Auto Tablet Coater

Automatic Tablet Coating Machine: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Today’s guide will answer all questions you have about an automatic tablet coating machine.

Whether you want to learn about parts, working principles, features, the maintenance process, determining efficiency, or film coating techniques, you will get everything here.

Take a look:

What is Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

Automatic tablet coating machines are pharmaceutical devices that you can use in a thin outer layer on a tablet.

In this case, you will add a thin polymer-based coating on the compressed tablets to mask the bad taste.

Coated tablets

 Coated tablets

Tablet coating machine

 Tablet coating machine

Which Types of Automatic Tablet Coating Machines are there?

There are quite a number of tablet coating machines for different tablet manufacturing processes.

Here are the three main types of tablet coating machines that you can choose from among others.

· Standard Coating Pan Tablet Coating Machine

Standard coating pan machine

Standard coating pan machine

Just from the name, you can note that the standard coating pan has a circular metal pan.

The circular metal pan comes in different sizes and with diameters ranging between 15 to 200 cm.

It works on the principle of setting the pan in a circular motion after loading of the tablets.

This leads to the tumbling of the tablets and receives the coating through a nozzle on the machine.

· Perforated Pan Tablet Coating Machine

Perforated film coating machine

Perforated film coating machine

This perforated pan tablet coating machine works under a similar principle as that of the standard coating pan.

Also, the major difference is that this machine has partially or fully perforated drums that rotate in a horizontal axis.

The drum has spray nozzles that will spray the coating on the tablets as it rotates and tumbles over.

· Fluidized Bed System Tablet Coating Machine

Fluidized bed coating machine

Fluidized bed coating machine

This machine has a vertical column with the tablets at the base of the column and a stream of air elevating them.

With the tablets fluidized or suspended in the air, the nozzles on the bottom of the bottom will introduce the coating.

The suspension or fluidization of the system enables the tablets to receives even coating as it turns it on different sides.

The main disadvantage of this machine is the fact that it causes a lot of collision of the tablets.

This may lead to the breaking of the tablets in the long run.

What are the Advantages of Film-Coated Tablets?

You will note that tablet coated machines create a pleasant finish on the tablets among other benefits.

Here are the main reasons as well as benefits if using the film-coated tablets.

  • Film coating around the tablets is safe for you to consume and will not have any negative effects on health.
  • It does not affect the weight or size of the tablets as the film coating is thin.

This leads to a very insignificant change in weight on the tablets of between 2 to 3%.

  • Film coating will also protect the inner parts of the drug from interference with light and moisture.

This will preserve the efficacy of the tablet in the long run thus making them very effective.

  • Apart from that, the film coating has a better taste that will mask the terrible taste and odor of the tablets.
  • After ingestion, the film coating will protect the esophagus and stomach from the irritation effect of the tablet.
  • It will also help in the inactivation of the drugs in the stomach after ingestion.
  • You will also note that the film prolongs the dosing interval as well as drug effectiveness.
  • Patience has better compliance with the film-coated tablets since they taste better.
  • It also increases the shelf life of the tablets by increasing the stability and preventing dust settlement.
  • You will also have a better ability to identify particular drugs just by looking at the film coating.

Apart from that, it increases the appearance of the drugs that making it more attractive to patients.

  • It also increases the breakdown of the tablets thus making it more soluble and increases the absorption rate.

What is Enteric Coating?

Enteric coating

Enteric coating

Enteric coating is the process of applying a polymer barrier to a tablet to prevents its disintegration in gastric environments.

The enteric coating will prevent the drug from disintegrating in the acidic environment of the stomach.

Apart from that, the enteric coating will help the stomach from the detrimental effects of the drug or tablet.

It will allow the drug to move through the stomach and disintegrate at the target location in the digestive system.

You must, therefore, not crush or chew the enteric tablets as that may cause a reaction within the stomach.

Apart from that, it may lead to the degradation of the efficacy of the tablets thus limiting its use.

Are there Limitations of Tablet Coating Equipment?

Yes, just like any other machine, you might experience some limitations on the tablet coating equipment.

