We use an FT4 Powder Rheometer from Freeman Technology which we’ve had for a couple of years now and we use it to assess every powder used. A unique attraction of the FT4 is that it measures dynamic, shear and bulk powder properties, and in fact, metrics of all three types form our routine screen… If we’re considering a new supplier or a customer brings us a new powder to print with, then we can determine with a high degree of confidence whether it will work and if so how to process it, simply from test data. Without the FT4 this just wasn’t possible.
The powder tester I use most is our powder rheometer (FT4 Powder Rheometer, Freeman Technology) because we can run a whole gamut of tests with it, and we have, for just about every powder we use. It allows me to investigate flow properties, aeration behaviour and permeability, compressibility and to generate shear data which are particularly helpful for hopper troubleshooting. And it’s easy to use as the instrument pretty much defines what you need to do…. Furthermore, it can be too easy to lose sight of just how much its costing to be sub-optimal with respect to raw materials because of incremental changes, made over time, to cope. For example, we had a legacy product that came with the advice ‘don’t change any of the materials’. Over time that became impractical and as a result tableting rates had steadily decreased by around 50%. When powder testing unlocks throughput gains like this it can easily deliver savings of up to 50 – 100 times the cost of the instrument.
The delivery of the instrument was perfect in every way. The instrument is very well designed and seems extremely robust and user friendly. But most important is the brilliant user interfacing of the system software. I've never ever had any experience with any other instrument that was so positive as with the FT4 Powder Tester. The Freeman Technology FT4 powder tester makes my days. In the pharmaceutical industry, powder characterization is often limited by the availability of rather small quantities of powder. Since a large portion of the pharmaceutical powders demonstrate a cohesive tendency, special attention needs to be paid to the design of any piece of powder characterization equipment. Seen from this perspective, the Freeman Technology FT4 powder tester has demonstrated to be my perfect partner in the powder characterization lab. Its design, functioning and user interfacing are extremely well thought of, and its analytical performance is truly superb. Moreover, at Freeman Technology a team of experts is always available for any immediate scientific and technical support. Having an FT4 powder tester in the lab, I just wonder now how in the world I ever could have worked without it.
The Freeman FT4 Powder Rheometer has become a vital part of our characterisation activities in the Formulation Development and PAT Research Centre in the Institute of Technology, Dublin. Our commercial pharmaceutical projects involve bulk characterisation measurements of both excipients and solid dose formulations. The FT4 has proven to be exceptionally reliable and capable of an impressive range of Bulk and Dynamic Powder measurements and makes a significant contribution in powder characterisation. In addition the User Interface is very intuitive and easy to use. Back up service and technical advice is very professional and the support services from Freeman are top class.
Having the FT4 powder rheometer in our laboratory has broadened our characterization capabilities and enhanced our understanding of a very specialized powder application. The archaic characterization practices of days gone by told us very little about our powder processing results as lot differences were very difficult to quantify by these methods. With the FT4, our ability to see small changes as a result of changing parameters has been greatly improved and we have a very thorough set of data from which to draw conclusions. I am very grateful for the incredible customer support which Freeman Technology supplies on a weekly basis for me. The training provided was incredibly valuable for practical aspects of using the FT4 and data interpretation. I use the FT4 to answer most all of my powder characterization questions and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you to Freeman Technologies for enriching the capabilities of my laboratory and helping us solve our applied powder application questions.
The Freeman FT-4 is excellent hardware, but the real advantage is in the software and support. It is easy (relatively) to make good laboratory hardware, but as with most pieces of equipment the secret lies in the software and ease of operation. Freeman has taken what is learned based on user feedback and incorporated this learning directly into the software. The application support after the sale is also a major factor. They truly want the users to succeed with the FT-4 in understanding the powder properties. We do not work with typical powders and they have been very helpful designing custom test procedures with us to help understand what our powder is actually going through.
The FT4 Rheometer is complementing our laboratory for 10 years, where we are using about 20 other laboratory apparatuses to determine the product properties of bulk solids. This equipment is necessary to choose the appropriate filling technology on basis of a product sample. The FT4 Rheometer enables us to determine the characteristic values of flowability quickly and reproducibly. The simple handling and the automated procedure minimize the sources of error by the operator. The results like maximum energy and torque are directly integrated in the product analysis. The results of the FT4 Rheometer are an inherent part of our product analysis. With help of the generated curve the procedure can easily be read out. This makes it easier to recognize and compare quality variations of different products. The option to aerate the product from below allows to recognize what forces are necessary to move the product in normal and aerated condition. The simple handling in shear test and the wide spectrum of applications make the FT4 absolutely essential. Except for the calibration which can be carried out independently, there is practically no maintenance needed. The FT4 Rheometer works very reliably so that we haven’t experienced any failure so far.
The FT4 Powder Rheometer has become an essential tool to investigate the flow and caking behavior of our products. It is a versatile instrument that can be adapted to our needs (aeration, shear cell testing, etc). The modularity of the software has allowed us to customize to a great level of detail with each test. Whenever needed, some accessories were available from or even custom built by Freeman Technology. Their customer service is very good, we have always had a quick response and our requests are met straight away by experts with whom communication has been very valuable.