The good news is that you will get the same great performance from the new U20x head combined with the SDx base that you have come to know and trust with the Classic U20 Comil® - but with some added helpful advantages.
Here’s what is still the same
It is vital to ensure that the success and validated approvals you received with the U20 Comil are replicated by the new equipment, so here is some reassurance for you.
For the majority of mills in the market , screens, impellers and the tolerances between the screens and impellers are the same, which means that tooling is forwards and backwards compatible. You can stock one set of spares for both models and can use up what you might already have in stock on the shelf. The RPM range (impeller tip speed) on both models is equivalent from 700-2800 RPM thus ensuring that the same energy transfer is imparted onto the powders being milled resulting in repeatable milling results. Lower rates are achievable for some wet milling applications upon request.
Scalability – the results that are achieved in the lab from the SLS Lab-scale U5 model are directly scalable to the production sized U20 or U20x models. And this holds true for both the legacy hole pattern screens or for the new high efficiency screens. This predictable and transferrable particle size distribution (PSD) and capacity scale-up gives confidence in making the move from the lab to the factory floor.
The U20x has the same industry-leading internal and external ATEX zoning executions as the Classic U20 head. In addition, the new U20x is now 10 bar PSR rated as standard or 'off the shelf' (even though all mills are custom built) and capable of 16 bar PSR applications with the use of 16 bar-rated 12” TC sanitary clamps reducing equipment lead times and minimizing upgrade costs when this level of PSR-rating is required.
Here’s what is new
With the development of the SDx platform and the designing of the new heads it was a fantastic opportunity to enhance the product and respond to customer feedback.
The new SDx U20x head is the world’s first and only Conical Mill using a greaseless gearbox. The high strength composite gear (which is also used in the aerospace industry) eliminates the need for grease inside the gearbox. This protects against any risk of product contamination and lowers operating temperatures by 50% and noise levels by 5-10 dB. This upgraded gearbox design also facilitates easier servicing and increases the longevity over traditional gearboxes.
The new design has also meant that cGMP is enhanced for easier cleanability. The housing has a tapered upper inner wall which prevents powder build up and ensures that cleaning fluids are easily drained. In addition, the housings can be converted to a CIP (Clean in Place) configuration by the simple addition of spray nozzles. All of this helps to reduce cleaning times and lower the cost of post-sale upgrades to CIP since the nozzles can be field retrofitted.
Increased capacity is possible using the new patent-pending High-Efficiency (HE) screens which utilize a revolutionary hole pattern. These High-Efficiency screens improve powder flow (in some cases increasing by +50%) and reduce residence time inside the milling chamber which can further improve PSDs on difficult to mill powders. In addition, there is also a resulting lower milling temperature by as much as 10-15oC.
For those who prefer Siemens controls, the SDx platform is supplied with Siemens 7” HMI touch-screen controls enclosed in a stainless-steel enclosure. This panel offers recipe control and is available with 21CFR11 for enhanced documentation control and process traceability. For customers that have standardized their controls on an Allen-Bradley platform, you need not worry as AB is a readily available option.
The new SDx uses the same SMARTdetect™ technology as the SLS. This provides head recognition and RPM ranges are automatically pre-set to co-ordinate with the head installed. This means that there is more consistency in performance from batch to batch and the operators can install heads within seconds without resetting parameters. All this enhanced performance and features come at a reduced CapEx and cost of ownership – the one, single SDx platform can have 3 interchangeable heads fitted to produce a variety of milling and processing capabilities – each subsequent head purchase represents a 45% reduction on CapEx and the purchase of more heads can be done at any time to suit your needs.
If you would like to find out if the SDx is the right platform for you and whether it is time to upgrade from your Classic U20 Comil®, then please contact our team of experienced Regional Sales Managers.
 For CIP mills, there have been some major improvements to the U20x platform resulting in all screens being suitable for standard or CIP applications. However, older style CIP screens – with the custom thicker flanges – are not suitable with the U20x platform.