All-in-One

Caleva Multi Lab - Remarkable R&D Mix, Granulate, Extrude & Spheronize

Work with batch sizes from 10g up to 50g (formulation dependent)


"First, we love the multilab machine!!!  It is being used every day for multiple projects and we are getting outstanding results and some technology breakthroughs"
Graeme J. Millar  |  Professor |  Science & Engineering Faculty
Queensland University of Technology


Contact Caleva about the Multi Lab

Open each tab to learn more about the capabilities of the Multi Lab

  • Variable-Density

    Variable Density

    Discover what Variable Density Extrusion can do for you

     

  • hand-screws

    R&D Success

    Specialized attachments and design features to increase your chances of development success 

  • time-in-minutes-to-complete-one-trial-1

    FastTrack Formula

    Develop your product faster.  Prove your concept quickly

  • blue-granulation

    Mix/Granulate

    A critical process in the creation of a successful formulation

  • catalyst

    Catalysts

    Increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate

  • caleva-multi-lab-small-footprint

    Very Small Footprint

    3 separate processes on a small, single base unit.

 

Modify your extrudate density, hardness, friability, and porosity at a trial level

If having complete control over the properties of your extrudate is important to you, then the variable density capabilities of the Multi Lab could be a crucial step in the right direction.
The CMLs extrusion attachment comes with one standard die and one high density die at no extra cost. These dies give you the opportunity to explore more parameters in your formulation development process, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
(More die variants are available, contact us to learn more about the options available.)
Density gain - reduced
The graph above was created as a result of some experiments that we conducted with the CML and its variable density capabilities.
Different extrusion density can change the properties of your formulation, increasing your chances of development success. The CML will enable you to be 100% sure that all available alternatives have been fully investigated at a small, low cost, fast and effective stage.
If your initial trials with variable density extrusion show promising results you have the option to obtain additional dies from Caleva that provide a higher or lower than “standard” density output.
 

Do you know what could happen to your extrudate if you modify it's density?

You could:

• Modify extrudate hardness and strength
• Modify the porosity of your pellets
• Modify your pellet dissolution profiles
• Make your pellets more uniform
Increase drug loading in a single dose unit
• Look at the effect on product cohesion and the effect on physical stability
• Look at the effect on chemical stability
 
If any of these benefits are of interest to you. Contact us.
 

Enhance the chances of your development success

The CMLs extrusion attachment comes with one standard die and one high density die at no extra cost. These dies give you the opportunity to explore more parameters in your formulation development process, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
(More die variants are available, contact us to learn more about the options available.)
To give you the most control over your formulation development and increase your chances of success, the Multi Lab has multiple possible configurations for each of its 3 processes.

 

Mixing/Granulation:

The CML has 2 types of mixing bowl:
 

• Standard bowl

The Standard bowl is available in both full and reduced sizes, with the option of a water jacket for both. The standard full-size bowl has an internal volume of 275ml, but if you need to work with even smaller amounts of product, then the half-bowl has an internal volume of 71ml.
Two contra-rotating blades running at different speeds generate high shear on your product, ensuring a thorough mix and strong granulation action.

• Sigma blade and bowl system

The Sigma configuration is designed for use if your material is highly viscous and difficult to work with and where there is a greater focus on mixing than generating a high shear.
The Sigma blades also contra-rotate from each other, however, the blades do not overlap.
 

Extrusion:

2 Different extrusion dies and 2 different extrusion screws come with the CML at no extra cost, allowing you to explore multiple options in your extrusion phase to find the most suitable screw and die for your desired output.
Learn more about the Extrusion attachment here
 

Spheronization:

The Spheronization attachment is perfectly sized to work with the batch sizes that the mixer and extruder produce, making the process of turning your dry powder into pellets effortless. 
There are multiple different disk pattern available to help tailor your CML for your formulation requirements.
 
Are-you-using-the-right-extruder-screw-for-your-formlation
 

Interested in reducing your development time by up to 50%?

