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Prediction Performance and Economic Efficiency of Soft Sensors for in-Line Water Content Monitoring in Fluidized Bed Granulation: PP-Based Model vs. NIRS-Based Model
Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin  (IF1.645),  Pub Date : 2021-06-01, DOI: 10.1248/cpb.c20-01016
Keita Yaginuma, Shuichi Tanabe, Hirokazu Sugiyama, Manabu Kano

Soft sensors play a crucial role as process analytical technology (PAT) tools. They are classified into physical models, statistical models, and their hybrid models. In general, statistical models are better estimators than physical models. In this study, two types of standard statistical models using process parameters (PPs) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were investigated in terms of prediction accuracy and development cost. Locally weighted partial least squares regression (LW-PLSR), a type of nonlinear regression method, was utilized. Development cost was defined as the cost of goods required to construct an accurate model of commercial-scale equipment. Eleven granulation lots consisting of three laboratory-scale, two pilot-scale, and six commercial-scale lots were prepared. Three commercial-scale granulation lots were selected as a validation dataset, and the remaining eight granulation lots were utilized as calibration datasets. The results demonstrated that the PP-based and NIRS-based LW-PLSR models achieved high prediction accuracy without using the commercial-scale data in the calibration dataset. This practical case study clarified that the construction of accurate LW-PLSR models requires the calibration samples with the following two features: 1) located near the validation samples on the subspace spanned by principal components (PCs), and 2) having a wide range of variations in PC scores. In addition, it was confirmed that the reduction in cost and mass fraction of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) made the PP-based models more cost-effective than the NIRS-based models. The present work supports to build accurate models efficiently and save the development cost of PAT.

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