XPS is a high-performance simulation environment for the analysis of complex particle-based flows in industrially-relevant settings. XPS provides the deep insight needed to optimize process configurations and to enhance efficiency, thus improving product quality and minimizing the need for physical prototyping and testing. In summary, XPS significantly reduces product development time and costs, leading to a faster delivery to market. RCPE’s multidisciplinary, experienced engineering team supports our partners, offering customized solutions to optimize their manufacturing process.

Technical Details

Architecture

  • Optimized to minimize computation time per time step and memory consumption
  • Working on deskside environment: desktop workstation with multi-CPU + single/double GPU
  • Modular software design
  • Modeling of granular systems using DEM (Discrete Element Modeling)
  • Modeling of high-viscosity fluids using SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics)
  • Validated DEM – CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) coupling to model complex multi-physics phenomena.

Specifications

  • Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Handling of complex geometries (STL)
  • Handling of many millions of particles (up to 100 Millions spherical particles on single 48 GB memory GPU)
  • Clumps (Multi-spheres), Tablets
  • Heat exchange
  • Spray modeling (coating, impregnation)
  • Advanced post-processing data analysis and conversion (e.g. to Paraview)

Applications

  • Powder blending
  • Segregation analysis
  • Feeding
  • Dry and wet granulation
  • Hot-melt extrusion
  • Tablet coating
  • Die filling
  • Powder drying
  • Screw and pneumatic conveyors
  • Fluidized beds (coating, granulation, drying)
  • Discharge control
  • Particle storage
  • Particle handling and processing

Key Benefits

Intuitive and easy-to-use graphical user interface for quick simulation set-up

Simulation of large and complex particle systems at unparalleled computational speed – at-least five times faster than other commercial solutions

Capable of handling up to 100 million particles on a single GPU*

High flexibility in terms of particle shapes, sizes and properties

Modeling of cohesive powder flows thanks to the integration of advanced contact models

Coupling with CFD (computational fluid dynamics)

Physics models validated for pharmaceutical applications

Software development practices ISO validated: ISO 90003:2018 Software Quality Management and ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management

*GPU with 48 GB memory (2 million per GB or memory), results depend on use case.

Use Case: Fluidized Bed

Fluidized beds are used for spray-drying or mixing. Since several phases are involved (i.e. granular matter, gas, fluid), this processes tend to be challenging. Using a hybrid CPD-GPU CFD-DEM approach, XPS can be coupled with the CFD solver AVL FIRETM. The two-way coupling offers a wide variety of analysis options, e.g. coating, mixing, temperature.

References:
Böhling et al., Computational Fluid Dynamics-Discrete Element Method of an Industrial-Scale Wurster Coater, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 108, pages 538-550,2019
Forgber et al., Extended validation and verification of XPS/AVL-FireTM, a computational CFD-DEM software platform, Powder Technology, accepted, 2019
Jajcevic et al., Large-scale CFD-DEM simulations of fluidized granular systems, Chemical Engineering Science 98, pages 298-310, 2013

Use Case: Tablet Coating

Tablet coating is a common unit operation in the pharmaceutical industry. XPS enables the simulation of the whole process: tablet shape, complex devices as well as spraying can be incorporated in every detail. The analysis potentials reach from inter- to intra- tablet spraying homogeneity, through cycle time distributions, to forces acting on each single tablet as well as on the device.

References:

Böhling et al., Analysis of large-scale tablet coating: Modeling, simulation and experiments, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 90, pages 14-24, 2016
Böhling et al., Simulation of a tablet coating process at different scales using DEM, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 93, pages 74-83, 2016
Böhling et al., Comparison of video analysis and simulations of a drum coating process, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 104, pages 72-81, 2017
Kureck et al., Industrial scale simulations of tablet coating using GPU based DEM: A validation study, Chemical Engineering Science 202, pages 462-480, 2019

Use Case: Mixing

Mixing is a crucial unit operation as it ensures the product quality. XPS is capable of accurately representing this operation and analysing key features, e.g. homogeneity, forces acting on the particles and the device, kinetic residence times. Due to the usage of GPUs XPS is able to simulate up to 100 million individual particles.

References:
[1] Börner et al., Impact of impeller design on high-shear wet granulation, Powder Technology 295, pages 261-271, 2016.
[2] Toson et al., Detailed modelling and process design of an advanced continuous powder mixer, Int. Journal of Pharmaceutics 552, pages 288-300, 2018.
[3] Siegmann et al., Efficient Discrete Element Method Simulation Strategy for Analyzing Large-Scale Agitated Powder Mixers, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, pages 995-1005, 2017.

Use cases library

Mixing

Feeding

Hot-melt extrusion

Tablet Coating

Die Filling

Fluidized Beds (coating, granulation, drying)

System requirements

  • CPU: 6-Core or better, RAM: 32GB (At least the GPU memory), PSU min. 850W
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Pascal Series or newer, recommended: Volta or Turing.
    Note: XPS uses mostly single precision calculations, therefore a consumer Geforce card is sufficient, e.g. RTX 2080 Ti.
  • Nvidia Graphics driver >= 418.39, Qt version >= 5.9, glibc version >= 2.17
  • No need for a professional equipment: it works with an ordinary workstation (up to 4 GPUs, one simulation per GPU)
  • Operating System: CENTOS/RHEL 7 or 8

Contact

Please contact us for any questions or inquiries: xps.support@rcpe.at

Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH
Inffeldgasse 13
8010 Graz
Austria

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