Trials have consistently demonstrated that iterations can be completed in less than half the time required for other standard bench-top systems.

time-in-minutes-to-complete-one-trial

The standard and most efficient process to find the optimum parameters for correct extrusion and spheronization is a trial-and-error approach, conducting multiple experiments where 1 parameter is changed each time. However, with each experiment, the contact parts must be removed, cleaned and then put back onto the machine, wasting valuable time. With the Caleva Multi-Lab, this process is made easy. With quick disassembly and easy to clean components, the CML has an extremely fast turn around speed, allowing you to spend less time cleaning, and more time experimenting.

The Caleva Multi-Lab can fast track your formulation development process, saving you money and lab time.

 

See the full details of some time trials we performed in our lab.

Powder-to-Pellets-in-under-15-minutes-fast

 

The effect of Granulation/Mixing on your final product is often underestimated...

This important stage of the mixing, extrusion and spheronization process is often overlooked. However, the effect that a poor granulation/mix can have on your pellets may be the difference between a successful development cycle, and an unsuccessful one.

The importance of mixing time

The mixing attachment for the Multi Lab has been designed for small batches of creams, powders, pastes, gels, and powder/liquid combinations in a wide range of proportions.

Mixing/granulation bowls with or without water jackets are available, along with bowls of different sizes.

As an optional extra, the CML also has a high viscosity bowl and blade set that is engineered to work with highly viscous materials that may otherwise be difficult, or even impossible to mix with standard mixing blades.


An automatic timer is built into the CML offering consistent results, through consistent operating parameters.

The Mixer granulator is available as a single separate unit in case you don't need to use the processes of extrusion or spheronization.

 

Do you need to increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate?

Specialist die and bowl/blade sets for catalyst and chemical industries are available with the Multi Lab. In collaboration with some users, we have been successful in mixing and extruding small quantities of catalytic material using the Caleva Multi Lab whilst increasing the surface area/volume ratio of the extrudate produced.

The increased surface extrudate is produced by extruding the active material through a die with trilobe or quadralobe (quadrilobe) holes in place of the traditional round holes. Quadrilobe and trilobe dies in a range of sizes and density configurations that will allow you to increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate.

Bowl and blades sets designed for use with higher viscosity materials are available and recommended with certain materials, contact us for more information.

What if you plan on scaling up?

If you're planning to work with larger quantities of material in the future, we have more equipment that is perfect for scaling up from the Multi lab:

•Caleva Variable Density Extruder (VDE) available for batches from 0.25 to 5 kg.

•Caleva Twin Screw Extruder (VD-TSE) can offer an output of up to 150 kg per hour.

•Variable density dies are available throughout the range of Caleva screw type extruders.

A full sized research tool

A remarkably small “footprint” for a full size research tool when laboratory bench-top space is at a premium.

The small size of the CML is just one of the many advantages that this piece of equipment can offer. Having the ability to complete 3 processes in one machine, whilst also taking up a minimal amount of bench top space, makes the CML a great addition to any lab space that works with the processes of mixing/granulation, extrusion and spheronization.

The CML can reduce your space requirement by 75% compared to other bench-top equipment offering similar functionality.

Working-area-for-caleva-multilab-1

 

  • Variable-Density

    Variable Density

    Discover what Variable Density Extrusion can do for you

     

  •  

    Modify your extrudate density, hardness, friability, and porosity at a trial level

    If having complete control over the properties of your extrudate is important to you, then the variable density capabilities of the Multi Lab could be a crucial step in the right direction.
    The CMLs extrusion attachment comes with one standard die and one high density die at no extra cost. These dies give you the opportunity to explore more parameters in your formulation development process, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
    (More die variants are available, contact us to learn more about the options available.)
    Density gain - reduced
    The graph above was created as a result of some experiments that we conducted with the CML and its variable density capabilities.
    Different extrusion density can change the properties of your formulation, increasing your chances of development success. The CML will enable you to be 100% sure that all available alternatives have been fully investigated at a small, low cost, fast and effective stage.
    If your initial trials with variable density extrusion show promising results you have the option to obtain additional dies from Caleva that provide a higher or lower than “standard” density output.
     

    Do you know what could happen to your extrudate if you modify it's density?

