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K3 Pharmaceutical Feeders Provide Greater Robustness and Higher Accuracies

Coperion K-Tron K3 Pharmaceutical Feeders feature advanced KCM-III control technology and updated SFT weighing technology.

The Coperion K-Tron line of K3-PH feeders are specifically designed to meet the growing demands of continuous processing in the pharmaceutical industry. K3-PH feeders now feature the new KCM-III feeder control system and a further improved generation of Smart Force Transducer (SFT) weighing technology. Recent studies with a variety of excipients and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s) have shown that this innovative combination results in a significant increase in accuracy as well as in expanded feed rate ranges.  

The KCM-III control technology features a completely new, powerful Central Processing Unit (CPU) with extended memory and optimized control algorithms. It ensures faster communication with the feeder drive, weighing system and peripherals. In combination with the latest generation of SFT load cells, the KCM-III also offers a significantly higher weighing resolution of 8,000,000:1 in 20 ms.

The updated SFT weighing technology allows for even higher sampling rates at 450 samples per second. These higher rates result in better noise filtering as well as less weight shift under vibration. In addition, the optimized controls lead to better short-term feeding accuracy as the control system reacts quickly to changes in the system.

The KCM-III automatically stores up to seven days of log and event files, as well as trace and process data. This is of very high importance for traceability. Extended storage traceability is available as part of an optional software bundle.

Coperion K-Tron K3-PH Pharma Feeder

Thanks to the use of a smaller D4 platform scale incorporating the highly accurate SFT weighing technology, the Coperion K-Tron line of K3-PH feeders requires significantly less floor space compared to previous models.

The feeder’s modular quick change design allows the easy exchange of feeder types and sizes, using the same scale and drive for fast adaptation to new processes and formulations. The quick change feeder bowl, agitator and screw combinations can be quickly decoupled from the feeder drive, provide for easy and fast changeover as well as cleaning and maintenance of the feeders.

The updated modular concept features a newly developed drive using a servo motor which helps reduce the overall footprint and offers a much larger turndown range, including low feed rates. For an optimal Wash-In-Place (WIP) result, every unit has an integral 2 degree pitch, facilitating maximum drainage during the cleaning processes. The modular K3-PH line is designed to facilitate a cluster arrangement of up to 6 feeders, ideal for multi-component continuous processes, such as continuous extrusion, granulation, or direct compression.

K3-PH feeders equipped with KCM-III controllers can include an optional Wi-Fi Gateway to create their own local area network. This Wi-Fi access point allows an operator with the proper login credentials to access any or all connected KCM-III controllers using a phone, tablet, laptop or other mobile device to control the feeder remotely, check its status, or access files. The KCM-III uses multi-factor security methods to ensure no unintended access occurs over Ethernet or Wi-Fi. In addition, USB ports are provided for easy connections to flash drives or laptops to transfer files, perform diagnostics, or update software. Connectivity to customer PLC and DCS systems is provided via a KCM-III host port communications module available in the widely used Profinet and Ethernet/IP protocols as well as many others.

The improved KCM-III controller, coupled with the new generation of SFT weighing technology, provides the fastest, most accurate, and reliable feeding performance in Coperion K-Tron’s history. When integrated with the K3-PH feeder, these features improve the overall performance of the continuous loss-in-weight feeder and the whole continuous manufacturing process.

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