Here are some of the limitations that you might face by using the tablet coating equipment.

· High Cost of the Machines

Well, you might have to dig deeper into your pockets to get the automatic tablet coating machine as it is expensive.

The high cost is a result of the high cost of the machine, installation, materials, and cost of operation.

Toxicity of the Tablets

You might also use solvents in the automatic tablet coating machine that is toxic for human consumption.

Apart from that, the machine can also lead to tablet defects such as chipping, breaking, bridging, and capping.

· Requires a Large Space

Automatic tablet coating machines are bulky and cover a very wide space.

You will have to procure a very big installation and operating environment for the whole machine.

· Change in Properties of the Tablet

Apart from that, you run a very high risk of losing the original properties of the compressed tablets.

You might lose the properties of the tablet from the film coating or continuous coalition of the tablets.

Is Film Coating Machine the same as Perforated Coating Pan?

Absolutely, a tablet film coating machine is the same as the perforated coating pan.

The perforated coating pan is one of the types of tablet coating machines that you can employ in tablet coating.

It consists of a pan with partial or full perforations where the tablets will tumble under a continuous pan motion.

As that happens, spray nozzles on the perforated coating pan will coat the tablets using the formulated film coat.

What are the Types of Baffles in Coating Machine?

You might experience a number of baffles in the coating machine that lead to defects on the tablets.

Here are some of the baffles that the coating machine might cause on the tablets.

 Tablet coating pan

Tablet coating pan

  • Coat cracking where you will see cracks on the coat across the crown of the tablet after coating.
  • Chipping includes a dent on the layer of the coat which is usually towards the ends of the tablets.
  • Coat peeling and flaking especially when you expose the tablets after peeling of the coat along the edges.
  • Logo bridging where the coat comes out thus resulting in the formation of the bridge across the edges of the tablet.
  • Picking especially in the areas isolated when sticking of the tablets occurs.
  • Roughness on the surface of the tablets which will lead to a lot of difficulty in swallowing the tablets.
  • Erosion of the tablet surface especially when there is a high friability of the layer of the tablet coat.
  • The twinning of tablets where two or more than two tablets stick together after the coating process.
  • Tablet color variations where you will see different tablets with varying colors after the same tablet coating process.
  • You may also have tablet discoloration where the tablets have dark spots on them after completing the coating process.

How do you Evaluate Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

Note that you will conduct all these evaluations in the presence of your manufacturer to avoid biases.

The evaluation of the automatic tablet coating machine will involve three main sectors including:

· Current Good manufacturing Practices Compliant Design (cGMP Compliant Design)

You have to make sure that the tablet coating machine adheres to all the right quality standards including cGMP and FDA.

Apart from that, you will also confirm that the machine adheres to other international quality standards such as ISO and CE.

· Type of Materials

In this case, you will evaluate the material of the machine in terms of high tensile strength and resistance to corrosion.

Apart from that, the other parts must also comply with the set of international standards of quality.

· Ergonomic Design of Tablet Coating Machine

You will look at the ergonomic design of the tablet coating machine in terms of enhancing performance and reliability.

This will help in the reduction of accidents as well as breakdowns that you can easily prevent.

What are the Automatic Tablet Coating Machine Parts?

An automatic tablet coating machine depends on different parts to successfully coat tablets.

Implying that, these parts work in conjunction with one another to produce the final coating on the tablets.

Here are the main parts of the automatic tablet coating machine.

Tablet coating machine parts

Tablet coating machine parts

 Parts of tablet coating machine

Parts of tablet coating machine

· Automatic PLC Control System

You will use the automatic PLC control system in monitoring all the operations of the tablet coating machine.

It has a programmable control system where you will control all the operations of the machine from.

Apart from that, the system can also automatically display and record all the operations of the machine.

· Touch Screen Operational Panel

This is a panel that you can easily touch and monitor all the operations of the automatic tablet film coating machine.

It has a human-machine interface (HMI) which allows you to easily operate the automatic tablet coating machine.

· Electronic Motors

The electronic motors will generate power that you can use in the creation of negative pressure.

You will use the negative pressure in the process of mixing tablets as well as blowing of air.

