Skip to content

4 Min Read Time


Lab Scale Milling Equipment for Size Reduction

Pharmaceutical formulation and R&D laboratories worldwide have the constant challenge of finding a versatile milling equipment solution that allows them to test combinations of processes while also offering easy scale-up to full production.

Lab mill for smaller-scale processes

Production companies already running Quadro Comil cone milling equipment or Fitzpatrick hammer mills for day-to-day production often need a smaller-scale milling platform that lets them test new processes without taking their production machines out of service.

Fitzpatrick and Quadro now offer a solution for this scenario… the SLS – Scalable Lab System. A lab-sized and scalable milling platform that offers several processing options on one common drive platform.

Versatile particle size reduction with a focus on ROI

Pharmaceutical formulation and R&D labs need to balance between selecting the latest cutting-edge technologies for milling while having to analyze and calculate ROI and TCOs before making any capital equipment expenditures.

With all this in mind, the SLS – Scalable Lab System comes at the right time. Ideal for research and development labs and startups, the SLS is the world’s most advanced benchtop, multi-purpose powder milling and screening platform with interchangeable heads.

The SLS enables users to quickly experiment with five different powder processing and milling methods using four interchangeable heads on the same common drive.

Easy head changeovers (rather than having to work across several machines) allow operators to experiment faster and reach their research goals sooner—and with smart capital investment.

Now an operator can quickly test the same product with five alternate particle processing solutions and compare the results including the particle size distribution, the granule’s shape, the bulk density and the flowability of the powder. With the SLS, it is fast and easy to test and determine the best processing methodology for a particular product, leading to improvements in their production workflow.

Scalable lab milling equipment to speed up research

The SLS allows users to:

  • Quickly change between different processing heads in seconds and test a varied approach for the same pharmaceutical product
  • Improve on-target particle size distributions (PSDs) by up to 50%
  • Process samples as small as 5 grams with minimal loss (expect 95% product recovery for most products)
  • When you’re ready for full production, quickly scale up to large-capacity equipment using exactly the same parameters

    SLS - Lab Scale Milling Equipment for Size Reduction

All the milling and sizing options you need in one flexible platform

With the four different heads available, the SLS offers the core technologies of conical milling, lab-scale hammer milling, and security screening. Users can purchase all the heads at once, or add them as their needs adapt and grow.

When users are ready to move to full production capacity, the results gained on the SLS are easily repeatable on production-scale equipment including:

The four core competencies available with the SLS are:

Conical Milling - with the Quadro® Comil® U5

SLS Comil U5 Head for Conical Milling

  • Widest range of screens and impeller combinations available
  • Dependable results every time with tight granulometry
  • Generates very low levels of heat, dust and fines improving product quality
  • Direct scale-up pathway to the SDx U20x and Classic Quadro Comil U20

Laboratory Hammer Milling - with the Fitzpatrick L1A

 L1A SLS Hammer Mill FitzMill

  • High-impact mill for successfully processing finer particle sizes
  • Process samples <5 grams with minimal loss of yield or screen residue
  • Two blade styles made for cutting and impact
  • Direct scale-up to the SDx D6Ax and Classic Fitzpatrick Hammer Mills

High Energy Conical Milling - with the Quadro Comil H5

H5 Comil Head

  • High-energy conical milling achieves smaller PSDs
  • Primarily the best solution for APIs, and finer OSDs
  • Processes narrow PSDs with 30–70% more on-target
  • An integrated feed system allows for the highest levels of containment
  • Direct scale-up path to Quadro Comil Classic H20

Security Screening - with the Quadro FlexSift S5

S5 Comil Head for the SLS Lab Mill

  • In-line security screening processing head
  • High capacity for operators to efficiently test different protocols
  • Simple design and tri-clamp connectivity allow for efficient clean-down
  • Direct scale-up path to production size SDx S20x and Classic FlexSift S20

Interchangeable mill heads that are simple to install and change

SMART detect logo

The unique SMARTdetect technology built into the SLS automatically recognizes the processing head being installed and adjusts RPM to the appropriate level for optimum material processing.

SMARTdetect ensures that the head and drive combination is perfectly matched, plus operator safety is enhanced by an interlock proximity switch that prevents operation if the head is incorrectly positioned.

SMARTdetect, along with the simple tri-clamp connection makes head changes fast allowing users to adapt the milling platform to a different process within seconds without the need to reset control parameters.

In addition to simplicity, the interchangeable head system gives an unmatched level of return on investment and lower cost of ownership by offering all the powder processes that users need to experiment with, in one benchtop solution.

An unrivaled choice of perfectly matched processing options

With over 40,000 equipment installations worldwide, the team at Fitzpatrick and Quadro has earned the respect of customers worldwide for a combined period of 120 years. And because we manufacture the industry’s most extensive and flexible line of conical and hammer milling equipment, we also have the largest range of screens and impeller/rotor options to suit all powder milling and processing applications.

Our in-house experts have decades of experience in helping customers select the perfect equipment parameters to ensure they get the results they require.

An extensive selection of Screen types and sizes accommodates most particle size requirements. Screens are available with openings as small as 0.150mm (0.006”), and as large as 38mm (1.5”). Screen choices are extended further with options for round or square perforations, wire mesh, or for grater or Conidur holes.

screens for milling

Dozens of different profiled Impellers can be used to suit the specific application requirements. Basic options include round arm, square arm, or beveled arm impellers. More aggressive profiles are also available. Impellers can be further enhanced with available special finishes and add-ons.

Fitzpatrick’s extensive range of Rotor configurations enables users to achieve the desired Particle Size Distribution for any specific process. These uniquely configurable options can solve most powder processing requirements and achieve the tightest PSDs of any hammer mill manufacturer.

A scalable lab mill: it just makes sense

If your company is looking to reduce the time it takes to scale up milling test results in your R&D laboratory and move towards full-scale production, and also reduce the number of single-use machines from your working environment, then the SLS is worth a very close look.

With the SLS, users can test a wide range of powder processing methods quickly and efficiently, while keeping a watchful eye over their capital expenses. Moving to one flexible, integrated, and highly capable system platform like SLS really makes the best sense.

If you’d like to see a demonstration of the SLS – Scalable Lab System, contact us and we will put you in touch with your local sales engineer today.

Ready for production? Easily scale up to the SDx Series

Customers that are developing new product lines need to guarantee the easiest path from product research and development through to full-scale production. Quadro and Fitzpatrick now make the product development path as simple as possible with the ability to scale from testing and R&D size samples to full-scale production without the need for changes in parameters.

Learn more about the SDx Series. You can also get best practices and advice from our related articles on Particle size reduction mills and equipment.

Achieve the required particle size distribution Speak to the milling and sizing experts.   Contact our team
Posted by Matt Baumber


Blog articles direct to your inbox




Request a call back or email response

For more information, please contact our team via the form below and a representative will contact you to answer any questions. Phone inquiries can also be made +1-519-884-9660.

Quadro has earned the respect of customers with a wide variety of applications in more than 80 countries. Our recognized leadership in specialized process equipment was launched by a single idea in 1976 that has stood the test of time.