Capsule Filling Line (Capsule Production Line)
When it comes to capsule filling, an encapsulation machine is undoubtedly the most important part of the production line. You surely want to select the best capsule filling machine, yet, to ensure a smooth filling process, there is an array of ancillary equipment and accessories that you should know.
To make it easier to understand, let's roughly divide the capsule filling line into three sections:
1. The raw material processing at the front;
2. The capsule filling process in the middle;
3. And the after-filling stage at the back.
Apparently, a plurality of machines plays a large part in the sections before and after capsule filling. Let me give you a quick tour if you want to figure out what they are.
Raw Material Processing Section of the Capsule Filling Line
The powders or granules may come in a bulky state before you load them into the hopper of the capsule filler. So we need to properly process these raw materials at the very beginning. What types of equipment can we use to do this job?
Powder Grinding Mill
A powder grinding mill is a machine used to break down solid materials into smaller pieces. Grinding mills come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also, they are capable of processing a vast range of materials. That's why the equipment is widely used in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, foods, cosmetics, and many other industries.
The powders or granules to be filled in the capsule must be finely milled to ensure that each capsule contains a uniform dose. A quality powder grinding mill produces the highest percentage of fine particles to help enhance capsule filling accuracy.
At iPharMachine, we offer a wide selection of grinding mills. They can provide high-efficiency milling with low heat, noise, and waste. Plus, these devices are all made from stainless steel in line with the GMP requirements.
A powder granulator works to turn powdery materials into granules. Many foods, chemical, and pharmaceutical companies apply granulation technologies.
Why is granulation used? Many powders are cohesive and poor-flowing due to their small sizes, large surface areas, or irregular forms. The granulator can help increase material flow for a smooth, consistent feeding into the capsule filling process.
Based on the technologies, the granulation process can be done in two ways: wet and dry. The former uses liquid solutions to form granules, whereas the latter does not. Which one to choose? It's determined by your specific production needs.
A powder mixer is a go-to to efficiently blend various raw materials for capsule filling. Typically, powder mixing technologies are built around many bulk solids processes. So, the powder mixer is installed in a capsule filling line for lab use and commercial production.
As with the devices mentioned above, there are many types of powder mixers available out there, such as double cone/V cone blenders, ribbon blenders, and 3D powder mixers.
All industrial powder mixing operations can be classified as either batch or continuous mixing systems. The powder mixers used in the capsule filling line mainly apply the former.
The batch mixing system can be fine-tuned from batch to batch. Also, it's capable of blending multiple materials in the same equipment. Easy to clean and user-friendly, the batch-type powder mixer is ideal for small or medium-sized businesses.
A powder sifter is able to separate, sieve, classify, and screen powders or granules of different sizes. It can control the particle size distribution of materials for consistent feeding.
The vibratory sifter is a commonly used piece of equipment in the pharmaceutical industry. It works to get rid of oversized foreign bodies to ensure the powder ingredients are uniform and qualified before filling.
With high efficiency and low maintenance, this equipment is a cost-effective option to empower your production line.
After-Filling Section of the Capsule Filling Line
If you already know the equipment used to process raw materials, let's set off for the after-filling process. To guarantee that each capsule is properly filled and clean, inspection and polishing are essential steps prior to final packing. Therefore, we need to equip the capsule filling line with a few more machines.
Capsule Polishing Machine
A capsule polishing machine is used to clean the filled capsules by getting rid of any dust or powder that adheres to their outside surfaces. It comes with a polishing chamber and a spiral brush. The brush works to remove unwanted particles.
This machine can polish and clean capsules of all sizes. Typically, it consists of easy-to-disassemble parts and is simple to operate. The polisher often works with a dust extractor to do the job.
It's worth mentioning that the capsule polishing machine can integrate with other functional equipment, such as capsule sorter and metal detector.
A dust extractor is a device specifically designed with vacuum technology. It's the best partner of a capsule polisher for cleaning filled capsules. Aside from efficient capsule polishing, this machine also helps create a better working environment with less airborne dust for operators.
A capsule sorter is engineered to reject separated caps and bodies, empty capsules, and unqualified capsules after filling. It uses compressed air to separate and remove unqualified pieces.
The equipment is capable of sorting capsules of all sizes ranging from 000 to 5. Plus, it can be mounted directly on the capsule polisher to improve the efficiency of the capsule filling line.
Pharmaceutical metal detectors are designed to inspect and reject ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel contaminants during the production of capsules, tablets, and other dosage forms.
As with the capsule sorter, the metal detector can also be fitted on the capsule polisher. It allows for more reliable detection of unwanted substances in the filled capsules.
The machines used before and after filling are indispensable parts in the capsule production line to achieve high manufacturing efficiency. If you want to invest in these machines, make sure that they are all GMP compliant. But in a nutshell, the selection of any ancillary equipment or accessories for the capsule filling line depends on your production needs.
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