You will find an electric motor in the coating drum, exhaust air system, and peristaltic pump system among others.

· Peristaltic Pump

You will use the peristaltic pump in simplifying the sprayer thus resulting in stabilizing the atomization.

In the long run, the pump will create thin coats over different sizes of compressed tablets.

·  Guide Plate

You will use the guide plate in giving directions on the mixing process of the tablets with different solutions.

It will prevent the tablets from breaking during the process of the coating by preventing the possibility of adhesion.

· Spraying System

The whole spraying system usually consists of a pump, nozzles, as well as a tank.

It is a simple facility that you can easily maintain and use in the complete spraying of the tablets.

· Exhaust System

This is the part of the machine where you will release the waste products especially the exhaust fumes from the machine.

What is the Working Principle of Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

The working principle of the automatic tablet coating machine involves a number of processes.

To efficiently operate an automatic tablet coating machine, you need to know the following operational steps.

Formulation of the Spraying Solution

First, you will have to prepare all the things that you need in the coating of the tablets.

This will basically involve proper preparation of the machine as well as the coating solution.

In this case, you will mix the polymer, colorants, plasticizers, pigments, and opacifiers into a solvent.

Make sure that you mix all these ingredients thoroughly to form a homogenous solution.

Apart from that, you can integrate the machine with a tablet press machine to continue supplying the drum.

Implying that you will have a constant supply of the drugs to the coating drum of the automatic tablet coating machine.

What’s more, the preparation process will also involve proper calibration of the spray nozzles for proper results.

Coating of the Tablets

Here, you will allow the machine to begin its operations as the tablets flow consistently into the drum.

The drum is in a continuous rotary motion that allows it to change the sides of the tablets on a regular basis.

As that continues, the machine will activate the spraying system which has the spraying liquid ready.

As the drum rotates the tablets, the machine initiates the spraying process which will land on both sides of the tablets.

Through proper calibration of the machine, the nozzles will definitely spray all sides of the tablets accordingly to completion.

As the droplets from the spray nozzles land on the tablets, it spreads uniformly into a film as hot air eliminates the vapor.

Final Process

With an increase in weight of about 2 to 3% on the tablets, the process proceeds with onto tablet printing.

This involves labeling or branding the tablets accordingly for proper identification.

The final process will also involve a thorough inspection of the tablets as well as sorting.

You will complete the process by packaging the perfect tablets into different packages.

Where can you use Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

You can use the tablet coating machine in a number of applications depending on your requirements.

Here are some of the applications where an automatic tablet coating machine will come in handy.

Pharmaceutical Industry

You will use the automatic tablet coating machine in the pharmaceutical industry to coat medicinal tablets.

It will help in masking the bitter taste and horrible smell of the medicinal drugs.

Apart from that, it will help in the creation of enteric drugs for specific target locations.

Cosmetic Industry

Automatic tablet coating machines are important for spraying coats on different cosmetic tablets.

You will use it to improve the smell as well as the appearance of the cosmetic tablets.

Food Industry

In the food industry, the automatic tablet coating machine will help in the coating of different types of food.

This will increase the aroma of the food and also make them look more attractive.

What is Automatic Tablet Coating Machine Specifications?

It is important that you get the proper specifications of the tablet coating machine before purchase.

Here are the main specifications that you need to have a proper look at.

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 Sugar tablet coating machine

Rate of Air Flow Specifications

In this case, you will look at the amount as well as the speed with which air travels or flows.

This is inclusive of the pressure system within the automatic tablet coating machine.

Operating Temperature Specifications

You will specify the operating temperature of the machine in terms of the target application.

Implying that, you will have a particular temperature range where your automatic tablet coating machine works.

The capacity of the Automatic Tablet Coating Machine

The capacity of the automatic tablet coating machine will vary according to the intended application.

Apart from that, you will have to determine the capacity of different parts of the machine including:

i. Volume if the solution tank of the automatic tablet machine

ii. Fan capacity of the automatic tablet machine among others

Size of the Automatic Tablet Coating Machine

In this case, you will look at the size in terms of machine dimensions such as length, width, and height.

