Pharmaceutical Mixers: The Ultimate FAQ Guide
What is Pharmaceutical Mixer?
This is a machine used for mixing pharmaceutical products that are in powder, granular, or liquid form.
It can be used to mix even products that do not usually mix easily.
The machine helps in breaking down large molecules into smaller ones so that they can easily harmonize.
What is Pharmaceutical Mixer used for?
The machine is used for mixing pharmaceutical products in the laboratory.
It mixes granules with granules, granules with powder, liquid with liquid, liquid with powder, and powder with powder.
It is also used to emulsify, blend, and break down large molecular particles into smaller ones.
How Does Pharmaceutical Mixer Compare to Pharmaceutical Bin?
- Pharmaceutical Bin can be used together with other pharmaceutical equipment.
- The Bin is used to carry the products and ensures the flow of the product as predetermined.
On the other hand, the mixer is used to blend products evenly so that they can harmonize well.
- They both guarantee reduced pollution and contamination of products since both operate while closed.
- Both are made from stainless steel, thus making them easy to clean and maintain.
- Both are used in the pharmaceutical production process.
- They are both subject to the international quality standards for pharmacopeia like CGMP.
What is a Multi-directional Motion Mixer?
This is a mixer that has a drum moving in different directions during operation.
The movement makes the already mixed materials to flow from one location to another within the machine.
Moreover, the random motion of the drum ensures that all components mix evenly.
With this type of equipment, de-mixing issues are minimal.
This machine has a smooth surface that makes it efficient in mixing the products.
In addition to this, it is easy to clean and maintain. It also guarantees minimum contamination of the product and poses less environmental pollution since it operates while closed.
How many Types of Pharmaceutical Mixers are there?
There are several types of mixers used by pharmaceutical companies.
Below are some of them.
This type of mixer is used to mix liquids only.
It is not ideal for thick and highly viscous products.
The agitator helps in mixing miscible liquids, gas into a liquid, and mixing those that cannot easily mix.
· Ribbon Blender
The equipment is used to mix heavy solids that are free-flowing.
Its structure entails a cylinder and long ribbon-like paddles that rotate around a central axis.
Pharmaceutical powders are blended using this type of mixer.
· Paddle Mixer
This type of machine is somewhat similar to Ribbon blender except for some slight difference.
It has blades in paddle-shaped that protrude from the axis just like sheer ribbons in a ribbon blender.
The paddle mixer is used to mix products that are dry and friable.
It can also mix wet, dry, and other viscous liquid pharmaceutical products
· Static Mixers
This machine is unique since it has no moving parts.
It is designed with obstructions, which are ribbon-like inside the cylinder where the liquid flows.
When the liquid is flowing inside the cylinder, the obstruction cuts the flow, forcing it to mix and blend evenly.
The inline mixers attached to the flow tubes promote liquid homogeneity without the use of any source of power.
Also, this machine does not require any servicing since all the parts are not movable. This makes it very cost-effective to maintain.
This machine is used to mix liquids that are immiscible, like water and oil.
During the mixing process, pressure is applied to the two immiscible liquids.
They are then made to pass through tiny filters that aid in breaking the large molecules into smaller ones.
For example, cream has larger fat molecules as compared to milk.
When they pass through the tiny filters, they are broken into smaller molecules, the same size as milk molecules.
The emulsification process sometimes requires the use of emulsifying agents or subjecting the mixture to fast shearing.
This equipment is used to mix two liquids by subjecting them to pressure and great force.
This leads to the proper mixing of the liquids.
The machine has erected shearing blades that blend within a sealed container that runs at a very high speed.
· Drum mixer
It is available in numerous categories.
The drum where mixing takes place can either be portable or not.
This machine can be used to blend both low and medium viscous products like cough syrups, ointments, and body creams.
· Heavy-duty mixers
These include planetary and multi-shaft mixers.
They are capable of mixing highly viscous products that are above 750,000 centipoises.
