In This Issue -
Spring 2015 Newsletter
Two quite different events over the last quarter have combined to highlight the importance of working to agreed and well-understood standards. One was the successful completion of our latest ISO 9001 audit; the other the release of a new ASTM standard for shear cell testing with the FT4 (see below for more details).
Quality standards help to provide a good foundation for fair competition and recognise those who bring rigor to their activities. Companies like ours, whose products deliver information, are only too aware of the value to our customers of data integrity – whether the results are being used to advance a research programme, or to ensure finished product quality. Working to agreed standards, in instrument design and manufacture, or testing, provides the assurance needed for the confident use of data. Though these two standards are very different, I welcome progress in both areas, and the associated external validation of our work.
ASTM D7891 'Standard Test Method for Shear Testing of Powders using the Freeman Technology FT4 Powder Rheometer', provides a new reference for anyone looking to exploit the shear testing capabilities of the FT4. Published by Subcommittee D18.24 on Characterization and Handling of Powders and Bulk Solids, this new standard details the apparatus and procedures for determining parameters such as Cohesion, Unconfined Yield Strength and Flow Function. Its publication recognises the need for clearly defined shear testing methodologies and the associated features of the FT4 that address the specific challenges of this technique.
If you own or are considering investing in an FT4 Powder Rheometer then you’re part of a community that is growing more rapidly than ever before. Q1 saw record sales with a steady stream of FT4s departing headquarters, destined for laboratories and production environments across the globe. The rise in numbers appears to be directly related to increased awareness of the value that powder processors can derive from the information that the instrument delivers, but undoubtedly is also due to the hard work of our global team.
‘The Value of Powder Testing’ is the third instalment in our series of information booklets covering core aspects of powder testing. It addresses questions such as: what makes powder test data valuable and how can I identify ways in which powder testing might deliver an economic return? Example studies show how to estimate potential gains when justifying capital expenditure. The other titles in the series are ‘An Introduction to Powders’ and ‘Choosing a Powder Tester’.
A new distribution partner for the Nordic region
Freeman Technology is very pleased to welcome Powder Development as our exclusive distribution partner for the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The company is headed by Christer Rosen, who is well-known in the region for his expertise in the field of powder characterisation and its industrial application, so I know that our Nordic customers will enjoy exemplary local support. Contact Christer at Powder Development by email or meet him in person at September’s powder technology course at Lund University…
Upcoming course at Lund University: How well do you know your powder?
Knowing your powder sufficiently well to understand how it will behave in specific processes is the overarching theme for a course at Lund University, Sweden in September. ‘Powder Technology in Pharma, Food, Chemistry and Metallurgy’ will run from September 9 to 11, 2015 and is open to anyone working with powders in industry or academia, from R&D through to production. Click here to apply.
In mid-February Tim Freeman presented to the FDA on the subject of ‘Modern Methods of Characterizing Powder Flow Properties’. With a well-publicised agenda of promoting Quality by Design and re-invigorating pharmaceutical manufacturing in the US, the FDA continues to encourage the adoption of new analytical technologies via, for example, the Process Analytical Technology initiative. The key theme of the talk was how the FT4 Powder Rheometer can add value in the pharmaceutical industry across R&D and formulation, through process development and scale-up and into commercial manufacture / product QC.
Our collaborative work with GEA continues, with the aim of identifying powder properties that are measurable at the granulation stage of a tableting process and which will predict finished tablet quality. The latest results reveal a direct correlation between the flow properties of granules produced in GEA’s ConsiGma™1 continuous granulation unit and tablet hardness, a critical quality attribute. These results are helping to confirm the potential application of dynamic powder testing as an at-line PAT for continuous tablet manufacture. For the latest update on this project go to http://goo.gl/0aBVX2
With our office in China now firmly established we’re pleased to be strengthening other resources for the region. This quarter saw the launch of our Chinese language website which provides authoritative information on all aspects of powder testing, presented in a straightforward, easy to understand way. The address for the new website is: http://www.freemantech.com.cn.
First seminar hosted by Shanghai office
In early April we hosted a seminar in Shanghai entitled ‘Understanding Powder Flow and Powder Behaviour’. The seminar was well-attended with delegates from the ceramics, toners, food, pharmaceutical and additive manufacturing sectors. Please click here to read an Antpedia interview, with Tim Freeman, from the event.
Our plans for Achema 2015 (June 15th – 19th, Frankfurt, Germany) are well advanced and we hope to see many of you there. Stop by Stand 4.2 L36 to discuss any aspect of powder handling or to pick up a copy of ‘The Value of Powder Testing’. Alternatively why not attend our presentation on the importance of powder flow in the ‘Argument’ suite in Hall 3.C, West Side of Messe, Frankfurt, on the morning of Wednesday 17th June. Please click here for more information.