Speaking to in-PharmaTechnologist.com at this year’s Interphex in New York, CEO Tim Freeman told us the simplified control platform in the new powder rheometer software version five now provides a step-by-step guidance to help users. The equipment also has real-time test information.
He said the firm hopes the addition will mean more “bespoke” methodologies can take place, and that training operators will become simpler.
“What we’ve introduced recently is a complete revolution in the software, controlling the instrument and also for analysing the data, and that’s an advantage for people that are coming back to the instrument after a few weeks away or for training new users,” he told us.
Freeman added that with increased regulatory pressures on firms to better their understanding of materials used in production, and the relationship between them – especially with PAT (process analytical technology) and QbD (quality by design) programmes – the need for the technology is growing rapidly.
“And with its increasing use in the industry it’s obviously the more intuitive and easier it is to use the more it will get used,” he added.
Too many cooks?
The powder rheometer works by measuring particle-particle interaction whilst the powder is in motion. It means it can perform several different analyses at once, including flow rate, pressure, permeability, and the effects of water or electrostatic charge.
When asked if it is a good idea for companies to put so many of their eggs into one basket – for instance would the entire analysis process stop if the tool broke down – Freeman said the benefits of having a range of technologies in one machine outweigh any such risks.
“Powders are complex materials. A bit like people powders have many different attributes or characteristics. The attributes that person needs for specific disciplines are different, and the same is true of powders,” he said.
“The powder processing industry is complex and diverse, and so taking just one number is not going to represent how the powder behaves through the diverse processing environment. That’s why we came up with this multi-faceted approach.”