The tablet is the most common form of solid oral medication because it’s easier to manufacture, more affordable than capsules, comes in many varieties and has a long shelf life. The pharmaceutical industry also produces nutritional supplements in tablet forms. The food industry also produces tablet candies. Different industries usually use similar processing equipment to manufacture the tablets because the process for producing them is similar regardless of the industry.
Pharmaceutical Equipment For Tablet Manufacturing
Some may argue that weighing machines are the most valuable equipment in the tablet manufacturing process. It’s crucial to get accurate measurements of ingredients before mixing them to ensure that each tablet has precise doses. So manufacturers use high-precision electronic weighing machines to get accurate readings before the mixing process.
A mill is a piece of processing equipment that reduces the size of large materials into finer materials. Manufacturers usually use it to turn a solid substance into a fine powder. There are many types of mills in the market, though cone mills are popular among pharmaceuticals, food and other industries because they produce powders with consistent particle sizes.
A mixer mixes the ingredients, usually in powdery forms, with each other to create the right blend needed to manufacture pills. There are three types of mixing machines; pneumatic or air-based mixers, tumbling or diffusion mixers and convective mixers. They are large enough to mix large batches of powders.
A granulator is a piece of pharmaceutical equipment that creates granules out of either fine powder or larger substances. In tablet manufacturing, the granulator usually does the former. Depending on its design, the granulator may either use wet granulation (mix a volatile liquid with powder) or dry granulation (create granules without any liquid).
Sifters or sieves are screens with pores that filter substances of different sizes. Manufacturers use them in the grinding process to make sure that the powder particles are small enough to pass through the pores. Many mill models come with detachable sieves of different sizes that manufacturers adjust as per their needs.
As the name suggests, a dryer is drying equipment. If the tablet manufacturing process involves wet granulation, the manufacturer uses a dryer to dry the granules. The dryer provides ideal conditions for the volatile liquid used to form the granules to evaporate, leaving the granules behind. Common drying machines include fluidized bed dryers, rotary dryers, spray dryers, etc.
Tablet Compression Machines
This pharmaceutical equipment plays a key role in tablet manufacturing. As the name suggests, a tablet compression machine compresses the granules from all sides to create tablets of required sizes and shapes. You can find two types of tablet compression machines; a single-punch tablet press and a rotary or multi-station tablet press.
Pills usually come out of the tablet press covered in a lot of dust. A dedusting machine removes the dust from each tablet’s surface through vibration and polishes it from all sides. The manufacturer can link the dust extractor to the tablet press. Types of dedusting machines include rotary vibrating deduster, uphill deduster, brush-type deduster and horizontal deduster.
Quality Control Equipment
Manufacturing firms use a variety of quality control equipment throughout the manufacturing process to test different quality indicators like thickness, strength, disintegration time, etc. These machines include tablet hardness tester, tablet thickness tester, disintegration equipment, USP dissolution tester, etc. These machines help manufacturers ensure that the tablets meet industry and health standards before packaging.
The main issue with tablets is that they have a strong smell and taste. Manufacturers use used processing equipment called a coater to coat the pill’s smell and taste so that patients can swallow it easily. The machine usually sprays the coating on the pills while tumbling them. The coat dries quickly to prevent the pills from sticking to each other.
Once the manufacturing process is over, the factory packages the pills before shipping them. The type of package the firm uses depends on the level of protection they pills need, their cost, and the convenience of opening them. Packaging machines may package the pills into bottles, blister packs, aluminum foil, etc.