· Tumble Blender
The machine is used to mix powder, solid, and sometimes liquids.
When the machine tumbles, the products are moved up and down.
The force of gravity aids in breaking and mixing the materials very effectively.
What are the Benefits of Pharmaceutical Mixers?
- They aid in the thorough mixing of pharmaceutical products by breaking down large molecular particles into smaller ones.
- Some of these machines can mix even the immiscible liquids like water and oil, or cream and milk.
- These machines make the mixing process very easy and efficient, resulting in high production.
- They, therefore, lead to higher returns for the pharmaceutical companies.
- The machine guarantees the safety of the products by protecting them from any external contamination since it operates while closed.
- Also, it minimizes the chances of environmental pollution that usually arise due to dust from the products being mixed.
- These machines have helped to reduce the reliance on human labor that may be expensive and unreliable when mixing large quantities of products.
What is a Ribbon Mixer?
Ribbon mixer is a mixer machine with a thin ribbon-shaped metal that does the mixing task.
It is connected to power, and the ribbon agitator rotates to mix the products.
There are two types of ribbon mixers; Vertical and Horizontal.
The vertical ribbon mixer has a vertical screw that moves the products to the top and then falls back.
This process is repeated, thus aiding in the mixing of the materials.
The horizontal one is made of paddles that are connected to the rotor.
As it rotates, it does mixing efficiently and consistently within a short time.
How does a Ribbon Mixer Work?
The operator fills the mixer to 50% volume to allow for the efficient operation of the equipment.
Next, set the time and speed, then switch on the power to run the machine.
Then, the ribbon powered outside the container moves in one direction while the middle part of the ribbon moves in the opposite direction.
The cylinder and long ribbon-like paddles rotate around a central axis resulting in evenly mixed powder.
After the materials are mixed, the mixer discharges them.
What is a V-shell Blender?
V shell blender
This is a type of Tumbler blender. It is also called twin shell blender.
It depends on the force of gravity to mix the products.
The machine is very efficient and cost-effective.
It has two cylinders joined at an angle of between 75 and 90 degrees.
The container where the products are charged is located on a pivoting point that allows it to rotate.
When the equipment tumbles, the products break and recombine to break even further.
Mixing happens as the materials freely flow inside the container.
As this continues, it results in a homogenously blended mixture.
V-shell blenderis ideal, particularly where precise blend formulation of products is required.
Usually, the standard blend time ranges between 5 to 15 minutes.
This may be influenced by the properties of the product being blended.
What are the Critical Components of Pharmaceutical Mixers?
The main components include material vacuum loader, shear mixer granular, and fluid bed drier.
Cone mill, IBC bin blender, bin loader, and powder transfer system are also some of the critical components.
Which Industries use Pharmaceutical Mixer?
Many industries use the pharmaceutical mixer.
- Adhesives and sealant industries use this application to mix their products.
- The agricultural industry has also found this application useful in mixing its products.
For example, it is used to mix animal nutrition, medicines, and chemicals among others
- Sewerage companies also use the machine to purify dirty water and to convert wastewater into clean energy.
- Oil and gas industries use mixers to safely mix their products, including the explosive ones.
- Cosmetic industries also use this application to mix their products like shampoo, gels, creams, glycerin, among others.
- This machine is being used by chemical industries to mix chemicals.
- Industries manufacturing ink, paint, and coatings have also benefited from the use of this mixer.
- Mixing of food and beverages is also done using this mixer.
For instance, fruits are blended using this technology.
- Pharmaceutical companies are not left out.
For example, oral suspension, Saline solutions, therapy creams and lotions, and cough syrups are blended using this application.
- Brewing industries use it to mix their products.
How does Pharmaceutical Mixer Work?
Pour or charge Powder, liquid or granules into a U-shaped container and lock.
Set the mixing time and speed and begin to run the equipment.
The impeller and chopper rotate the blade, paddle, or screw attached to the container at high speed.
