Tablet Coating Equipment: The Ultimate FAQ Guide
Tablet coating equipment plays a vital role in tablet manufacturing process.
And most likely, before you invest in a new tablet coating machine, you could be having many unanswered questions.
Today’s guide provides a perfect solution for you – keep reading.
- Why do you need Tablet Coating Equipment?
- What is the Significance of Coating Tablets?
- What is Film Coating Using a Tablet Coating Equipment?
- How do Enteric Coated Tablets compare to Film-Coated Tablets?
- Are there Disadvantages of using Tablet Coating Equipment?
- Which Ingredients can you use to Coat Tablets?
- How Does Compression Coating Compare to Gelatin Coating of Tablets?
- What is a Perforated Pan Coating System?
- How does Fluidized Bed Coating compare to Standard Coating Pan System?
- What are the Main Parts of the Tablet Coating Equipment?
- How does Tablet Coating Equipment Work?
- What should you consider when choosing Tablet Coating Equipment?
- How do you Control the Efficiency of Tablet Coating Equipment??
- How do you Troubleshoot Tablet Coating Equipment?
- What is an Aqueous Sugar Film Coating System?
- Why use Peristaltic Pump in Tablet Film Coating?
- Do Tablet Coating Machines Have Clean-In-Place (CIP) Systems?
- Do Tablet Coating Equipment have Drying Capability?
- Which Types of Tablet Coating Equipment are there?
- What are the Quality Standards for Tablet Coating Equipment?
- Which Tablet Coating Equipment Parameters Affect Quality of the Coated Tablets?
- Which Types of Tablets can You Coat Using the Tablet Coating Machine?
Why do you need Tablet Coating Equipment?
You will need tablet coating equipment due to the numerous benefits that you can derive from them.
One of the major reasons why you need a tablet coating equipment is to coat the tablets with a film.
Here are some of the benefits that will compel you to use the tablet coating equipment.
Tablet coating machine
· Save on Time
Tablet coating equipment increases the rate at which you will be coating different tablets thus saving you a lot of time.
· Enhanced Efficiency and Accuracy
The machine increases accuracy and efficacy of coating different types of tablets.
You will, therefore be very certain of proper as well as uniform film coating sizes on all the tablets.
· Increased Rate of Production
Apart from that, tablet coating equipment increases the quantity of tablet coating within a minute.
You will be able to coat different types and sizes of tablets using tablet coating equipment thus increase production rate.
· Easy to Clean and Maintain
You will also have an easy time cleaning and maintaining your tablet coating equipment.
It has very simple structures that you can easily dismantle and replace during the cleaning and maintenance process.
· High Level of Durability
The main materials for making the tablet coating machines have very high tensile strength thus increasing machine durability.
Additionally, the materials are corrosion resistant thus eliminating the possibility of quick wear and tear.
· High Level of Hygiene
The main materials for making tablet coating equipment are stainless and also corrosion-resistant.
You are, therefore certain of very high hygiene levels as the machine does not contaminate the tablets.
What is the Significance of Coating Tablets?
Using the tablet coating equipment, you can have an additional film on the tablets for quite a number of reasons.
Here are the reasons why the coating of tablets is very important:
- It masks the terrible taste and smell of the tablets using a sweet-smelling and testing film.
The machine will make the tablets become more patient-friendly thus increasing patient compliance.
- The sweet smelling and tasting film coat are safe and convenient for human consumption.
- The machine ensures that the weight of the tablet does not increase to a great extent.
- It includes an insignificant additional weight of 2 to 3% on the tablet since the film is very thin.
- It protects the tablets from light and moisture effect by including the additional film thus maintaining tablet efficacy.
- Additionally, it will help in the delay of tablet activation once in the stomach until the tablets reaches the target location.
- The machine will add a film that will prevent stomach and esophagus irritation which the tablets might cause.
- You will also ensure that the drug efficacy and dosing interval is at the right point by coating the tablets.
- Apart from that, the film will prevent accumulation of dust on tablets, increases stability as well as tablet shelf life.
- What’s more, you can easily coat the tablets with different film colors thus increasing the average drug identity.
- The rate of drug absorption in the body also increases significantly with the additional film coat on the tablets.
What is Film Coating Using a Tablet Coating Equipment?
Film coating using a tablet-coating equipment is the process of adding a mask or a film on a tablet.
A film coating is a safe and very thin cover that covers and masks the terrible taste of the tablets.
As much as it is safe, it also maintains the pharmacological components of tablets thus maintaining efficacy.
Tablet film coating machine
How do Enteric Coated Tablets compare to Film-Coated Tablets?
Enteric-coated tablets and film-coated tablets differ in a number of ways including the mode of disintegration.
Film-coated tablets have the ability to disintegrate once it reaches the acidic conditions within the stomach.
On the flip side, the enteric-coated tablets will dissolve in the alkaline conditions within the small intestines.
Implying that film-coated tablets release their components in the stomach while enteric-coated tablets do so in the small intestines.
Additionally, the enteric coating will protect the tablet coat elements from destruction within the acidic conditions within the stomach.
