(535h) Validation of a ConsiGma® Tablet Coater Digital Twin | AIChE

(535h) Validation of a ConsiGma® Tablet Coater Digital Twin


Jajcevic, D., RCPE
Holman, J., GEA
Wareham, L., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
Metzger, M., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp
Khinast, J. G., Graz University of Technology
The goal of this work was to validate our simulation model of the GEA ConsiGma® tablet coater. GEA developed the ConsiGma® coater to be integrated into the ConsiGma® continuous production line. This was done to simplify the switch from the traditional batch production to a continuous mode. Continuous production offers some advantages when compared to batch production, including flexibility, increased process/product quality and decreased cost.

Process understanding is the key element for effective process control. Especially for new processes, having a limited experience with process charactersitics, computational tools can help to increase the understanding, and thus, process performance. Moreover, development costs can be minimized.

In the last years, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the discrete element method (DEM) have been increasingly used to analyze and to understand granular processes in the pharmaceutical and various other industries. In our collaboration, we developed a CFD-DEM model to simulate the tablet coating process in the GEA ConsiGma® coater. The model includes the momentum, heat and mass transfer between the fluid gas phase and the bi-convex tablets. Due to the nonsphericity of the biconvex tablets, a drag model was developed that takes orientation and shape of the tablets into account.

Tablet movement, coating quality, heat- and mass-transfer during the coating process were recorded in the simulations and validated against experimental results. The experimental and simulation results agree well on all measured accounts and support the use of this simulation approach to investigate and expand the process space of the GEA ConsiGma® coater.