Selection of a blender for mixing the pharmaceutical components is very critical. There are different types of blender for different purposes and selection is made as per the requirement.
A blender is a very important equipment in the pharmaceutical industry, as a medicine is manufactured by mixing a number of drugs and chemicals. This mixing is required to be undertaken in either dry or wet state depending upon the chemical composition and the reactions allowed. There are various types of blenders available in the industry, each one having its own purpose. Some of them are discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
1. Octagonal Blender: This machine has an octagonal body, however the bottom and the top portions are polygonal; it has baffles which mix the items in a quick and efficient manner. It is extremely useful for gentle mixing of powder or dry granules to be carried out. This type of blender is best suited for mixing of granular material. Best results are obtained when it is filled to two-thirds of its capacity.
Some important features of this blender are: (a) It is simple to clean on site. (b) The charging and removal of powder are dust free with bin charging mechanism. (c) Very little wastage and hence consumption of granules is much lower in comparison to other similar mixers. (d) Slow speed and octagonal shape ensure the best mixing of granules.
2. Mass Blender: This is best suited for the lump, dry as well as wet mixing and specifically for tablet granulation. The mixer cabin rotates at one speed only in a horizontal plane. There are blades shaped like a paddle and placed inside the cabin in a horizontal orientation for easy granulation. The polycarbonate covering is dust proof and transparent for close control without compromising on quality. An automated safety catch switches off the mixer when the cover is opened.
3. V-Type Blenders: The ‘V’ shaped rotation divides the mix into two portions, which combine with the continued rotation. It is best utilized for the mixing of dry powder constituents and is very high in demand in the pharmaceutical industry as it can be custom made to meet the specific user requirements. Some of its features are (a) Easy to charge and unload. (b) Easy to clean. (c) Easy to maintain due to the simple design. (d) It has a manual rotation system.
4. Double Cone Blender: This is a versatile machine which can be effectively used for mixing granules, dry powder, heavy and abrasive materials. The cone shape and multi-shear deflector plates ensure the best blending of dry powder and easy removal. Additional paddle-shaped baffles can be fixed on the shaft to get better blending. It has a timer function, which makes mixing more precise. The well-balanced cone and fire proof motor reduce chances of accidents.
5. Vertical Blenders: These type of blenders are best for mixing of pellets, powder, granules and other solids. They come in various sizes and can be customized as per requirement of the industry, which makes them versatile. Some features of these blenders are: (a) Complete discharge is possible as there are no bearings to support the bottom. (b) They are easy to clean in position and have very little risk of contamination. (c) The simple design enables easy maintenance and easy operation.
Blenders play a very important role in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. There are different types of blenders available in the market to meet varying demands of the pharmaceutical industry. The correct choice of a blender is very important for ease of operation, maintenance and cleaning without compromising the quality of the product.