QbCon® 1 and BCD Dryer for Continuous Manufacturing

Leading trade fairs are in fact the place to present new products, and that is what LB Bohle had planned as well: the new QbCon® 1 and first truly continuous dryer BCD were to celebrate their world premieres at Interphex in the USA and Interpack in Düsseldorf.

“Due to the cancellation or postponement of the two trade fairs, we are unfortunately not able to present the new systems to the public on a large scale,” says Sales Director Tim Remmert regretfully. “Nevertheless, the two innovations are available to our customers with immediate effect,” Remmert continues.

LB Bohle still sees great potential in the field of continuous manufacturing. Over the past five years, the company has intensified its activities in this area with high investments in product development, personnel and infrastructure. For Remmert it is clear that “by introducing continuous production processes, our customers increase their process, user safety and, above all, general product quality.”

QbCon 1: the perfect start to continuous production

QbCon 1 was already presented to the public for the first time at Achema 2018. In the two years since then, the unit has been successfully used in practice, providing important insights into the research and development of companies. The further developed QbCon® 1 revolutionizes the processes of continuous wet granulation and drying that have been common in pharmaceutical production until now. “QbCon® 1 enables a truly continuous granulation and drying process for the first time. Our patented fluid bed drying system guarantees the material flow from the raw material to the dried granule in a closed continuous operation,” reports Dr Robin Meier (Manager Scientific Operations). “The fully automatic cleaning of the filter during the drying process is possible for the first time,” says Dr Meier, emphasizing the advantage over the competitors.

QbCon 1 guarantees gentle and uniform drying through gentle fluidization and conveying for the first time.

QbCon 1 offers users further advantages in terms of process quality and handling:

  • Gentle, uniform drying through gentle fluidization and conveying
  • Uniform conveying of the granule from feeding to discharge
  • Very short residence time of granules in different particle sizes
  • Rapid development of new products – secured scale-up
  • Convenient handling and easy cleaning

Granule drying with the BCD continuous fluid bed dryer

“Constant and continuous drying must be guaranteed to seamlessly connect to continuous wet granulation. With the BCD continuous fluid bed dryer, L.B. Bohle now enables the continuous drying of granules for the first time,” states Dr Meier, focusing on the second innovation. Until now, dryers only existed on the market that did not meet the requirements of continuous drying. “They only form sub-batches. However, in the BCD, we implement a truly continuous process without interruptions,” explains Dr Meier. The results from the laboratory scale are also easily scalable to production size.

Continuously produced wet granules fall gravimetrically into the dryer without any further necessary transport steps and are then dried in a continuous process. The constant conveying of the wet granules from the dryer inlet towards its outlet is achieved by a controllable movement. This ensures gentle and very uniform drying. The movement is so gentle that there is almost no resulting back-mixing and all granules (even in different particle sizes) are dried for the same length of time. Innovative product filters guarantee service lives of days without having to interrupt the continuous granulation process. As a result, there is no loss of quality, even with finely micronized drugs.

For Remmert “the BCD fluid bed dryer is the ideal tool for the continuous manufacturing of high-quality products on a laboratory and production scale.” The implementation of Process Analytical Technology (PAT), for example for the constant in-line determination of the granule moisture content and for feedback control of the process, also ensures process and product quality. The BCD can be used within the QbCon 1 laboratory machine for throughputs of 0.25-2.5 kg/h or for production sizes up to 25 kg/h. It is available in different sizes to make production more efficient and higher quality.

No formation of sub-batches: the BCD is the only fully continuous dryer on the market.

Advantages of the BCD continuous fluid bed dryer:

  • Fully continuous drying without the formation of sub-batches for the first time
  • Simple set-up and convenient operation
  • Very long service life of the product filters without the need to interrupt the process
  • PAT probes only in contact with dry product – no unwanted product adhesion
  • Very short mean residence times and narrow residence time distributions
  • Small in-process volume
  • Selective rejection of “bad product” possible
  • Four degrees of freedom to control the drying process
  • Uniform drying across all particle sizes
  • Gentle drying process: No formation of fines in the process, even for highly porous granules
  • Extremely fast execution of experimental designs with minimum product expenditure for rapid product development

For more information, please fill out the enquiry form attached to this page.

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