10/10/2011 • Mechanical process technology

Continuous Fluid Bed Equipment with Wash In Place – WIP

Answering to the trend in the industry, Glatt is supplying production size equipment with automatic cleaning systems since several years. Fluid bed and spouted bed units of Glatt are used to produce or improve granules and pellets. Spray granulation, agglomeration, coating and encapsulation are the most common processes. Now it is possible to test the cleanability of the equipment in all scales – starting from the lab unit ProCell LabSystem.

At Powtech 2011 Glatt will show a new feature of the largest mobile lab unit – a WIP system. The ProCell LabSystem is now equipped with cleaning nozzles in the filter plate and in the processing chamber, which clean the unit without the need to open it.

Two different filter types can be used in the ProCell LabSystem – pleated cartridges and washable filter bags.

The Cartridges are only precleaned in the unit – the narrow places in the pleats must be cleaned manually. Still the WIP system makes sure the operator does not get in contact with the dry dust.

The filter bags can be completely cleaned in the unit. As with all cleaning process the result depends on the product. Sticky or swelling materials may not be washed out by the WIP completely. For this reason it is important to get the cleaning experience already during process development. The WIP bag filters have the same design as the filter bags in production units. Hence one can see the applicability of WIP already at an early stage.

As an additional advantage the WIP system makes the cleaning of the laboratory unit faster and easier.

Test the wash in place in the Glatt technology center in Weimar 
The WIP system can also be tested with the ProCell LabSystem in the Glatt technology center in Weimar, e.g. after feasibility trials for process development.

Further trials for the cleanability can be done on the pilot unit ProCell/GF 25. With this spouted bed/fluid bed unit both filter types can be tested. The pleated cartridges are taken out to the side, the filter bags are cleaned in the unit. These tests run under the same conditions as in production scale units.

WIP systems in Production units 
Successful cleaning tests in lab and pilot scale units are the ideal basis for WIP in production scale. Of course the success must be proven in this scale. Glatt can offer excellent references for the application of WIP. Several of our customers clean their continuous fluid bed granulators without taking out the filter bags. Depending on the product and the frequency of cleaning the technical details as well as the recipe of the cleaning agent and the cleaning sequences are adapted. The WIP process is custom designed, as we always custom design the production process.

Especially when designing production units for multiple products or for hygienic applications technical design details are of importance. Glatt is cooperating with the EHEDG (European hygiene engineering design group) to develop guidelines for the hygienic design of solid handling process equipment – and of course Glatt is following these guidelines.

Glatt at the der Powtech in hall 5, booth 352

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Glatt Ingenieurtechnik GmbH

Nordstr. 12
99427 Weimar

Phone: +49/(0)3643/47-0
Fax: +49/(0)3643/47-1231