This results in rising, whirling, and tumbling movement of the materials inside the cylinder.
During this rotation period, there is shear and diffusive transportation of these materials resulting in a thorough mix.
The process of mixing dry products takes 3-5 minutes, while wet mixing takes 5-10 minutes.
This largely depends on the ingredient quantity, their physical characteristics, and the size of their particles.
On reaching the set time, the mixing container automatically stops, and the mixture is discharged from the cylinder.
What Features should you look for when Importing Pharmaceutical Mixer?
- The machine should be highly efficient. It should work at a relatively high speed, accurately, minimize loss of products during mixing and consume less power.
This leads to high production and good returns to the industry.
- The machine should guarantee safety to its users during operation.
The following are some of the safety measures that can help guide you when you want to import this mixer.
- All rotating parts must be safely and securely clamped together to prevent the cylinder from falling off the machine.
- The machine must have sensors so that it can be stopped when there is a need.
- It should have an electric cut out. This will protect the equipment from electric fault and overloading, which may lead to the motor drawing more current.
- The machine should have isolated moving parts to prevent users from accessing the driving motor shaft and gears during operation.
- It should have an emergency stopwatch that can help in stopping the mixer in times of emergency.
- The auto-lock system should also be integrated into this machine. This aids in locking the cylinder before mixing and automatically unlocks after mixing is done.
- The machine should have an interlocking system that will ensure it does not begin to operate before locking the bin. This system promotes the sequential operation of the machine.
- There should be no dead angles or exposed screws. This prevents the operators from any accidents that may be caused by screws.
3. The equipment should produce less noise and be dust-free to eliminate air pollution.
4. The pharmaceutical mixer should be durable.
This guarantees high returns on investment because there will be no need for time to time repairs.
The machine should be made from stainless steel and FDA approved materials.
5. It must be cGMP and CE compliant.
6. The machine should be able to mix different products with different chemical compositions.
The mixing system should have lifting motors, gear transmission system, and reducers.
The rotary body should be made from high carbon steel and all product contact parts made from stainless steel.
7. These pharmaceutical mixers should have a reliable and efficient electrical control system that is easy to use and maintain.
8. The equipment should allow the operator to have complete control over it during the mixing process.
For instance, the user should be able to set mixing time, speed, determine phase angle, and change rotary motion.
9. The pharmaceutical mixer should be flexible in terms of its design.
The flexibility of this machine enables the user to increase mixing capacity.
Is there a Maximum Degree of Roughness for Pharmaceutical Mixer?
The laboratory mixer has high-quality polish on both the inside and outside surfaces.
The inside surface roughness degree is Ra≤0.2μm, and the outer is Ra≤0.4μm.
Pharmaceutical Mixer is made from which Material?
Stainless steel is used to make pharmaceutical product contact parts.
The rotary body is made from carbon steel, which is also rustproof.
Which Parameters determine the Efficiency of Pharmaceutical Mixer?
- The physical properties of the products intended for mixing like; density, distribution, wettability, stickiness.
- Nature of the product – Products with rough surfaces enter the pores of other products, thus mixing very easily.
- Size of particles – Having different sizes of particles results in the separation of particles. The smaller ones settle in-between the larger ones. When the particle sizes decrease to the same size, they begin to mix readily.
- The shape of the particles – Particles with spherical shape usually mix well. The ones with irregular shapes may inter-lock, leading to difficulty in separating them once mixed.
- Particle charge – Products that produce attractive force as a result of electrostatic charges on them may separate and not mix well.
- Selection of high-quality machine- It should be efficient, cost-effective, and consistent.
What is Pharmaceutical Mixer Quality Standards?
The cGMP requires that the mixer machine must have tight mechanical seals.
It must have characteristics that enable it to handle dust and maintain appropriate hygienic condition at all times.
This is why it is made of stainless steel, which is easy to clean.
Clean in Place (CIP) is integrated into the mixer machine to clean the mixer from time to time automatically.