As you specify the dimensions, you will include dimensions of main, hot air, as well as exhaust machine in millimeters.

Power Specifications

You will specify the power requirements of your machine in terms of capacity that the machine will handle.

The higher the capacity that the automatic tablet coating machine handles, the higher the power rating.

Weight Specifications

Here you will consider the overall weight of the machine as well as the weight of the other parts of the machine.

The parts of the machine that you will consider include:

i. The main weight of the machine in kgs

ii. Hot air machine weight

iii. Weight of the exhaust system

Number of Spray Guns

Well, you need to have a specific number of spray guns in your automatic tablet coating machine for the effective coating process.

What Determines the Efficiency of Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

You can determine the efficiency of the automatic tablet coater machine by maintaining particular parts in order.

Here are the main parts that you have to pay close attention to determine the efficiency of the tablet coating machine.

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Tablet film coating

· Equipment Efficiency

You must ensure that the parts of the automatic tablet coating machines are working at an optimum level.

This will ensure that the automatic tablet coating machine is working very efficiently in the long run.

Apart from that, you will also look at the specific parameter of the tablet coating process which includes:

· Coating Composition

You must have the correct coating composition by mixing the right ingredients in the right amounts.

This will also include proper regulation of the mixing conditions as well as the proper mixing of the ingredients.

· Air Capacity

In this case, you have to make sure that you have sufficient airflow within the automatic tablet coating machine.

This will ensure that the drying process of the tablets is in order thus increasing the efficiency of the machine.

· Tablet Surface Area

In this case, you will look at the tablet surface area in relation to the size of the machine.

You will use the right tablet surface area that will fit the right size of the automatic tablet coating machine.

How do you Conduct Validation for Automatic Tablet Coating Equipment?

Before you purchase any type of film coating machine, you need to do an evaluation process for proper validation.

In that case, there are three main evaluation processes that you will perform at different intervals.

Here are the three main evaluation processes that you need to conduct to certify the automatic tablet coating machine.

· Factory Assessment Test (FAT)

Here, you will do a thorough evaluation of the automatic tablet coating machine while at the factory.

You will perform this evaluation following the technical specifications of manufacturing the tablet coating machine.

After completion of the evaluation process, you will receive a factory acceptance test certificate.

· Installation Qualification Test or Evaluation

Well, after transporting and installing the automatic tablet coating machine, you need to perform an installation qualification test.

The installation qualification test will help you determine that the installation was a success without damage to the machine.

Make sure that you get an installation qualification evaluation certificate as proof of proper machine installation.

· Operation Qualification Evaluation or Test

Finally, you have to evaluate the machine on the grounds that it operates extremely well.

You will determine the qualification evaluation results by looking at the original manufacturing specifications.

You will receive an operational qualification evaluation certificate in case the test is successful.

What are the Common Defects in Tablet Coating Process?

In the tablet coating process, you might experience a few defects depending on the cause of the defect.

You will be able to identify the defects on the tablet coating process by troubleshooting the machine.

Here are some of the defects that you might experience by using the automatic tablet coating machine.

 Tablet coating process

Tablet coating process

· Color Variation

This is the situation where the tablets have different colors especially after completing the coating process.

You can sort out the color variation defect by properly mixing the ingredients to ensure even spraying of the tablets.

Apart from that, you should consider changing the additives or ingredients such as the plasticizers.

· Blistering

You might also experience blistering on the tablets that you can sort by using mild drying conditions.

Apart from that, you will also control the temperatures and use mild drying temperatures in the drying process.

· Roughness

This is the state where the tablets end up being too dry due to an increase in the amount of drying temperatures.

You need to use very mild drying conditions to avoid eliminating excess moisture from the tablets.

You can also minimize polymer viscosity by using additive solvents in your spraying mixture.

· Cracking of the Tablets

The tablets might crack due to inconsistency in the drying process of the tablets.

You will sort this out by properly controlling the drying parameters of the tablet coating machine.

How can you Maintain Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

You can maintain a tablet-coating machine by doing regular cleaning of the parts as well as replacements of the parts.

