Freund-Vector Corporation

Freund-Vector Corporation designs, manufactures and markets processing equipment and services for the processing of powders, particles, beads, pellets, tablets and other solid materials/forms to the pharmaceutical, nutritional, food, confectionery, chemical, powdered metals, automotive and pyrotechnics industries. Equipment applications include coating, drying, agglomerating, granulating, layering, densification and tablet forming.

The product lines include coating pan systems for applying an aqueous, solvent or sugar film coating; fluid bed systems for granulating, coating and drying; high shear granulator mixers for wet granulation and roll compactors for material densification and granulation along with automated process control systems for all of the equipment/systems. A unique in-house laboratory facility that specializes in product feasibility, process development and process technology provides processing expertise to support the marketing of all of the product lines.

A key to Freund-Vector’s continued growth and profitability, in an increasingly competitive global market, is a dedicated work force of well-educated and experienced employees. Freund-Vector has a very strong commitment to quality and was assessed and is a registered International ISO 9001:15 Quality Manufacturing Company.

VSD Spray Drying Technology

Particle Production – Process Overview

Spray drying is a method for producing a dry powder directly from a solution or slurry. In a continuous process, the liquid feedstock is dispersed as a mist of fine droplets into a stream of hot drying gas, all within a cylindrical drying chamber. In aqueous processes, the drying gas is typically air. For solutions composed of flammable solvents such as ethanol and acetone, the inert drying gas is nitrogen and the system operated in a closed cycle as illustrated below. In addition, an inert closed cycle is also useful for drying chemical and biologic materials that are sensitive to oxygen. Because the kinetics of drying are so rapid, materials are dried in a fraction of a second which helps to make the process viable for thermal sensitive materials such as foods, extracts and biologics.

Loop system shown for aqueous processing
Advancements in equipment and polymer technologies allow spray drying to be used for a diverse range of products including solid dispersions of poorly soluble API, nano composites for targeted drug therapies, dry powders for inhalation and needle free injection, excipients used in food and drug products, and applications for controlled release, taste masking and gastric protection.

Spray Nozzles and Rotary Atomizers
Freund-Vector spray dryers can operate with a choice of feedstock atomizers or spray nozzles. These include several types of rotary discs, two-fluid atomizing nozzles, single-fluid pressure nozzles, inline mixing nozzles and some commercially available ultrasonic nebulizers as well. Selection is made based on the feedstock properties and engineered particle requirements such as size, shape, density, solubility and powder flow. Particles as small as 1-5 microns are possible and up to 500 microns or more. The reproducible process yields sharp, consistent particle size distribution.

Freund-Vector now offers a range of equipment models and sizes. Our small-scale VSD-200 is built to the same standards you would expect to find in production class systems. It is thoughtfully designed for workflow flexibility, from feasibility and formulation up through GMP clinical supplies. The equipment is configurable with a range of options to help simplify scaleup into our VSD-800 for pilot and small scale commercial production. Larger models are also available and can be customized to meet specific customer requirements.

“GXR” GRANUREX® Technology

Pellet Formation (Spherical Granulation) and Pellet/Powder Coating

What is GRANUREX®?

GRANUREX® is a processing insert that will fit within a VFC FLO-COATER® fluid bed system.

What does GRANUREX® do?

By far, the GRANUREX® is the most powerful pellet/powder processor available in the market place. The applications are endless:

  1. Pellet Formation: Spherical granulation of powders into spherical granules/pellets (as low as 50 micron).
  2. Solution/Suspension Coating: Precisely applying a coating onto a core material
  3. Dry Powder Layering: Rapidly increasing size of pellet by directly applying a powder. The powder could be an API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient), a controlled release polymer, or an excipient.

A powder feed system can be integrated into the GRANUREX® process, which greatly increases the rate of pellet formation.

GRANUREX® Case Study: Pellet Generation (Spherical Granulation)

Granules produced by the GRANUREX® rotor processor are dense and spherical in shape. The pictures and graphs shown below demonstrate how the GRANUREX® rotor processes Ciprofloxacin from a 7µm poorly flowing powder to 200µm granules with excellent flow characteristics.

After 30 minutes of processing

After 30 minutes of processing within a GRANUREX® processor, Ibuprofen pellets were generated and shown below. Ending product characteristics: 250 micron spherical pellets, 0.59 g/cc density, with very good flow properties.

Pellet Formation (Powder Coating)

Using a powder feed system, pellets can be dramatically increased in size in a short period of time. The powder applied can be the API, allowing for very heavy loading of active drug onto an existing pellet.

In the picture below, the goal was to form pellets with an 80% drug loading with 97% yeild. The API material dispensed through the powder feed system was micronized Flurbiprofen. Within a 2 hour period inside the GRANUREX®, the 80% goal was achieved representing in a 400% increase over the original starting sugar pellet. An aqueous binding solution was used.

