Following a number of convincing trials over the past year, SDTech, a company specialising in the micronisation and analysis of powders, has opted to routinely use a dedicated Insitec Voyager system for on-line particle size analysis. This marks a new phase in the company's collaboration with Malvern Panalytical, whose range of Insitec laser diffraction systems provides continuous process monitoring solutions across many different manufacturing industries.
Insitec Voyager is an easily connected, mobile particle size analyzer capable of tracking even rapidly changing processes. It has been used successfully by SDTech to optimise conditions for contract grinding applications and to develop customised micronisation solutions. Permanent access to an Insitec Voyager will accelerate this work and allow SDTech to offer training on the use and benefits of continuous particle size measurement.
Commenting on the company's experience Dr Jalil Benabdillah, CEO from SDTech said, "Although we have used Malvern Panalytical particle size analyzers off line for some time, on-line measurement has brought a new dimension to our work. It allows us to observe in real time how process variables influence particle size, making it much easier to move quickly to an optimal operating point. For our feasibility study this reduces the amount of test material needed. Now we often require less than one or two kilograms, whereas before it would more usually have been between 50 to 100 kilograms. This is a major benefit for our customers, especially at the early stages of development, when material is often scarce, or for high value materials."
For SDTech, each new contract presents a new process optimisation challenge. Cutting the time taken to identify the operating conditions needed to assure efficient manufacture of in-specification powders improves productivity as well as reducing the amount of feed material required.
The introduction of new training in the use of on-line particle size measurement for process control and optimisation is a welcome innovation for customers of both SDTech and Malvern Panalytical. Complementing Malvern Panalytical's existing consultancy service, which is an authoritative tailored package that combines dedicated expertise with an in situ Voyager trial, the SDTech training will offer those interested in on-line particle sizing an alternative introduction to the technology. The new training program demonstrates what has been achieved using real-time measurement and the wide applicability of the Insitec solution.
Insitec Voyager is a mobile laser diffraction particle size analyzer for dry streams that contain particles in the size range 0.1 to 1000 microns. It is easily attached to any process line with appropriate tappings and measures up to four complete particle size distributions per second, thereby providing an ideal data stream for automated process control.