Sampling is a crucial aspect of chemical production. It typically occurs during the final stages of a process, such as the drying phase. This activity allows operators collecting small portions of a product to test its characteristics and properties, thereby ensuring compliance with the desired specifications.
The primary challenge for successful sampling is obtaining a sample that is fully representative of the entire batch. Therefore, the sample must be collected by gathering portions of the product that are still in the process. This sometimes requires the machine to be running during the operation.
Additionally, getting a representative sample becomes even more difficult if:
- The product is a dry powder (and/or has sticky features);
- It is highly potent, making it difficult for operators to manage it;
- It requires a plant in line with GMP regulations.
The Delta sampling valve is a customized plug valve with a built-in spoon (sample cup). It allows an operator to get a sample from directly inside the product cake, avoiding any hard material located near the machine wall.
The spoon sealing system, equipped with a special o-ring design, also allows for sampling when the machine body is pressurized or under vacuum.
Since the Delta sampling valve is compact and requires very little room to be operated, it can be easily integrated into the discharge valve plug and located inside a glove box for high-potent product management. It is typically used in vacuum dryers and nutsche filter dryers.
The device is equipped with two systems for safe operation:
- An automatic locking system allows sampling only when the machine agitator is in the parked position, avoiding any contact with the agitator when the spoon protrudes inside the machine body.
- A mechanical stop prevents the spoon from being thrown or sucked in by the machine body when pressurized or under vacuum.
When it is time to take a sample, the operator stops the agitator rotation. Under these conditions, the safety pneumatic lock is released, and the spoon can be pushed inside the vessel. The product exits the machine through a circular groove on the piston side and falls inside the glove box where it can be packed.
Once the operation is over, the piston is placed in its original position and the safety lock is closed. PTFE rings around the piston create a seal between the moving part and the machine body.
This solution provides several advantages, such as:
- A totally dismountable, washable, and sterilizable valve;
- No dead areas;
- Product taken from inside the cake, providing a representative sample;
- No need to break pressure nor vacuum
- The possibility to be used on high-containment devices.
If you have any questions or specific requirements, please contact us.