QbCon® 1 – First Continuous Granulator with Integrated Truly Continuous Dryer

With QbCon® 1, LB Bohle presents a means for solids production in the pharmaceutical industry to combine the three processes of continuous raw material dosing (mixing of excipients and active ingredients), continuous twin-screw moist granulation and continuous drying in one plant including integrated control.

QbCon 1 is designed for a throughput of 0.5 kg / h to 2,5 kg / h, so that the system can be used for R&D of new drugs where only very small quantities of unique active ingredients are available.

QbCon1 meets the main quality requirements of continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry regarding:

    • short residence times of the granules in the dryer with simultaneous narrow residence time distribution (“plug flow”, with extremely low back-mixing of particles);
    • traceability of the materials used (excipients and active ingredients) in a continuous process;
    • uniform, reproducible drying of all granule particles of different sizes;
    • long service life of the exhaust air filters, without interruption of the drying process or filter change.
    • Revolutionary system for solids production

Currently, only quasi-continuous dryers operating in batches exist on the supplier market for the pharmaceutical industry. These systems are prone to filter blocking, which leads to frequent process interruptions, cleaning or replacement of the filters.

With the QbCon 1, the first real-continuous dryer with a long uninterrupted process time (> 8 h, “24/7”) is now available.

The unique selling point of QbCon 1 lies in the real-continuous dryer. Although there are several semi-continuous or quasi-continuous dryers (with several drying chambers operating in parallel) for granules on the market now, none of them meets the high-quality requirements of the pharmaceutical industry.

QbCon 1 with technical edge

A new principle of filter cleaning keeps the filter surface for the exhaust air permanently clear. For the first time ever, continuous drying can be carried out permanently and without interrupting the process.

QbCon 1 works without process interruption or disturbance. All critical process parameters of dosing, granulation and drying are always constant throughout the entire period. A noteworthy benefit is the small number of granules in the exhaust air filters. This is due to the extremely low fluidization of the granules in the dryer. During cleaning, the filters are completely free of product residue.

Efficient drying

Regarding the moisture content of the dried granules, QbCon 1 achieves a constant and reproducible result, which is particularly important for a continuous process. The drying is so effective and efficient than some of the granules showed moisture content which was below that of the raw material.

In addition to residual moisture, a consistent granule size distribution is important for further processing of the granules. The continuous granulation and drying process in QbCon 1 leads to constant granule sizes, which are not changed by the gentle drying process. The residence time of the granules in the dryer is the time during which the moist granules are exposed to the drying air flow. A constant residence time distribution is therefore decisive for consistent drying results.

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