At the end of 2009, one of the world’s largest spouted-bed granulation systems started up at Dresden-based contract manufacturer IPC. The company’s new ProCell 250 from Glatt Ingenieurtechnik provides unprecedented flexibility for agglomeration and spray granulation processes.
Glatt Ingenieurtechnik is one of the leading suppliers of systems for continuous manufacturing of granulates and pellets using fluid-bed and spouted-bed technologies. Depending on customers’ requirements, Glatt supplies either just the main granulation equipment or complete plants, including buildings. For this project Glatt delivered not just the know-how and equipment, but also the entire building complex stretching over four floors.
The ProCell 250 spouted-bed system itself stretches over three levels. On level 1 are the inlet air chambers and process chamber. Level 2 houses the expansion chamber and filter housing, while level 3 gives access to the clean gas chamber.
Solid raw materials, such as powders for agglomeration, are brought directly from the warehouse to level 1 of the plant. There, a combined discharge station for big bags and paper sacks discharges the product into dedicated containers on level 0. The containers are then carried up to level 3 by elevator, and discharged via a docking station into a gravimetric feeder.
Liquids are brought from the warehouse to level 0 and transferred to a spray tank that can also be heated. From this tank, liquids are sprayed directly into the ProCell 250 to form granulates.
The resulting granules leave the process chamber on level 1 and fall under gravity to level 0. There they are cooled if necessary in a helical vibration conveyor. The granules are then pneumatically conveyed to a screen on level 2; oversize particles are milled and pneumatically conveyed back to the ProCell 250 process chamber, together with the undersize material. Granules of the correct size, meanwhile, fall into a product silo on level 1 and thence to a big bag filling station on level 0.
For a contract manufacturing plant flexibility and ease of cleaning are of great importance. Manufacturing and technical areas are strictly separated to protect the technical area against contamination with product. Only the manufacturing area needs to be cleaned.
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