The cleaning of the automatic tablet coating machine involves proper spraying of the system using clean water.

For instance, you can clean the automatic tablet coating machine nozzles by allowing it to spray clean water.

This will allow the automatic tablet coating machine to get rid of the contaminants within the spray nozzles system.

Apart from that, you should open the outer casing of the automatic tablet coating machine and clean the inside.

You must also look at the parts that are worn out and then replace them with new parts.

Remember to lubricate the moving parts of the machine to avoid friction and damage on the machine.

What is Sugar Coating Tablets?

Sugarcoating tablets is the process of coating tablets using sucrose-based coating formulations.

During the sugar-coating process, the tablets will pass through the hot air which will allow water to evaporate.

This will result in a thick sugar coating on the compressed tablets thus masking the bad odor and taste.

The sugarcoat will leave the tablets with a sweet-tasting on the tablets after six steps of the coating process.

What is the Automatic Tablet Coating Machine Price?

The amount of money that you will pay for the automatic tablet coating machines will vary according to size.

Apart from that, the higher the level of automation and quality of the machine, the higher the price of the machine.

Generally, the automatic tablet coating machine will cost between 30,000 to 100,000 US dollars.

How can you Troubleshoot Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

Apart from detecting the defects on the machine, you can also troubleshoot the machine to identify machine problems.

Some of the problems that you might experience by troubleshooting the tablet coating machine include:

Inconsistency in the Spraying Process

This can be as a result of improper mixing of the mixture of the tablet films or blocking of the nozzles.

You can sort this by mixing all the ingredients accordingly and unclogging the nozzles of the automatic tablet coating machine.

Which Drugs can you Coat using Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

You can coat different types of drugs especially tablets using the automatic tablet coating machine.

Some of the tablets that you can coat using this machine include:

  • Valsartan 320mg
  • Ranitidine 300mg
  • Ondansetron 8mg
  • Zinc 30mg
  • Ibuprofen 200mg
  • Atenolol 100mg
  • Accord Clarithromycin 500mg

How Does Immediate Release of Film Coating Work on an Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

Immediate-release tablets are the special type of tablets that will automatically dissolve once it reaches the stomach.

In this case, you will mix immediate release ingredients to make an immediate release polymer for the machine.

After that, you will load the machine with the polymer and then spray it on the tablets for proper coating.

Which Process Parameters are Recommended for the Automatic Tablet Coating Machine?

Parameters in film coating

 Parameters in film coating

There are particular process parameters that you can comfortably use.

This is because these processes have undergone proper testing and proven to work efficiently.

Here are the recommended process parameters that you should take under proper consideration.

· Air Capacity

You will need enough air to assist in the drying process of the tablets after spraying of the film coat.

Proper drying will reduce certain effects from occurring thus you must ensure proper supply of air to the machine.

· Spray Rate of the Machine

The spraying rate will affect the level of moisture on the tablets that you are spraying thus affecting quality and uniformity.

Low spray rates often make the tablets to have brittle coats due to deficiency in the wetting process.

On the other hand, high spray rates will make the tablets become too sticky due to the excess wetting of tablets.

· Rotating Speed

The rotating speed of the pan will affect the mixing properties of the automatic tablet coating machine.

You should maintain the rotating speed of the automatic tablet coating machine at optimum for optimum results.

· Coating Composition

You have to ensure that you have the correct coating composition before you begin the whole coating process.

The proper coating composition includes doing a proper mixture of materials as well as proper pressure regulation.

· Equipment Efficiency

The efficiency of the entire coating process of the machine will depend on the efficiency of the equipment.

In this case, you will ensure that all the parts of the machine are in proper operation at the optimum level.

· Surface Are of the Tablet

The surface of the tablet that you are coating will determine the efficiency of the machine you are using.

You should consider coating tablets of standard sizes that the specific machine in use can handle accordingly.

This will help in the reduction of tablet deficiencies as well as damage to the machine parts.

In short, with this information, you can now boost your tablet compression by adopting a better-tableted coating machine.

For more questions or inquires about automatic tablet coating machines, you can contact us now.