The reduction in the size of particles in pharmaceutical production is very essential. Reduction actually increases the bulkiness and solubility of pharmaceutical tablets. It also enhances the effectiveness and strength of said medication.
In reducing the size of pharmaceutical agents, manufacturers employ different methods from crushing, milling, grinding, cutting, chopping and micronizing. It is understood that pharmaceutical manufacturing lines are not complete without a grinding mill for managing active and inactive ingredients for the production of pharmaceutical tablets and by-products.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies use differing milling equipment, taking into consideration the particle size distribution, the properties of the ingredients, the capacity of the mill and the rate that it can produce the pharmaceutical products. Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies can choose from ball mills, field energy mills, cone mills, turbo mills and hammer mills.
Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used grinding mills in the pharmaceutical industry:
A ball mill is a type of pharmaceutical grinding mill which uses either rubber, porcelain, metal or steel balls. The ball mill usually contains differing sizes and diameters of balls. It can also have wet or dry designs. Ball mills actually reduce the size of pharmaceutical agents through impact and attrition. Initially, the active ingredients are flattened by the colliding balls.
The ball mill is an effective tool in grinding delicate, brittle and sticky materials. However, milling with ball mills is lengthy and time consuming. Cleaning also takes a significant amount of time – requiring at least a week. The ball mill is also a noisy machine with comparably low working efficiency.
Fluid Energy Mill
The fluid energy mill is also referred to as a pulverizing mill. It is also used to reduce particle size through impact and attrition. This is done by injecting high speed compressed fluid through a nozzle at the bottom of the chamber. This causes collision of the particles often used in the making of pharmaceutical ingredients. This type of mill is used in the production of antibiotics, vitamins, and other products where it is necessary to produce very fine powder.
The cone mill is used to grind hard pharmaceutical ingredients or agents. These ingredients are put in a cone-like chamber by conveying it or through gravity. It usually utilizes less energy than other mill types. This type of mill is preferred in some industries because it generates less noise, dust, and heat than other milling machines. It is commonly used in pharmaceuticals for dry and wet granulation. Cone Mills are easy to clean and are highly efficient. However, this method produces a comparably small volume of pharmaceutical products.
Turbo Mills and Hammer Mills
Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies commonly refer to turbo mills as hammer mills. These kinds of mills are typically used for research and development. Hammer mills have automatic rotating valves that can operate at a speed ranging from 1000 to 6000 rpm. They are capable of manufacturing up to 1,500 kilograms per hour.
Likewise, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies use these mills whenever the specifications for particular pharmaceutical by-products are not met. They can decide to just mill the tablets back and pulverized them again rather than lose their materials.
Want to find out more about the grinding mill and its uses in different industries? Get in touch with CMS today to speak with our expert team of engineers. We can help you find the right solutions for any project or enterprise!