BHS-Sonthofen supplies Amino with two conical dryers

July 27, 2021
In the spring of this year, BHS-Sonthofen supplied Amino GmbH with two identical pharmaceutical-grade conical dryers for drying various amino acids. Amino is using these dryers in their new production facility in semi-continuous operation as part of the process of expanding its production capacity. What makes these dryers so special? The dryers are alternately filled under negative pressure during the continuous drying process.

What appeals to customers from the medical and pharmaceutical industry the most about Amino, a company that is headquartered in the Lower Saxon town of Frellstedt, is its use of amino acids that are naturally sourced and processed with the utmost quality in mind. The company has been working together with BHS-Sonthofen for some time now and uses several of its machines for filtration and drying. In an effort to expand its production capacity, Amino opted for a completely new production line consisting of two dryers of type HVW-VT 8500. The GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) pharmaceutical-grade machines give companies in the pharmaceutical industry the advantage of an extraordinarily high capacity.

Amino project manager Gerrit Dierking attests to the machine’s seamless installation: “It was quite a challenge to install the dryers, but the process was made easy thanks to the help of the expert technical team at BHS and everything was performed to our complete satisfaction.” A heavy-duty gantry beam brought the machines through the building sideward, where they were then integrated into the new line.

Pneumatic infeed of the dryers
The structure of amino acids makes them particularly sensitive to temperature, which means it is essential that the drying process is a gentle one in order to meet the highest quality requirements. The moist product is pneumatically transported into the first dryer via two peel centrifuges. “The second dryer is filled once the first dryer has reached its maximum fill level. In other words, the dryer is filled alternately and in a vacuum in a sophisticated lock system”, says Martin Specht, Area Sales Manager at BHS-Sonthofen Process Technology GmbH & Co. KG.

The drying process starts while the machine is being filled. Once the dryer is completely full, the inlet valve shuts and the machine reaches full drying capacity. This enables the semi-continuous production of a number of different products within short process times. “Vacuum drying at low temperatures also ensures especially gentle treatment of the product,” says Specht. Costs are reduced significantly by cooling the product at the end of the drying cycle in the same machine. The heating and cooling technology with a primary and secondary circuit is a part of the supplied system. Finally, the amino acids are carefully discharged and packed in big bags ready for distribution.

The innovative shape of the dryer loader in particular significantly reduces the cycle time for a batch. The vacuum, which is already applied during the filling process, causes the water inside to evaporate immediately, increasing process efficiency. Another major advantage for Amino is that the machine requires little maintenance. “We are pleased to have been able to assist Amino with such an innovative process once again after so many years of successful cooperation”, says Specht.