    You could:

    • Modify extrudate hardness and strength
    • Modify the porosity of your pellets
    • Modify your pellet dissolution profiles
    • Make your pellets more uniform
    Increase drug loading in a single dose unit
    • Look at the effect on product cohesion and the effect on physical stability
    • Look at the effect on chemical stability
     
    If any of these benefits are of interest to you. Contact us.
  • hand-screws

    R&D Success

    Specialized attachments and design features to increase your chances of development success 

  •  

    Enhance the chances of your development success

    The CMLs extrusion attachment comes with one standard die and one high density die at no extra cost. These dies give you the opportunity to explore more parameters in your formulation development process, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.
    (More die variants are available, contact us to learn more about the options available.)
    To give you the most control over your formulation development and increase your chances of success, the Multi Lab has multiple possible configurations for each of its 3 processes.

     

    Mixing/Granulation:

    The CML has 2 types of mixing bowl:
     

    • Standard bowl

    The Standard bowl is available in both full and reduced sizes, with the option of a water jacket for both. The standard full-size bowl has an internal volume of 275ml, but if you need to work with even smaller amounts of product, then the half-bowl has an internal volume of 71ml.
    Two contra-rotating blades running at different speeds generate high shear on your product, ensuring a thorough mix and strong granulation action.

    • Sigma blade and bowl system

    The Sigma configuration is designed for use if your material is highly viscous and difficult to work with and where there is a greater focus on mixing than generating a high shear.
    The Sigma blades also contra-rotate from each other, however, the blades do not overlap.
     

    Extrusion:

    2 Different extrusion dies and 2 different extrusion screws come with the CML at no extra cost, allowing you to explore multiple options in your extrusion phase to find the most suitable screw and die for your desired output.
    Learn more about the Extrusion attachment here
     

    Spheronization:

    The Spheronization attachment is perfectly sized to work with the batch sizes that the mixer and extruder produce, making the process of turning your dry powder into pellets effortless. 
    There are multiple different disk pattern available to help tailor your CML for your formulation requirements.
     
    Are-you-using-the-right-extruder-screw-for-your-formlation
     
  • time-in-minutes-to-complete-one-trial-1

    FastTrack Formula

    Develop your product faster.  Prove your concept quickly

  • Interested in reducing your development time by up to 50%?

    Trials have consistently demonstrated that iterations can be completed in less than half the time required for other standard bench-top systems.

    time-in-minutes-to-complete-one-trial

    The standard and most efficient process to find the optimum parameters for correct extrusion and spheronization is a trial-and-error approach, conducting multiple experiments where 1 parameter is changed each time. However, with each experiment, the contact parts must be removed, cleaned and then put back onto the machine, wasting valuable time. With the Caleva Multi-Lab, this process is made easy. With quick disassembly and easy to clean components, the CML has an extremely fast turn around speed, allowing you to spend less time cleaning, and more time experimenting.

    The Caleva Multi-Lab can fast track your formulation development process, saving you money and lab time.

     

    See the full details of some time trials we performed in our lab.

    Powder-to-Pellets-in-under-15-minutes-fast

     

  • blue-granulation

    Mix/Granulate

    A critical process in the creation of a successful formulation

  • The effect of Granulation/Mixing on your final product is often underestimated...

    This important stage of the mixing, extrusion and spheronization process is often overlooked. However, the effect that a poor granulation/mix can have on your pellets may be the difference between a successful development cycle, and an unsuccessful one.

    The importance of mixing time

    The mixing attachment for the Multi Lab has been designed for small batches of creams, powders, pastes, gels, and powder/liquid combinations in a wide range of proportions.

    Mixing/granulation bowls with or without water jackets are available, along with bowls of different sizes.

    As an optional extra, the CML also has a high viscosity bowl and blade set that is engineered to work with highly viscous materials that may otherwise be difficult, or even impossible to mix with standard mixing blades.


    An automatic timer is built into the CML offering consistent results, through consistent operating parameters.

    The Mixer granulator is available as a single separate unit in case you don't need to use the processes of extrusion or spheronization.

     

  • catalyst

    Catalysts

    Increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate

  • Do you need to increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate?

