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Phoenix Compaction Simulator



Phoenix Tablet Compaction Simulator

The Phoenix Powder Characterization system offers the very latest in hydraulic powder compaction simulators, equipped with a state of the art digital control system and software.

The Phoenix compaction simulator is used to help determine the fundamental properties of compressed powders and to simulate production conditions in rotary tablet presses. This is especially useful during the early phases of drug development when only small sample quantities of powder are available or are very expensive. The cutting edge design allows for the highest accuracy in control, measurement and repeatability of your experiments.

The specialized data acquisition and analysis software is included to translate experimental data into meaningful results applicable to your process. The compaction simulator produces compression data that can be used to identify critical attributes of a product to help optimize powder compaction. Additionally, it can be used to replicate specific tablet press production issues for analysis and remediation.

The system uses Phoenix designed and built components and software, benefitting from over 30 years of in-house design expertise. The primary control loop is twice as fast as competing systems. It utilizes standard National Instruments PXI modules for primary control loop processing. The machine is easily expandable and there are a number of options to further define the powder compaction process.

The Phoenix compaction simulator is purpose built with a compact, rigid frame, lightweight design and a small footprint requiring no special foundations. Yet, it is robust enough to totally eliminate frame distortion issues found on competing systems. 

The Phoenix powder compaction machine is supplied with a computer running the latest Alpha control and analysis software suite. The Alpha software suite, based on LabView Realtime™ software, was developed over decades of use and incorporates features and functions requested and refined by users who study the science of powder compaction. The Alpha control and analysis software suite includes:

  • The Profile Builder to allow users to generate complex profiles to mimic production machines or V-shaped profiles used purely for powder characterization. Profile Builder also has the facility to import profile data from external software packages such as Excel™ or Word™ or the optional Intelli-Punch instrumented punch. 
  • The Compaction Run allows users to input specific test settings, including tooling details, test profiles, tablets-per-hour, tablet thickness, force and other key parameters.
  • The Analysis software provides the user all parameters and test results in tabular or graphical format. The Analysis software automatically performs many standard posttest calculations, such as a Heckel plot, energy/power, force and displacement readings. The Analysis software gives users flexibility how the data are presented and all data can be exported into Excel™ for further analysis.

The system comes with a complete hydraulic power pack two gravity hoppers and a set of tool and die holders designed to accept standard tablet press tooling and dies. 

  • Phoenix has the fastest control loop in the industry (40 kHz), over twice that of competing systems, offering superior accuracy, control and repeatability. 
  • Data acquisition runs at 250 kHz using oversampling. 
  • Compression area opens easily for a totally accessible work area.
  • Prewired for all options.
  • Handles up to 3 different materials.
  • Multiple layers tablets.
  • Different powder feeder configurations are possible.
  • Most precise force and displacement readings in the industry. 
  • Ability to serve as a press replicator, not just a press simulator.
  • Frame flexure must be compensated for on competing systems. The Phoenix compaction simulator requires no frame flexure compensation. 
  • System is expandable with 8 free channels for other or future instrumentation. 
  • Experiments are reproducible. 
  • Multiple options to further define the compaction process. 
  • Free compaction analysis software for multiple users. 
  • Create theoretical profiles (or gather actual compression data using the Intelli-Punch) and build virtually any profile using Profile Builder software. 
  • Import a profile and run your experiment based on the profile.
  • The optional Intelli-Punch is an instrumented punch used in an actual production tablet press to gather compression data. 
  • The Phoenix compaction simulator is entirely designed and built in-house, benefiting from over 30 years of in-house design expertise. 
  • Affordable 
  • Multiple one-click analysis (Heckle, energy/power, push off/ejection, force displacement, overlay plot). Up to 49 different variables can be plotted. 
  • The software gives users the ability to export CSV data for other applications (such as MS Excel) for further analysis. 
  • Primary control loop processing is done in a self-contained electronics module with Lab View Real Time software running on National Instruments PXI modules. 
  • Embedded Intel multi-core processor using multi-threading technology running on the PXI bus. 
  • In the event of a catastrophic failure the entire control module can be easily removed (only 2 connectors) and exchanged. 
  • Uses Phoenix designed and built analog conditioning boards. 
  • Primary calibration on the press or through a PC. 
  • Phoenix compaction simulators calibrate to 1% of range, competing systems calibrate to 10% of range.
Specifications, Phoenix Compaction Simulator
Load Frame
Item Capacity Accuracy Notes
Load Capacity 50 kN ± 0.5% of reading from 50kN down to 0.05kN Four switched ranges 50kN, 20kN, 10kN, 5kN
Ejection Force 5kN ± 0.5% of reading from 5kN down to 0.05kN  
Take-off Loadcell 10N ± 0.5% of reading  
Stroke (coarse) ± 50mm ± 0.5% of reading LVDTs
Stroke (fine) ± 50mm ± 0.5% of reading Linear Induction Position Sensors (LIPS)
Actuator Speed 1000mm/s  
Frame Stiffness 1000kN/mm Excludes tooling
Dimensions (mm) 800w x 600d x 1875h  
Weight 700kgs max.  
Hydraulic Power Pack
Oil Flow 20 liters/min.  
Oil Capacity 150 liters  
Pressure 25MPa  
Cooling Air blast cooling Chilled water cooling is available as an option.
Electrical Power 15kW 60Hz 415V 3-Ph.  
Dimensions (mm) 995w x 610d x 1300h  
Weight 310kgs empty; 460kgs full  
Utilities and Customer Supplied Services
Mains electricity (power pack) 15kW 50Hz 415V 3-ph 32amp supply
Mains electricity (frame) 110 – 240V 1-ph
Compressed Air 5MPa
Solid Pipe Work If required
Cable Trays or Trunking If required
Hydraulic Oil 150 liters Shell Tellus 37 or equivalent
Dust Extraction Optional
Chilled Water If water cooling requested for power pack
  • Acoustic Hood: The hydraulic power packs can be fitted with an acoustic hood to further reduce the sound.
  • Stirring Hopper: An optional stainless steel stirring hopper with interchangeable stainless steel paddles may be fitted. This hopper may be used independently or in sequence with the standard hopper.
  • Automatic Clamping: Fit additional automatic clamping to the lower actuator rod, such that during flat lower profiles the bottom actuator is locked in position
  • Dust Extraction: A floor mounted, variable flow rate, fan/filter unit connected to the machine via flexible ducting The extraction fan/filter unit would take the air from the compaction simulator, filter it internally through a HEPA filter and then return the air to the laboratory. 
  • Intelli Punch: A unique punch designed to measure the actual displacement profile of production presses. The Intelli Punch fits into the turret of a standard production tablet press and is rotated through the actual press profile and transmits the data to a remote receiver. The Intelli-Punch is available in B- or D-type tooling with a EuroStandard or U.S. TSM configuration.
  • Instrumented Die: Consists of three equally spaced Kistler quartz cavity pressure sensors at customer specified distances from the die top.
  • Temperature Controlled Die: An insulated 10mm die with a temperature range from 70ºC down to -10ºC, accurate to within 0.5ºC.
  • Temperature Controlled Punch: Phoenix have developed a thermocouple fitted D-type upper punch that is used in conjunction with the temperature-controlled die. 
  • Adhesion Punch: Has an internal Kistler sensor capable of accurately measuring the adhesion of compacted powder when the punch retracts. Standard tip has a polished finish. Other finishes available on request
  • Temperature Measuring Punch: Phoenix developed a punch fitted with a miniature temperature probe to measure the internal temperature increase in tablets during compaction. The probe can measure temperatures from -50ºC up to 100ºC.

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