As well as exhibiting the latest additions to the company’s extensive range of particle analysis, rheology and analytical imaging systems for materials characterization, Malvern Instruments will highlight a new consultancy service at Powtech 2007 (27-29 March 07; Nûrnberg, Germany). In addition, members of the Malvern team will make presentations at the associated Partec 2007 congress.
In 2006, Malvern added powerful NIR (near infrared) chemical imaging technology to its Analytical Imaging portfolio of systems for materials characterization. These will make their Powtech debut in 2007, alongside the company’s established Morphologi G2 morphological imaging system. Both have particular application in pharmaceutical formulation and manufacture.
To develop and manufacture pharmaceutical products that have characteristic and reproducible performance, it is critical to optimize sample components, and understand their spatial interactions. Because it provides a window into these traits, chemical imaging of solid dosage forms is used increasingly in the pharmaceutical industry for applications ranging from formulation development to determining content uniformity to assessing coating thickness. This non-destructive analytical approach combines traditional near infrared spectroscopy with microscopic and macroscopic imaging. Just a single rapid measurement enables the identification and spatial localization of chemical species in a sample that can be correlated with a sample performance metric, such as dissolution.
The Morphologi G2 incorporates the latest optics and a high resolution digital camera to deliver particle size and shape data, and images. Based on digital image analysis and automated microscopy, the system measures particle size across a wide range, from 0.5 to 3000 microns, using circle equivalent diameter; it employs a variety of parameters for particle shape analysis. This allows determination and quantification of even subtle differences between particles. Since every particle in a sample can be individually measured and recorded, the analyzer also has applications in counting and foreign particle detection.
Process optimization consultancy
A new consultancy service from Malvern has been developed to meet the requirements of the process industries, helping manufacturers to better understand and optimize particulate processing operations. It also affords the opportunity to assess the need for permanent installation of on-line particle size analysis and determine the optimal set-up required. If a permanent on-line analysis solution is selected as a result of the study, then much of the preliminary testing and analysis normally required has already been completed. This makes installation and commissioning rapid and very straightforward, resulting in a much faster return on investment.
The 5-day package is built around Malvern’s Insitec Voyager, a fully automated, mobile on-line particle size analyzer, which is installed at the client’s site and is fully supported throughout by a Malvern process specialist. A typical programme involves: installation and optimization of sampling; measurement of the current status of the process; running defined test programs; and the generation of comprehensive reports. The aims include finding the best parameters for process control, and testing sensitivity to process change. There is an option to rent or buy the Insitec Voyager system after completion of the study.