In this interview, Stewart Bryan from Hosokawa Micron Ltd talks to AZoM about Hosokawa's huge product range, recent development and the future of the industry.
Fiirst of all, can you give a brief overview of Hosokawa Micron and your industry?
Part of the Hosokawa Micron Group of companies, the renowned world leaders in powder and particle technology, Hosokawa Micron Ltd offers a single source supply for integrated powder processing systems and component machinery from its base in the UK.
With a range of heritage machinery brands including Alpine, Hosokawa Bepex, Hosokawa Rietz, Micron, Schugi, Vrieco-Nauta and Stott, the company is associated industry wide with engineering expertise and excellence and the capability to develop individual processing solutions.
From their renowned processing and engineering background, Hosokawa Micron has pioneered developments in high containment and nanotechnology. In support of industry demands for product and personnel protection from potentially harmful particulates and for new techniques in the creation of engineered particles, these developments offer real commercial opportunities for those seeking unique yet practical processing solutions.
Hosokawa Micron Ltd operate in industrial sectors including pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical, cosmetics, food, confectionery, pigment, powder coating, plastics, toner, minerals, detergent, metal powders and ceramics.
What kinds of products do Hosokawa Micron supply?
Hosokawa Micron design, manufacture and install a wide range of powder and particle processing equipment for size reduction, air classification, agglomeration and compaction, mixing and blending, drying, containment, laboratory analysis and the production of nanopowders.
What makes your products' capabilities unique compared to other manufacturers?
At Hosokawa Micron Ltd we work closely with customers, offering the flexibility to design and manufacture bespoke equipment and integrated processing solutions to meet specific requirements. Hosokawa Micron’s add-on services such as data mining and accurate and affordable on-line, real time particle size analysis enable us to assist in optimisation of processes, energy conservation and reduced wastage and rationalisation of resources.
This all round approach and capability enables customers to work with a single source supplier rather than a range of disparate and diverse suppliers to provide a streamlined and transparent solution to processing problems and advancements.
What sort of customers typically use your equipment?
Hosokawa Micron customers include blue chip multi-nationals keen to develop new products through leading edge technology for whom consistent, high quality results that offer a competitive edge are essential. Often such companies are seeking a long term partnership with a reliable and confidential associate with whom they can work closely.
Other customers include those companies seeking a one-off project solution or smaller companies who need to cost effective standard engineering solutions from a trusted source using renowned equipment with an established reputation.
Regardless of their needs all of Hosokawa Micron’s customers are welcomed and treated equally and have access to the full range of equipment units, engineering expertise and processing knowledge plus the support of the company’s in house test facilities and those of other Hosokawa Micron companies around the world.
What are the most popular applications that your products are used for?
With a range of over 500 products which range from laboratory to bulk production size, applications are diverse. Many products available from Hosokawa Micron have become industry standards whilst others retain unique industry applications across different industry sectors.
Hosokawa Micron is constantly developing new equipment and processing technology to meet changing customer demands, often pushing the boundaries in new scientific areas such as biotechnology, nutraceuticals, particle design and containment of potentially harmful airborne contaminants.
What have been the most recent changes in your product line?
Hosokawa Micron is constantly developing new equipment and technology for the protection of product and personnel, to maintain a pioneering lead in high level containment. Our latest developments have been in 5D containment screens for use within downflow booths that allow handling of products down to OEB 6; flexible, multi-cell isolators for the contained handling of toxic APIs to OEL levels below 1µg/m3 and rapid deployment flexible compact isolators for use in the field.
We are constantly developing our range of technologies for the manufacture of functional nanopowders including the coating, dispersion, mixing, fusion Mechano Chemical Bonding, shape control, agglomeration, nanogrinding and measurement techniques involved in commercialising nanotechnology and nanomaterials. Material advancements in this area have resulted in the development of new more powerful fuel cells, new drug delivery systems and many other process fields.
Within our range of size reduction equipment Hosokawa Micron continue to develop equipment and integrated processes for the size reduction of difficult to handle products such as sugar, chocolate and fibrous and corrosive para-aramide fibres.
Are there any big product developments in the pipeline for the near future?
In response to the increased market requirement for lab sized equipment that can easily be scaled up to production size, Hosokawa Micron is developing its Picoline range of eight individual machines designed for the production of very small batches, from under a gram up to several grams.
Because the principle of operation of the Picoline machines is the same as that of large production scale machines, R&D departments can be confident that the transfer of a manufacturing process developed using a Picoline machine to a production scale machine will be smooth and problem free. With machines for size reduction, classifying and mixing in the Picoline series, Hosokawa Micron is able to offer the widest wet and dry processing options for ultra small scale production on the market.
What advancements and major developments in the field do you foresee in the next few years?
As the demand for nano scale powders and bioscience products increases Hosokawa Micron believes the complex issues of product containment and personnel protection will lead further and rapid advancement in containment technologies. The requirement to design bespoke solutions that include aseptic designs and full CIP is already apparent and something that we are actively developing alongside customers working across a range of advanced industries.
The escalation in costs of raw materials and energy is leading increased development of process optimization with, we believe, developments in the technology increasingly driven by the focus on getting the best out of existing plants, eliminating costly wastage and ensuring consistently high quality end product.
Where can we find more information about Hosokawa?
You can find more about our products on the Hosokawa website, or get in touch with us directly on [email protected].
About Stewart Bryan
Stewart Bryan is Business Team Manager/Commercial Manager at Hosokawa Micron Ltd and is involved with the on-going development of Hosokawa Micron’s nanotechnology product portfolio and the advancement of nano particle technologies across a range of processing industries.
Hosokawa Micron’s team of experienced powder and particle processing engineers work closely with customers to commercialise nanotechnology to deliver a response with real competitive advantage.
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