Sterilizing in Place (SIP) sterilizes the mechanical seals, impellers, and other accessories.
FDA CFR Good manufacturing practices states that all pharmaceutical mixers should be made from strong, hygienic, and rustproof materials.
AISI 316 material is ideal for parts that come into contact with the products being mixed.
ASME BPE standard for bioprocessing – A pharmaceutical mixer must be manufactured in a way that is internationally accepted for the processing of biopharmaceutical products.
ASME BPE must be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
USP Class VI- This is an endorsement by United States Pharmacopeia to ensure the pharmaceutical products being mixed are safe for human use.
The USP Class VI ensures that the mixer is good, clean, strong, and consistent in its performance.
The mixer must be made from biocompatible materials.
How does the Ribbon Mixer compare to V-Mixer?
With the Ribbon mixer, the ribbon outside and the middle part inside the container moves in opposite directions.
This prompts the rotation of ribbon-like paddles around a central axis leading to the mixing of materials.
On the other hand, the V-mixer does the mixing when the centrally placed container on a pivot rotates.
This helps to facilitate product breakage and recombination until the materials begin to freely flow inside the container.
Is there a difference between Pharmaceutical Blenders and Pharmaceutical Mixers?
There is no difference between the two.
There are different types of pharmaceutical blenders /mixers that work with different materials, at varying temperatures, and with different consistencies.
How do you Charge and Discharge Material from Pharmaceutical Mixer?
Charging is done through the ends of the apex into the mixing tank manually.
Discharge can also be done manually after mixing is done.
Alternatively, both charging and discharging can also be done automatically if the equipment is automated using a content loader.
What is a Liquid Mixer Agitator?
This is an equipment that is used to stir liquids so that they can blend well.
It can be used by food, chemicals, paper, and pulp industries.
It can also be used by Pharmaceutical industries to stir up liquid medicines.
Is Pharmaceutical Homogenizer same as Pharmaceutical Mixer?
Pharmaceutical homogenizer is one of the types of pharmaceutical mixers.
Pharmaceutical Homogenizers are used to reduce pharmaceutical products into smaller sizes to enhance function.
It makes the mixed drugs scalable, thus making it cost-effective.
Homogenizers help in the production of molecules like emulsions and dispersions of pharmaceutical products.
However, there are other pharmaceutical mixers that perform other functions in addition to these, like vacuum processing and blending.
These cannot be done by homogenizers.
How does Double Cone Blender compare to Octagonal Blender?
Double cone blender
- They are both designed in compliance with GMP.
- Both of them are used to mix granular products that do not need a high shearing force.
- The Octagonal blender machines have baffles that aid quick and accurate mixing, faster charging, and discharge ports and valves.
The Double cone blender also does mixing and blending quickly irrespective of the different specific gravities.
- They are flexible types of mixers, easy to clean and maintain.
- Double cone and Octagonal blenders are charged with products and locked before running them and discharged after mixing is done.
- These machines’ parts that have contact with the products are made from AISI 316.
- The outer parts made from AISI 304.
- Both of them have electric control panels with cycle time.
How many Mixing Mechanisms Exist in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
Mechanisms for mixing are dependent on the forms of dosage types they handle.
The dosage types include: solids, liquids, and semi-solid pharmaceutical products
· Solid Mixing
This is affected by the physical properties of solid products being mixed.
The features include material density, stickiness, wettability, particle size, and shape of the pharmaceutical product being mixed.
· Mixing of Liquids
This is done in two stages. Applying enough shear to the particles called localized mixing and taking all material parts through a shearing zone called general movement.
The later mechanism ensures a uniform final mixture.
Mixing of liquids is done through Bulk transport, turbulent flow, and laminar flow and Molecular diffusion mechanisms
· Semi-solid Mixing
The mechanism used in this case depends on the various characteristics of the products.
They form neutral mixtures which may not segregate but may yield to sedimentation.
Here, sigma blade mixer, triple-roller mill, and planetary mixers are commonly used.