The goal of most small-scale labs is to develop a product worth manufacturing on a larger scale. To accomplish this, labs typically follow the conventional wisdom that says the shortest path to large scale manufacturing is to transition from a mini version of the production equipment into the full-size version.
While this may be the most common approach, it’s not always the shortest path. With many variables in play that don’t always exist on a smaller scale, such as gradients/variations in shear, temperature, flow dynamics, etc., transitioning from laboratory scale to production scale can be an iterative, time-consuming process. Between the long mixing times, inconsistencies between lab and production batches and the constant equipment clean-up required, the process can be painfully slow.
To speed things up, more and more facilities are turning to DAC mixers to help expedite products all the way to large scale production. It’s well known that a DAC mixer is faster through the R&D process. It offers shorter mixing times, uses less material, allows for quicker iterations, and requires absolutely no cleanup. A DAC mixer also delivers higher quality mixing & de-aeration, leading to more accurate test results and better differentiation between formulations.
But the real key to a quicker scale-up, according to Ian LaRose, VP of Technology at Hauschild Engineering, lies in Hauschild SpeedMixer’s unique ability to simulate large-scale production equipment in the small batch lab testing phase.
“The beauty of using a Hauschild SpeedMixer® is you can scale it up or down to simulate nearly any kind of mixer or environment, and you can do it right from the R&D phase,” says Ian. “Not only does a DAC mixer speed up this phase, the trial-and-error process is cut down significantly moving into the large-scale production phase.”
Types of mixing equipment and processes that can be simulated using a Hauschild SpeedMixer® DAC Mixer include:
In addition to simulating a product’s production equipment, Ian says the Hauschild SpeedMixer® can also be used to rapidly replicate the material to be produced.
“With a SpeedMixer, you can quickly develop a method that replicates production material,” says Ian. “You then simply use that method as your ‘Scale-up’ test method.”
Using the many “knobs to turn” built into the Hauschild SpeedMixer®, lab professionals can scale down to get a similar method of dispersion as the production equipment, scale up to target the best possible product the production equipment can handle or scale even further to target the best possible product, regardless of the production equipment.
With precise controls for speed, time, acceleration, variable counterrotation, temperature, cup size, beads/cylinders, vacuum and more, Hauschild SpeedMixer® guarantees repeatable results, 100% within specs.
So what happens when using a Hauschild SpeedMixer® results in a better-quality product than the production equipment can produce? If it is a good enough product, Ian says it may be worth considering other production methods. “The SpeedMixer can always be dialed back, but it’s good to know what the best possible mix looks like,” says Ian. “It might be worth investing in new equipment to bring that product to market.”
Examples of a SpeedMixer creating a better product than conventional production equipment could replicate comes from many industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, batteries, conductive inks, aerospace, dental and cosmetics. “Better dental fillings and nail polish come to mind,” added Ian with a smile.
With machines capable of mixing up to 10kg volume weight (and larger sizes in the R&D pipeline), Hauschild SpeedMixer® can even replace large scale equipment in some cases, due to its shorter cycle times. “We don’t currently offer a larger version than the 10000 Series, but we’re working on it,” says Ian. “Innovation is a huge part of what we do, so don’t hesitate to talk to us about your needs or challenges.”
With thousands of lab pros around the world using a DAC mixer to scale up quicker and get products to market faster, maybe it’s time to rethink conventional wisdom—and speed up the production process—by adding Hauschild SpeedMixer® to your large-scale production mix.
To learn more about Hauschild SpeedMixer® and its large-scale production capabilities, contact the Hauschild team today.