facility for the contract manufacturing of pharmaceutical, food and feed ingredients at IPC Process Center, Germany, 2009

One of the world’s largest spouted bed granulation systems at Dresden-based contract manufacturer IPC

The company IPC Process-Center – located in Dresden, is a certified production facility for contract manufacturing of refined products for the food, feed and fine chemical industries. Here, mainly modern fluidized bed processes are used, with specialization in granulation and coating.

A Glatt ProCell® System 250 provides unprecedented flexibility for agglomeration and spray granulation processes. Liquid and/or solid feedstocks can be processed into granules and pellets or existing particles can be coated. Batchwise or in continuous operation.

Glatt Ingenieurtechnik is one of the leading suppliers of equipment for the continuous production of granules and pellets based on fluid bed and spouted bed technologies. Depending on customer requirements, the scope of supply for granulation plants includes only the core equipment or the complete plant including the building.

The production around the ProCell® System 250 is now the sixth plant at the site. Glatt not only supplied technology and process equipment for the new production facility, but also planned and implemented the entire building complex across all 4 levels.

Construction of a new production facility for the GMP-contract manufacturing of different granules and pellets at IPC Process Center

Project details:

Location Dresden, Germany
Schedule 02/2007 – 12/2009
Product Various granules and pellets for pharmaceutical and food ingredients (e.g. enzymes and flavors)
Capacity 100 – 1.000 kg/h, depending on product
Building New building, 4 levels (facility 6)
Technology Continuous spray-granulation, agglomerating and drying by Glatt spouted bed and fluid bed technology, a system with ProCell® 250 process insert and GF 250 process insert
Scope of our services and supply Turnkey project = product trials, feasibility study, process development, complete engineering including building, project management, delivery, assembly/installation, commissioning/start-up, operator training

ProCell® System 250 for continuous fluid bed and spouted bed drying, granulation and coating processes

Material flow over 4 levels

Solid raw materials, e.g. for powder agglomeration, are brought from the warehouse directly to level 1 of the plant. There they are emptied by a combined big bag and sack emptying station into plant-internal product containers on level 0. After the containers have been transported by elevator to level 3, they are emptied via a docking station into the dosing container of the gravimetric dosing system.

Liquid raw materials are also brought from the warehouse to level 0, where they are transferred to a spray tank that can also be heated. From this tank, the liquids are sprayed directly into the ProCell® System 250 – granules are produced. The ProCell® System 250 extends over 3 levels:

  • Level 1: Supply air chambers and process chamber.
  • Level 2: Expansion chamber with filter housing
  • Level 3: Accessible filter chamber

The granulate leaves the process chamber in level 1 and falls gravimetrically into level 0, where it can be cooled with a vibratory spiral cooler, if desired. The granules are then pneumatically transported to a screen in level 2, oversize and undersize are separated from the product. The oversize is ground and returned together with the undersize, also pneumatically, to the process chamber of the ProCell® System 250 (screen-grinding circuit). The screened product falls into a product silo on level 1, where it is fed into a big bag filling station on level 0. The filled big bags are discharged into storage.

Cleaning made easy

The special requirements of a contract manufacturing plant are flexibility and easy cleanability. Production and technical areas have been consistently separated. This protects the technical area from product contamination. Only the production area needs to be cleaned.
All equipment was selected for easy cleanability, e.g. rotary valves with quick-change starwheels or pneumatic transport piping that can be quickly dismantled. The pumps for the liquid were installed complete with piping manifolds for the spray nozzles on carts that can be moved into the washroom. The ProCell® System 250 was equipped with a WIP system. The spray nozzles can remain in the system during washing. The internal bag filter is washed using wash nozzles, and wash nozzles are also installed in the filter chamber.

More flexibility by replacing the process chamber

The enormous process flexibility is further increased when the ProCell® System 250 is equipped with a screen bottom and thus operated as a fluid bed system. The spray system has been designed to spray aqueous solutions and suspensions as well as melts. For spraying melts, the spray system can be heated. Simultaneous metering of solids and spraying of liquids allows agglomeration and coating processes. Process gas temperatures between 15°C and 200°C as well as different process gas volumes also increase the application possibilities of the system.

In order to be able to process products that are prone to dust explosions, the ProCell® System 250 was equipped with an explosion suppression system.

Level 0: nozzle connections ProCell® System 250

Level 0: product discharge, spray system and spray tanks

Level 0: spray tank and big bag filling station for product

Level 1: weighing-in

Level 1: raw material feed, process chamber, GMP design

Level 1: raw material feed, process chamber, GMP design

Level 1: process chamber, GMP design

Level 1: process chamber, GMP design

WIP bag filter

Level 2: sieve

Level 3: access to walk-in filter

Level 3: access to walk-in filter

Level 3: access to walk-in filter

Level 3: access to walk-in filter

Level 3: filter control

Level 3: subsequent dedusting

Technical area: air conditioning/ventilation

Technical area: process air supply system

Personnel airlock

High-bay warehouse