Dryers A new Dimension of Drying, Completely Without Friction

Editor: Anke Geipel-Kern

Developing Planex System Italvacuum has invented a zero friction planetary movement eccentric agitator, which defines drying new — Designed to dry wet feed from filtration and centrifuging processes the vacuum dryer is ideal for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, fine chemicals and intermediates.

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Planex System - agitator movements
Planex System - agitator movements
(Source: Itavacuum)

Drying has to meet increasingly severe requirements, requested by the chemical and pharmaceutical productions. Energy consumption, product quality, loading flexibility and drying speed bring special challenges as well as ease of discharge and cleaning, maintenance and internal inspection. Safety for the operators, the environment and the dried batch are further requirements drying equipment has to fulfill. This make this technical operation a special art, which needs highly sophisticated machines.

Italvacuum — international manufacturer of vacuum pumps and vacuum dryers has designed and realized Planex System offering a high level of quality, productivity and safety, while minimizing energy consumption.

The drying system is a horizontal paddle vacuum dryer with eccentric agitator featuring two independent movements, allowing it to simultaneously revolve around its own axis and to rotate tangentially to the drying chamber. Designed to dry wet feed from filtration and centrifuging processes the vacuum dryer is ideal for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, fine chemicals and intermediates.

Drying in a New Way

The combined rotations of the agitator and its small size compared to the drying chamber diameter, ensures the perfect mixing of the entire batch, and allows consuming at least three times less energy than conventional dryers with a concentric agitator. This means a threefold reduction in mechanical and thermal stresses on the batch being dried.

The Planex System control software allows to automatically command the agitator movements with the Stop & Swing program. In this way, the agitator swings back and forth, thus remaining all the time immersed in the product, and guaranteeing its continuous mixing. This approach is particularly effective when processing small batches.

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Solving Old Problems

Moreover the System, thanks to its agitator’s Zero Friction planetary movement, prevents the product from being rubbed against the drying chamber walls and thus heating up due to friction, a typical problem in conventional paddle systems.

In addition, the rotation of the paddles tangentially to the chamber walls, conveys the product into the small clearance between the agitator and the chamber surface, preventing lumps formation and guaranteeing an even more effective drying and a controlled final particle size distribution, which is impossible to achieve with conventional dryers.

The minimum clearance between agitator profile and chamber walls not only prevents product build-ups, but it also makes discharge significantly easier.

In addition, there is a specific automatic program for the discharge operations. These operations are even more effective thanks to the “pendulum” movement of the agitator, which swings by 90 degrees in the discharge area.

As a result, the amount of product left in the chamber after discharge is truly minimal, averaging less than 1 % of the volume.

More Loading Flexibility

The flexible system is available with total volumes ranging from 150 to 3,200 liters. Maximum loading capacity depends on the product to be processed, and can vary from 15 % to 80 % of the chamber volume. So the system can meet all the production needs of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

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