Dry Polymer Coating

With a GRANUREX® processor, polymer coatings can be applied without the use of organic solvents. Using commercially available polymers, such as Dow’s ETHOCEL HP®, a film coating can be produced onto a pellet (perhaps formed from the previous case studies). A plasticizer solution is applied at the same time the dry polymer is being introduced inside the GRANUREX® chamber.

In the case study below, acetaminophen beads were coated with ETHOCEL HP® to produce a time-released coating. No solvents were used during this process.

Wurster Accelerator” Coating Technology

The Wurster coating system is ideally suited for the coating of particles ranging from fine powders (~10 micron) up to small pellets (2-3 mm). It consists of a processing insert that is placed inside a fluid bed processor.

What is the Wurster Accelerator?

Freund-Vector’s patented Wurster Accelerator System provides the fastest possible spray rates for Wurster coating processes. Compressed air diverts product away from the spray nozzle tip, optimizing product movement through the spray zone and minimizing agglomeration.

Freund-Vector’s patented Wurster Accelerator System. Particles are diverted around the spray zone, minimizing agglomeration defects and maximizing spray rate.

Adjustable Height Partitions

Scale-up is easily achieved by including multiple partitions within the Wurster processing insert. Each partition contains its own Wurster Accelerator spray gun and diverting system. The partitions move in unison through the use of a center lift device. The distance between the air distribution plate and the bottom of the partition is tightly controlled.

Removable Spray Guns: In Process

While the process is in operation, it may become necessary to remove the spray guns for manual cleaning. Freund-Vector’s removable spray gun design allows a method for the guns to be removed without affecting the process in the other Wurster Accelerator partitions. Without the use of tools, each spray gun can be removed and replaced within a matter of minutes.

VHC Fully Perforated HI-COATER® System

Freund-Vector HI-COATER® fully perforated tablet coating systems are used for the application of aqueous, solvent and sugar film coating for tablets and pellets. Pan volumes range from a 0.5L laboratory unit up to 1500L production units. Reduced batch sizes down to 25%-50% of the rated capacities can be processed.

Anti-Marking Pans

Freund Vector’s coating pans are manufactured with a high-buff mirror polish, anti-slide baffles and slotted perforations which are proven to reduce tablet attrition when compared to round perforations.

“Stretched” Design Provides Shorter Process Times

The most effective method to increase spray rates for a tablet coatign process is to increase the number of spray guns within the coating pan. An increased spray zone is accomplished by lengthening the coating pan while maintaining the same diameter. The “stretched” design can incorporate as many as ten spray guns (each spray gun capable of 300 mL/min/gun).

Additionally, the “stretched” design creates shorter process times and minimizes tablet attrition by reducing the tablet bed depth when compared to similar batch sizes in larger diameter pans.

Spray Gun to Bed Distance

Using these spray gun to bed distance guidelines will minimize your coating defects. The distance from the tablet surface to the gun placement, as outlined below, should be 20-25 cm for aqueous coatings and 15-20 cm for organic solvents.

The distance across the tablet surface and from top to bottom of the coating pan, as illustrated below, should be 1/3 to 1/2. If the distance is less than 1/3, you may blow the coatings through the bed. Additionally, you could spray dry vs coat your materials. If the distance is greater than ½, you will encounter over-wetting, tackiness, clustering and transfer of coatings to pan.

Spray Guns

It is important to assess how uniform the spray zone is covered and how well the liquid is being atomized. Freund-Vector’s uses AT spray guns system which allows for the width of the spray pattern to be modified independently of the atomization air pressure. In the illustration below, it is showing the versatility of the AT pattern adjustment (the gun is traveling from left to right).

Manifold Spray Guns: Cleaning and Change-Over Advantages

All tubes required to operate the spray guns are encased within the spray bar. A single gasket and clamp design allows for very quick change-over and cleaning. There are no flexible tubes or fittings inside the pan area. All connections are made at the end of the spray bar.

Designed for CIP/WIP

The VHC Fully Perforated HI-COATER® has a fully welded pan cabinet, eliminating seals and gaskets that are impossible to clean. During the cleaning operation, the lower cabinet is filled with water, allowing the bottom of the coating pan to soak and rotate in cleaning solution.

Product List

Fluid Beds (Lab & Pilot Systems)
Fluid Beds (Production Systems)
Roll Compaction (Lab & Pilot Systems)
Roll Compaction (Production Systems)
Tablet Coaters ( Lab & Pilot Coaters)
Tablet Coaters (Production Systems)
Spray Dryers
High Shear Mixers (Top drive systems)
High Shear Mixers (Bottom drive systems)
Control System