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Lactose is a sugar that makes up about 2-8% of milk. In the pharmaceutical industry, lactose is mainly used as an excipient, a filler or filler-binder in tablets and capsules as well as a carrier powder for Dry Powder Inhalants (DPI).

Different types of lactose have different physical properties, such as particle size distribution and flow characteristics. The desired particle size of lactose for DPI typically ranges from 20 - 45 microns. In food applications and tableting, the desired particle size ranges from 50 to 425 microns.

Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems provides size reduction systems and powder processing solutions for the various lactose applications. Throughout our history, we have led the industry in coarse to ultra-fine grinding, classification, mixing, drying, containment, compaction and analytical equipment.

Hosokawa offers multiple different mills to process lactose. The most common options are the Alpine AS Spiral Jet Mill and the Alpine AFG Fluidized Bed Jet Mill for fine grinding especially for DPI and the Mikro ACM® Air Classifier Mill  or the Mikro® UMP Pin Mill for coarser particle size distribution applications.

The Alpine AS Spiral Jet Mill is a compact, easy access designed mill. The AS system can be designed with CIP/SIP/WIP options and are available from laboratory scale to full production models with the capability of ultra-fine milling down to D97 < 3 microns.

The Alpine AFG Fluidized Bed Jet Mill is suitable for very hard, abrasive, and sticky materials. It has the ability to produce ultra-fine materials down to D97 < 3 micron with a very narrow particle size distribution. In order to achieve this fine particle size, the Alpine AFG Fluidized Bed Jet Mills is designed with an internal classifier with single or multi- wheel options that can be operated at varying speeds to alter the product fineness.

The Mikro ACM® Air Classifier Mill is an air swept mechanical impact mill with a dynamic air classifier designed to grind an extensive range of materials down to a D97 < 20 µm. The Mikro ACM® Air Classifying Mill system is available in a wide range of sizes, materials of construction, finishes, pressure & vacuum designs, system configurations and control schemes.

The Mikro® UMP Mill is a universal mill capable of using many different motor assemblies for coarse to medium sized PSD. The design of this mill meets the requirements of the Pharmaceutical Industry for both product performance and cleanability. With a variety of feeding options and system configurations, this high speed impact mill is capable of fine size reduction to a D97 < 35 microns.

For mixing lactose, a high-shear mixer or a low-shear mixer can be used. Low shear mixing is the ideal choice for free-flowing, fragile, and heat-sensitive materials while the high shear mixing is designed for cohesive materials, using a lot more energy, resulting in particles shearing against each other or against the mixer wall.  

The Nauta® Conical Screw Mixer is a batch mixer, famous for its low-intensity mixing, especially suited to delicate products and processes where very accurate results are required and is synonymous with gentle mixing of large volumes of up to 100,000 liters.

The Cyclomix is a revolutionary high-speed, intensive paddle mixer and agglomerater that has been specially designed for cohesive powders with liquids or melt binders. It also handles pastes, slurries and liquids with varying characteristics with ease due to its combination of high-shear and high-impact forces while offering a high level of homogeneity in the end product.

Some manufacturers will need to compact lactose to reduce fines or improve flow properties. The roller compaction and dry granulation process takes fine powder and turns it into a useable substance.

Roller compactors densify the lactose powder, turning it into a more condensed material.  A feed screw is used to feed material to the compaction rollers, slowly allowing the rollers to compact the coarse and fine particles together, turning it into a flake.  

The screen in the dry granulator controls the top size of the particle size distribution. The Alpine Flake Crusher  uses a rotor and a screen to granulate the product to a more manageable size.

For 90 years, Hosokawa Micron Powder Systems defined the standards of consistency, durability, and peak product performance through our leading powder processing technologies from the most esteemed brand names throughout the world. We are proud to guarantee the perfect fit for your company’s processing needs.

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