Sign In  |  Register  

DOI: 10.1208/s12249-013-9934-4Pages: 523-530

Real-Time Particle Size Analysis Using Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement as a Process Analytical Technology Tool for a Continuous Granulation–Drying–Milling Process

1. Campbell University, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

2. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

3. Barry-Wehmiller Design Group

4. Pharma Launch and Global Supply, GlaxoSmithKline

Correspondence to:
William C. Stagner
Tel: +1-910-8931836
Fax: +1-910-8931697



Focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) was used as a process analytical technology tool to perform inline real-time particle size analysis of a proprietary granulation manufactured using a continuous twin-screw granulation–drying–milling process. A significant relationship between D20, D50, and D80 length-weighted chord length and sieve particle size was observed with a p value of <0.0001 and R2 of 0.886. A central composite response surface statistical design was used to evaluate the effect of granulator screw speed and Comil® impeller speed on the length-weighted chord length distribution (CLD) and particle size distribution (PSD) determined by FBRM and nested sieve analysis, respectively. The effect of granulator speed and mill speed on bulk density, tapped density, Compressibility Index, and Flowability Index were also investigated. An inline FBRM probe placed below the Comil-generated chord lengths and CLD data at designated times. The collection of the milled samples for sieve analysis and PSD evaluation were coordinated with the timing of the FBRM determinations. Both FBRM and sieve analysis resulted in similar bimodal distributions for all ten manufactured batches studied. Within the experimental space studied, the granulator screw speed (650–850 rpm) and Comil® impeller speed (1,000–2,000 rpm) did not have a significant effect on CLD, PSD, bulk density, tapped density, Compressibility Index, and Flowability Index (p value > 0.05).

This article is freely available, click here to access the full text/PDF


  • Accepted: Feb 5, 2013
  • Online: Feb 22, 2013

Article Tools

aaps journal