This system is currently being upgraded. Upgraded version is expected to be release in the first half of 2011.
WHAT IS SPRAYex?
SPRAYex is a virtual spray drying expert. It is capable of determining the ability of a material to be spray dried as a single- or multi-component system. It suggests operating parameters based on material characteristics and the equipment available. The system also has a training module to guide newcomers in the field through the spray drying process and explains the relationship between the operating parameters and feed characteristics.
SPRAYex has a knowledge base containing a listing of all the facts that the expert system knows and uses to make its decisions. The knowledge needed by the system has been gathered from the domain experts in the field.
SPRAYex contains information on the material properties and processing conditions in a database format. This information is complied from experimental data obtained by PTI and additional data can be generated by the users or be obtained from the literature.
SPRAYex is composed of a number of key system components or modules, which are detailed below.
Formulation and process development module:
In this module, the expert system offers iterative sessions to determine the level of user interaction, type of equipment available, process constraints, formulation related preferences, and any special requirements for the specific product.
The expert system is then able to:
Evaluate the ability of a material to be spray dried
Assess the need for additional ingredients
Evaluate the safety of spray drying the proposed material(s)
Build a formula and suggest processing conditions such as spray rate, inlet air temperature, nozzle type, atomizer parameters, feed solids concentration, air flow, and feed rate
Evaluate, re-evaluate and display formula and process parameters
This module also allows the user to challenge the system using fictitious requirements or actual, potential requirements.
SPRAYex has a database containing the following information:
raw materials: melting points, glass transition temperatures, DSC data, viscosity, and solubility
equipment: brand name, dimensions, nozzle types, air flow
processing conditions: atomization parameters, inlet/outlet air temperatures, feed parameters, pump parameters, nozzle parameters
spray dried product: moisture content, melting points, glass transition temperatures, bulk density, tap density, particle size.
Search Engine and Interactive Graphics module:
This module allows the user to search for materials with specified properties. The user is also be able to compare the material properties in the form of graphical display whenever it is possible.
This module assists the user in improving his/her knowledge in spray drying formulation and processing development by means of interactive text, graphical, and video displays.
PTI, Inc has integrated a number of knowledge representation techniques in order to maximize the performance of the expert system. Some of these techniques are listed below:
Rule Based Systems
Control by Backward Chaining
Control by Forward Chaining