A Machine Learning Approach to Qualitatively Evaluate Different Granulation Phases by Acoustic Emissions
Wet granulation is a frequent process in the pharmaceutical industry. As a starting point for numerous dosage forms, the quality of the granulation not only affects subsequent production steps but also impacts the quality of the final product. It is thus crucial and economical to monitor this operation thoroughly. Here, we report on identifying different phases of a granulation process using a machine learning approach. The phases reflect the water content which, in turn, influences the processability and quality of the granule mass. We used two kinds of microphones and an acceleration sensor to capture acoustic emissions and vibrations. We trained convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to classify the different phases using transformed sound recordings as the input. We achieved a classification accuracy of up to 90% using vibrational data and an accuracy of up to 97% using the audible microphone data. Our results indicate the suitability of using audible sound and machine learning to monitor pharmaceutical processes. Moreover, since recording acoustic emissions is contactless, it readily complies with legal regulations and presents Good Manufacturing Practices.