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Processes 2017, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/pr5020022

Analyzing the Mixing Dynamics of an Industrial Batch Bin Blender via Discrete Element Modeling Method

1
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
2
The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, 1000 Route 202 South, Raritan, NJ 08869, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rudiyanto Gunawan
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2371 KB, uploaded 25 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

A discrete element model (DEM) has been developed for an industrial batch bin blender in which three different types of materials are mixed. The mixing dynamics have been evaluated from a model-based study with respect to the blend critical quality attributes (CQAs) which are relative standard deviation (RSD) and segregation intensity. In the actual industrial setup, a sensor mounted on the blender lid is used to determine the blend composition in this region. A model-based analysis has been used to understand the mixing efficiency in the other zones inside the blender and to determine if the data obtained near the blender-lid region are able to provide a good representation of the overall blend quality. Sub-optimal mixing zones have been identified and other potential sampling locations have been investigated in order to obtain a good approximation of the blend variability. The model has been used to study how the mixing efficiency can be improved by varying the key processing parameters, i.e., blender RPM/speed, fill level/volume and loading order. Both segregation intensity and RSD reduce at a lower fill level and higher blender RPM and are a function of the mixing time. This work demonstrates the use of a model-based approach to improve process knowledge regarding a pharmaceutical mixing process. The model can be used to acquire qualitative information about the influence of different critical process parameters and equipment geometry on the mixing dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: discrete element method; bin blender; batch mixing; pharmaceutical manufacturing; quality by design discrete element method; bin blender; batch mixing; pharmaceutical manufacturing; quality by design
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sen, M.; Karkala, S.; Panikar, S.; Lyngberg, O.; Johnson, M.; Marchut, A.; Schäfer, E.; Ramachandran, R. Analyzing the Mixing Dynamics of an Industrial Batch Bin Blender via Discrete Element Modeling Method . Processes 2017, 5, 22.

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