Equipment capacity means the minimum and max working capacity of any equipment that can be easy to operate with its predefined limit to get higher output. In pharmaceutical Equipment capacity calculation factor depends on the Bulk density of the excipients that are used in the granulation process.
Factor affecting the equipment capacity
Below are the following factors that may affect the equipment capacity:
- Bulk density of products
- Volume occupancy
- Variation in weight
- Final quantity
1. Bulk density: Bulk density is a measure of the mass per unit volume of a powder or other bulk solid material. It is typically expressed in units of grams per milliliter (g/mL) or kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m^3). The bulk density generally depends on the size, shape, and density of powder particles. in pharmaceuticals first, you have to know about the bulk density of particular excipients which is going to use. Sometimes it may be affected by factors such as RH, temperature, and pressure.
2. Volume occupancy: Volume occupancy refers to the %age of a volume that is occupied by a substance or excipients in the case of pharmaceuticals and cosmetic industries. for example, aerosol occupies more volume as compared to starch.
3. Variation in weight: Weight variation refers to the difference in weight between different excipients for example calcium power has more weight as compared to aerosol.
4. Final quantity of product: Final quantity of the product is how much quantity is to be taken. it is also another factor that affects equipment capacity.
How to calculate equipment capacity
Whenever you are at work or pre[aring for an interview, you often have questions in your mind, about how to calculate the capacity of equipment, or why often RMG, FBD, and Blenders capacity is calculated in Kilogram. the simple answer to this is explained below with the calculation:
Suppose Rapid mixture granulators/ Fluid Bed Processor/ Blender types like an octagonal blender with 400 liters capacity, and consider bulk density is 0.5 g/ml. so now to convert the liter into kilogram, multiply the total capacity of equipment by bulk density.
Eg. 400X0.5= 200 kg
200 kg is the 100% capacity of equipment that can be used to get 100% output, but it never takes the usage of 100%. The recommended loaded capacity is always considered a minimum of 30% and a maximum of 80% of the full capacity of the equipment.
So, in case of the above, to calculate the capacity of equipment for example; to calculate minimum capacity multiply 200 by 30%, and for maximum capacity multiply 200 by 80%
200X30%= 60 kg
200X80%= 160 kg
So you can take a minimum of 60 kg and a maximum of 160 kg if using 200 kg equipment.
Related: Calculate the capacity of a coating machine
How to calculate the bulk density:
To calculate/measure the bulk density of a powder, fill a graduated cylinder with a known volume of the powder and then weigh it to determine the mass. The bulk density can then be calculated by dividing the mass by the volume.
For example: Take your powder approx. 15 Gm in the Measuring Cylinder of 100ml, check How much volume it fills in the measuring cylinder that will be approx – 20 ml based on your product properties. than Divide Mass with volume ,i.e mass(15)/Volume(20)= 0.75 is Bulk Density.