Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovation

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 174–186 | Cite as

Predictive Modeling for Pharmaceutical Processes Using Kriging and Response Surface

  • Zhenya Jia
  • Eddie Davis
  • Fernando J. Muzzio
  • Marianthi G. IerapetritouEmail author
Process Design, Optimization, Automation, and Control


Powder feeding is a fundamental unit operation in the pharmaceutical industry. For the cases in which first-principle process models are unknown, such as when new powder mixture feeding operations are being evaluated, or no longer accurately describe current operating behavior, surrogate model-based approaches can be employed in order to quantify input–output behavior. In this work, two such metamodeling techniques—kriging and response surface methods—are used to predict a loss-in-weight feeder unit’s flow variability in terms of unit flowability and feed rate. Based on a comparison of predicted with experimental values, an iteratively constructed kriging model is found to more accurately capture the feeder system behavior compared with the response surface methodology. Although feeders are used as a case study in this paper, the kriging methodology is general to address other processes where first-principle models are not available.


Feeders Modeling Kriging Response surface Optimization Powder feeding 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support provided by ERC (NSF EEC-0540855) and experimental data provided by Bill Engisch and Aditya Vanarase.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhenya Jia
    • 1
  • Eddie Davis
    • 1
  • Fernando J. Muzzio
    • 1
  • Marianthi G. Ierapetritou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringRutgers–The State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

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