    Specialist die and bowl/blade sets for catalyst and chemical industries are available with the Multi Lab. In collaboration with some users, we have been successful in mixing and extruding small quantities of catalytic material using the Caleva Multi Lab whilst increasing the surface area/volume ratio of the extrudate produced.

    The increased surface extrudate is produced by extruding the active material through a die with trilobe or quadralobe (quadrilobe) holes in place of the traditional round holes. Quadrilobe and trilobe dies in a range of sizes and density configurations that will allow you to increase the surface area to volume ratio of your extrudate.

    Bowl and blades sets designed for use with higher viscosity materials are available and recommended with certain materials, contact us for more information.

    What if you plan on scaling up?

    If you're planning to work with larger quantities of material in the future, we have more equipment that is perfect for scaling up from the Multi lab:

    •Caleva Variable Density Extruder (VDE) available for batches from 0.25 to 5 kg.

    •Caleva Twin Screw Extruder (VD-TSE) can offer an output of up to 150 kg per hour.

    •Variable density dies are available throughout the range of Caleva screw type extruders.

  • caleva-multi-lab-small-footprint

    Very Small Footprint

    3 separate processes on a small, single base unit.

  • A full sized research tool

    A remarkably small “footprint” for a full size research tool when laboratory bench-top space is at a premium.

    The small size of the CML is just one of the many advantages that this piece of equipment can offer. Having the ability to complete 3 processes in one machine, whilst also taking up a minimal amount of bench top space, makes the CML a great addition to any lab space that works with the processes of mixing/granulation, extrusion and spheronization.

    The CML can reduce your space requirement by 75% compared to other bench-top equipment offering similar functionality.

    Working-area-for-caleva-multilab-1

     

 

Frequently asked Questions about Mixing, Extruding & Spheronizing

 

 

Is Caleva able to offer advice about the products that I should obtain to achieve my established objectives?

The short answer is yes.

We at Caleva have been making pellets and extrudates for over 50 years. If you share with us details of what you are trying to achieve then we would be in a good position to share our experience and guide you to the right equipment for you. This should enable you to be confident that the equipment that you buy is appropriate for your project. This support and advice should be used before purchase decisions are made.

Development and production equipment is normally a significant purchase that should be suitable for what you want to do for several years into the future. It is important that the right decisions are taken before the equipment purchases are decided. For many purchasers, the technology that they are investing into is relatively new and may not be well known. In these cases, the time to obtain advice is before the purchase decisions are made.

 

My product is expensive/scarce. Can I work with smaller batch sizes to reduce wasted product?

Yes, although it depends on your formulation properties.

The CML is designed to work with very small amounts of material (10g - 50g depending on your formulation) to keep the amount of product waste to a minimum.

There are 2 different sized bowls used for mixing on the CML, one full-sized and one half sized.

The smaller bowl has a batch size of about 10 to 20 grams (wet weight) and using smaller blades provides more power to be applied to a smaller mixing surface. Mixing bowls can be used with or without inserts as required.

In the case of very scarce or expensive materials a small bowl will help to run trials with smaller amounts of material. Using 15 grams of material in the smaller mixing bowl will provide a sample that is still large enough to effectively use in the extruder and spheronizer.

Watch a video of the CML mixing small batches of material 

 

Can I cool or heat the material in the mixing bowl during my trials?

 

If your experimental work might benefit from being either heated or cooled in the CML granulator mixing bowl during the experimental process, an optional water jacketed bowl can be supplied with your CML. The water jacketed bowl is suitable for heating or cooling can be offered with both the full size and the reduced size bowls. A separate water bath and circulation pump will be necessary.

Caleva can also provide a heating and cooling water circulatory system if required.

 

My material is very viscous. Do you have options for a different blade configuration to work with these materials?

For working with very “high viscosity“ materials an advanced sigma blade has been designed. This allows a more viscous type of material to be effectively mixed or granulated in the CML system.

 

• The Sigma blade and bowl system

The Sigma configuration is designed for use if your material is highly viscous and difficult to work with and where there is a greater focus on mixing than generating a high shear.

The Sigma blades also contra-rotate from each other, however, the blades do not overlap.

 

I want to make pellets of different sizes, is this possible with the CML?

