Validating a Numerical Simulation of the ConsiGma(R) Coater

Peter Boehling*, Dalibor Jacevic, Frederik Detobel, James Holman, Laura Wareham, Matthew Metzger, Johannes G. Khinast

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Continuous manufacturing is increasingly used in the pharmaceutical industry, as it promises to deliver better product quality while simultaneously increasing production flexibility. GEA developed a semi-continuous tablet coater which can be integrated into a continuous tableting line, accelerating the switch from traditional batch production to the continuous mode of operation. The latter offers certain advantages over batch production, e.g., operational flexibility, increased process/product quality, and decreased cost. However, process understanding is the key element for process control. In this regard, computational tools can improve the fundamental understanding and process performance, especially those related to new processes, such as continuous tablet coating where process mechanics remain unclear. The discrete element method (DEM) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are two methods that allow transition from empirical process design to a mechanistic understanding of the individual process units. The developed coupling model allows to track the heat, mass, and momentum exchange between the tablet and fluid phase. The goal of this work was to develop and validate a high-fidelity CFD-DEM simulation model of the tablet coating process in the GEA ConsiGma® coater. After the model development, simulation results for the tablet movement, coating quality, and heat and mass transfer during the coating process were validated and compared to the experimental outcomes. The experimental and simulation results agreed well on all accounts measured, indicating that the model can be used in further studies to investigate the operating space of the continuous tablet coating process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021


  • tablet coating
  • solid processes
  • heat and mass transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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