SAFC expands continuous flow capacity in Wisconsin

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Manufacturing

SAFC expands continuous flow capacity in Wisconsin
SAFC, the custom manufacturing services business of Sigma-Aldrich, has installed a new commercial-scale continuous flow reactor at its Sheboygan, Wisconsin, facility with capacity to produce up to 150 kg of product per day. 

Now fully operational, the reactor is complemented by a smaller pilot-scale continuous flow reactor that is being fabricated at the nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin, facility to carry out process optimization studies and manufacturing capability of up to 30 kg of product per day. 

Yashwant Kulkarni, ​principal scientist in process development at SAFC told that the expansion comes due to client need and market expectations. The reactors are also leaner and greener than standard batch platforms because the reactions “are cleaner and higher yielding which reduces use of raw materials​,” he said. They also offer a smaller footprint, which “is often required in order to achieve throughput similar to or better than batch​.” 

In addition, there’s a “significant reduction​” in solvents and quench reagents “because of the highly efficient heat exchange and mixing (reactions do not require a big ‘heat sink’ and ‘diluents’ to achieve better mixing)​,” Kulkarni told us. 

Continuous flow manufacturing is a lean manufacturing platform that provides customers access to as little or as much of a product as needed. The nature of this technique offers safer, seamless scale-up of a wider array of reactions compared to the batch platform. 

Large batch failure is virtually eliminated which minimizes wasted time, labor and chemicals resulting from occasional batch run failure​,” Kulkarni added.    

The continuous flow reactor in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is currently online and SAFC is taking inquiries. Both of these reactors are supported by a multitude of research reactors located in the US and EU that provide support to customers from research to commercialization. 

In comparison to other reactors offered by SAFC in Wisconsin, Kulkarni told us it “has a significantly smaller footprint, provides better process control…[and] provides better risk management (as it relates to substance hazards and personnel safety)​.” 

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