A+ R A-

Modular Multi-Purpose Production System

Recently, a continuously operated plant with four functional modules was delivered to one of Microinnova’s customers in Germany. The plant incorporates advances in process performance and modular „plug-and-play“ chemical production technology. Key features of the system are gas/liquid, liquid/liquid processing, multipurpose applications and modular automation systems. The plant system is designed for a small-scale production handling gas/liquid and liquid/liquid processes. To meet customer specifications the plant was made mainly from Hastelloy. The particular design of the gas-feed module allows an extremely wide flow range for a large number of different gases.  A broad operation window is achieved by a fully integrated heat/cool tracing system. The modular design provides smart process flexibility enabled by a standardized and uniform exchange of functionalities for multipurpose processes and mobile installation in a containerized environment. The modular plant system operates fully automatic. A Plug&Play concept was realized with proper hardware and sophisticated software programmed to responsively react to any exchange of modules. Meeting the customer’s full satisfaction, the completed plant system was commissioned in August 2018.

 

The plant incorporates advances in process performance and modular „plug-and-play“ chemical production technology. Key features of the system are gas/liquid, liquid/liquid processing, multipurpose applications and modular automation systems. The plant system is designed for a small-scale production handling gas/liquid and liquid/liquid processes. To meet customer specifications the plant was made mainly from Hastelloy. The particular design of the gas-feed module allows an extremely wide flow range for a large number of different gases.  A broad operation window is achieved by a fully integrated heat/cool tracing system. The modular design provides smart process flexibility enabled by a standardized and uniform exchange of functionalities for multipurpose processes and mobile installation in a containerized environment.

 

Continuous Manufacturing of Formulations in Minutes Instead of Hours

Microinnova Engineering GmbH has successfully commissioned two continuous formulation production plants for a European client. The design of the fully automated plant is very compact, which makes it possible to easily transport & install it at a different manufacturing site on the other side of the world.  It possesses an integrated Plug & Play concept, which means that 14 tons per day can be produced. All streams are controlled with precise mass flow meters, so no labor-intensive pre-weight of substances is needed and instant change of recipe is possible. This provides an easy capacity increase for the client and enables the production of new products.

"This plant replaces several batch vessels, reduces processing time from hours to minutes, minimizes work hours and waste, enables constant product quality, increases safety and can be upgraded for different products", says project manager Mitja Ogrizek.

Eight different liquid feeds with versatile viscosities are dosed into three static mixers to deliver the end product mixture, which is then used further in the production process. The plant can produce different polymer concentration mixtures and the produced amount can be regulated based on the daily supply demand of the customer. The continuous mixing system is fully automated and can easily be connected to the local site IT systems, such as SAP.

 

Continuous Manufacturing of Formulations

 

Continuous Manufacturing for Gas-Catalytic Reactions 

Gas-catalytic projects of Microinnova focus mainly on making fuels and solvents. Input materials for these projects were syngas or synthetic gas mixtures, as well as products generated from biomass. Typical reactions are watergas-shift, methanol synthesis and Fischer-Tropsch, including unit operations like gas compression, condensation and evaporation. Commercial catalysts and proprietary catalysts were used, which have to be prepared in a wash-coat procedure in micro-channels of reactor plates. Microinnova has worked processes in the fields of process development, engineering and plant construction, using its core competences in continuous manufacturing and process intensification. Skid-based reaction modules were built and installed in a container environment. This enables the usage of the container-based pilot plant on-site for testing with original raw materials. A modular design allows for a quick adaptation of the plant setup to different testing scenarios. These plants can be designed with modular automation tools like MTP. Smart manufacturing tools like process analytical technology (PAT) can be integrated into the plants according to the demands of the customer. Advanced control strategies like model predictive control are available on request. 

Typical reactions are watergas-shift, methanol synthesis and Fischer-Tropsch, including unit operations like gas compression, condensation and evaporation. Commercial catalysts and proprietary catalysts were used, which have to be prepared in a wash-coat procedure in micro-channels of reactor plates. Microinnova has worked processes in the fields of process development, engineering and plant construction, using its core competences in continuous manufacturing and process intensification. Skid-based reaction modules were built and installed in a container environment. This enables the usage of the container-based pilot plant on-site for testing with original raw materials.

 

Continuous cryogenic API plant for a liquid solid reaction

The request of a pharma customer in the Middle East was to get a safe and cost-effective solution for a difficult API synthesis step. Thus, our aim was to increase the economics of the process, as well as the safety level by means of continuous manufacturing.

  • Reaction: Continuous solid dosing into high corrosive liquid cryogenic conditions
  • Improved residence time from 7 hours to less than 15 minutes
  • Increased process safety
  • Lossless scale up with the same selectivity as in the lab
  • API plant capacity: a couple of tons per year
  • The plant consists of two feed modules and one complex reaction unit

 

Continuous crystallization plants

We have provided a client with our expertise in the field of continuous processing. After the successful site-acceptance tests, two continuous crystallization plants were handed over.

  • Highly automatic development system on pilot scale
  • Quick reconfiguration
  • Process and development data are brought together on one platform
  • Highly resistant material to enable a broad applicability
  • Online Analytics and PAT
  • Model Predictive Control

 

GMP-compliant plant for Lek d.d. (a Sandoz company):

This API producer had problems with an extremely difficult step in a batch process, which reduced the overall yield to a level below being economic. Since the upstream and downstream processes were efficient enough (with yields of about 80%), the problem was solved with a partial renewal of the process. The mixing-sensitive step, almost unmanageable in batch mode, was replaced by a continuously operating mixing and reaction module by Microinnova.

  • Productivity of 200 l/h
  • GMP-compliant plant
  • Doubled yield compared to batch mode
  • Mixing-sensitive reaction not possible to be scaled in batch
  • Yield difference from lab trials to final production plant lower than 0.1%
  • From lab development to factory acceptance test and running plant in 7 month

 

Modular small scale production system:

Dosing of alcohol to maintain the reaction control of a highly safety-critical propoxylation reaction is a time-consuming effort, in which using our Flow Miniplant easily increased process safety and dramatically reduced the reaction times.

  • Reducing reaction times from 12 h to 1 min
  • Productivity of 20 kg/h
  • Fits inside a fume hood
  • Inherently safe
  • Robust process

 

 

“Decisive break-through in cost cutting by switching to continuous process technology”