The Capsule Filling Process of different capsule fillers

- Thursday, September 1, 2022

Before diving into the capsule filling process, you need to make sense of different types of capsule filling machines, and their working principle, especially the working principle of automatic capsule filling machine.

After you have a clear view of what are the encapsulators and details of their differnt types, let’s jump on the details of capsule filling process of different machines. Hopefully, you will know  exactly how to use a capsule filler, and find your best way to fill capsules.

The Capsule Filling Process of Manual capsule fillers

In terms of cost-effectiveness and small-scale filling, using a manual machine is the best way to fill capsules with powder. It is easy to install, dismantle, and operate, requiring no professional training. Generally, it needs the following steps to finish the capsule filling  process:

i. Preparing 

Prepare filling materials and empty capsules, with two raw materials on different trays separately. In this process, the empty capsules can be either joined or separated, since hand-operated capsule fillers can handle both types of capsules smoothly.

ii. Loading 

If your capsules are separated already, you simply need to fix capsules on the capsule holes and move to the next step.  If not, after loading, you need press the handle so that the machine will separate the caps and the body.

iii. Filling

Pour the powder on the sheet, and spread it over the empty capsules. Besides, you need to use the tamper to compress powder simultaneously, creating space for more powder. Repeat this process several times until the capsules are fully filled.

iv. Covering

Carefully place the cap tray above the body of the capsules, and use your hands to apply some pressure downwards. Stop when the capsules are fully locked. 

v. Inspecting

When you finish the whole capsule filling process, you need to inspect the capsules personally. Pick up and remove the unqualified ones. Then move those of good quality to the next process- polishing.

The Capsule Filling Process of Semi-automatic Capsule Fillers

Though different capsule filler machines have different working methods, the capsule filling process of a semi-automatic machine is somewhat similar to a manual one. Certainly, it relies more on machinery but not human labor. In terms of medium-size production, operating a semi-automatic one is the best way to fill gelatin capsules - its filling capacity reaches up to 10k to 20k per hour on average. 

i. Loading

After checking the machine's working condition and surrounding environment, you need to load the filling materials and empty capsules into the loading systems.

Push the start button and key in the filling parameters at the PLC Interface, and the capsules will be automatically delivered into the capsule tray.

ii. Separating

Before the filling auger starts to fill pellets or powders into capsules, you will rely on the capsule tray to separate the caps and the body. Depending on the types of capsule filling machines, this process can be finished either automatically or manually.

iii. Filling

After being delivered by the conveyor, the filling nozzles will automatically fill the body of empty capsules with the help of a pneumatic system. And due to the dosing disk, the machine can achieve accurate dosing- a feature manual capsule fillers don't have.

iv. Locking and Discharge

When the filling is finished, you need to cover the cap tray above the body tray manually, and the machine will lock the capsules horizontally. Then it will discharge all the capsules for inspection and polishing.

The Capsule Filling Process of Automatic Capsule Fillers

This type of automatic capsule filling machine has reached a high degree of automation, and thus can finish all the capsule filling process without much human intervention. Generally, it represents the advanced technology in the pharmaceutical industry, and can produce up to 12k to 450k capsules per hour on average. Thus, it is well suited for large-scale production, and  the best way to fill capsules for commercial use as well.

i. Powering the Machine

Check the machine's working condition, and load the capsules and filling material. Then power the machine and key in all the filling parameters at the PLC control system. 

ii. Opening the Capsules

Before filling, the rotary turret will align the capsules properly. Then the machine will automatically separate the empty capsules when they pass through the vacuum unit. Then the caps will be moved to another place, waiting for locking.

iii. Filling the Body

The dosing disc will rotate at a set speed in the filling process. Then the powder hopper will release the powder into the dosing disc. 

At the same time, the tamping pin will compress the powder, allowing more filling material to flow into the holes of the dosing disc. When the holes of the dosing disc are full, the machine will fill the empty capsules with powder through the dosing plate.

iv. Locking the Capsules

After capsule filling, the turret will rotate, moving the filled body to the capping station. Meanwhile, the turret is also responsible for recycling excess powder, returning it to the powder hopper. Then the machine will lock and seal the capsules, then eject them for inspection and polishing.  

Wrapping up

Hopefully, this article can give you a quick overview of the different capsule filling processes. After knowing how to use capsule fillers, you can have a clearer view of the best ways to fill capsules for different purposes and choose a machine which is best for you.

 

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