Yes, the CML Extrusion attachment can come with a variety of dies that can be used to control pellet size.

The determination of the pellet size is mostly due to the diameter of the extrusion hole in the extruder die. As a general rule, the pellet will approximately have the same diameter as the die holes. This can vary a little, but this is the factor that has the greatest influence on pellet size.

Caleva can offer CML dies with hole diameters from 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm in 0.1 mm increments.

 

I want to investigate the effect of extrudate density on my formulation or final product.

We offer dies that produce extrudate of different density. The effectiveness of these dies is dependent on the properties of your specific formulation. The basic equipment is supplied with one “standard” and one “high density” die. This way you can explore the benefits of variable density, without extra cost. (More die options are available)


The CML also comes with 2 different extruder screws, as standard, to compliment the different dies and materials you may be working with. You can choose which screw works most effectively with your formulation.

Contact us for additional advice on whether this could be beneficial to you.

 

How can I increase the surface area of my extrudate as I need this for use as a catalyst?

 

We can manufacture and supply a range of specialist “non- circular” die hole designs including dies with trilobe and quadrilobe hole shapes. These can be various designs and configurations according to your requirements.

If you are working with catalysts or products for gas adsorption then having die plates designed to increase the surface area of your extrudate is often a must have

Increase the surface area to volume ratio (SA/V) of material produced using different die designs by around 30%.

Surface-area-table
Contact us for a discussion if you have specific requirements.

 

How can I be sure that the spheronization disc pattern is optimum for my pellets characteristics?

We can offer a wide range of different spheronizer disc patterns.

If you need to know more detail about exactly what kind of discs we can offer, please contact us for details of the cross
hatch and radial patterns that are available.

 

Is there any risk that a sticky formulation might stick to the spheronizer wall or the rotating disc?

If at some point in the future there is the possibility that you may wish to work with materials that are known to be sticky then applying to the spheronizer disc and the interior of the drum a coating of PTFE is a possible option. Let us know if this is of interest to you and we can arrange it for you.

 

 

 

Download PDF Documentation

 

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Product Information

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Caleva-multi-lab-technical-specification

Technical Specification

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Caleva-multi-lab-options

Configuration Options

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Non-technical-guide-to-spheronization

Guide to Spheronization

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Caleva Articles about using the Multi Lab for Formulation Development

Formulation development with Caleva

The process of spheronization consists of four key steps:- To optimize and achieve the right binder addition  & mixing time for your formulation Mixing or granulation - a mixer or granulator is required Extrusion - an extruder is required Spheronization - a spheronizer is required Drying and possibl... Read More

Book a live online demonstration with Caleva

Are you interested in one of our products and would like to see it in action? We provide free R&D system demonstrations live online via video conference wherever you are in the world. Scott Humphries or Steve Mate (or both) will explain and demonstrate advanced equipment features and allow you to se... Read More

Caleva Study on the Importance of Granulation

Our customer, a major pharmaceutical, biotech & nutraceutical manufacturer with an extensive portfolio of products. For reasons of confidentiality we do not name them. One of our Production Extruder & Spheronizer Systems for manufacturing on a large-scale was used in trials by the manufacturer, but ... Read More

A Brief Non-Technical Guide To Spheronization (Marumerization*)

What is Spheronization? Spheronization is the process where extrudates (the output from an extruder) are shaped into small rounded or spherical granules. In practice these usually vary in size from 0.4 to about 3.0 mm. The use of these spheroids can be relevant for a wide variety of industries. Why ... Read More

Extrusion of small batches

The Caleva Multi-Lab (CML) can Mix/Granulate, Extrude and Spheronize all in one base unit. This article is about the Extruder attachment that comes with the CML. The Multi-lab is capable of working with a variety of materials from catalysts and pharmaceuticals, to agricultural products. The Extruder... Read More

Possible issues with extrusion of small samples - how to resolve them

It is not possible to extrude and spheronize everything.  Extrusion and spheronization can be used on a wide range of products and formulations.  However, if you are having trouble extruding your formulations with the Caleva Multi Lab (CML) then please read this article. Caleva offers extruder screw... Read More