Apart from that, the enteric coating will also protect the walls of your stomach from reaction to the drug.
It ensures that all the drug properties and ingredients remain intact while within the acidic stomach conditions.
Film-coated tablets do not have that ability and may lead to some form of stomach wall corrosion.
What’s more the time it takes to do a film coating and that of doing an enteric coating will also vary considerably.
The film coating process will take a shorter period in comparison to the enteric coating process.
You can attribute that to the thin film coating which often dries out very fast in comparison to the enteric coating.
You will also note that the ingredients for film coating are often costly in comparison to the cheap cost enteric tablets.
Implying that enteric coating is more cost-effective and saves on a lot of money in comparison to film coating.
Finally, enteric-coated tablets often take longer to dissolve approximately 2 hours.
On the other hand, film-coated tablets will take a shorter period of about 30 to 60 minutes.
Are there Disadvantages of using Tablet Coating Equipment?
Absolutely, just like most of the machines, you might experience a few limitations.
Here are some of the disadvantages of using the tablet coating machine.
· High Cost of Acquisition
In comparison to other coating equipment, you will realize that the tablet coating equipment is more expensive.
The initial cost of purchasing, transporting, and installing the tablet coating equipment is usually quite high.
· Larger Production Space
You will also need a relatively larger space for setting up the tablet coating equipment since it is a big machine.
· Change in Tablet Texture
Using polymers to coat the tablets will change the smooth texture of the tablets to a mote rough texture.
This is common especially when the coating process is not even resulting in numerous bumps on the coated tablets.
You have to monitor the tablet coating film constantly to ensure that you have a uniform coating thickness.
· Interference with Pharmacodynamic Properties
You might also realize that the coating interferes with the pharmacodynamic properties of the tablet formulations.
As a result, this will make it quite difficult for you to swallow the coated tablet as well as a change in odor and color.
· Hazardous Solvents
To some extent, you might use hazardous toxic solvents that may become harmful to you especially during the formulation process.
· Tablet Defects
The coating on the tablets might lead to the formation of different defects such as capping, mottling, bridging, and chipping.
Which Ingredients can you use to Coat Tablets?
You can make coat tablets using different types of ingredients depending on the type of tablet coating.
For instance, when making a sugar-coating film to coat the tablets, you will definitely use a sucrose solution.
In essence, you will use a mixture of different ingredients including plasticizers, polymers, colorants, opacifiers, and solvents among other key additives.
Here is a breakdown of the most common ingredients that you can use in making your coating film.
The most common type of polymer that you can use in the formulation of the coating film is acrylic.
Apart from that, you can also use Ethyl-cellulose or Meth-acrylic aster copolymer to coat target release tablets.
The main solvents that you will use to make the film solutions include methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, and methyl ethyl ketone.
Apart from that, you can also use chloroform acetate as well as methylene chloride in making the film coating.
You can use different types of plasticizers such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol in making the perfect film coating.
You will use colorants such as synthetic lakes of dyes such a D & C colorants and FD & C colorants.
The most common type of opacifiers that you will use include silicates, titanium dioxides, sulfates, carbonates, hydroxides and oxides.
When it comes to making an enteric coat, you will use the following:
- Cellulose acetate phthalate
- Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate.
Additionally, you can opt for the compression coat option which is a polymer that has different drug release properties.
For example, you will choose a polymer that either has a rapid, controlled, or even an extended-release property.
Finally, you can also opt for a gelatin layer to make a gelatin coat for your tablets.
How Does Compression Coating Compare to Gelatin Coating of Tablets?
Compression Costing and gelatin-coating are different types of tablet coating systems that you can choose from.
To make a better choice, here is a comparison between the two types of coating systems.
· Compression Coating
You will use compression coating through the dry coating process to coat modifier release tablets.
In this case, you will compact granular materials around different tablets that do not have full formations.
You can use it in the process of separating materials in tablets that are not chemically compatible.
Implying that you will have one forming the tablet coating while the other remains at the core of the tablet.
The compression of the tablets is possible through more than one compression using different types of machines.
In the long run, the tablet will have a proper separation between the outer covering layer and the inner core.
· Gelatin Coating
Here, you will use a gelatin layer in making the gelatin tablet coating thus acquiring a tablet shape after compression.
You can print the tablets if need be as it allows you to have one or two colors on one tablet.
Apart from that, the other benefits of using the gelatin tablet coating include:
i. It allows for custom branding of your tablets
ii. Helps in the prevention of counterfeiting of tablets
iii. Swallowing of this type of tablet is often much easier.
iv. It is tampering proof and any form of interference is evident
v. It aids in increasing the stability of the tablets and also masks the poor taste and odor of the tablets.
You can use the gelatin-coating for double-blind clinical studies.
Apart from that, it is the best coating for tablets that will irritate your stomach in cases of quick release.
What is a Perforated Pan Coating System?
Tablet coating pan machine
Perforated pan coating system is a type of film coating system that uses perforated pan equipment.
The main parts of the perforated coating pan system include:
- Inner Air Supply System
- Exhaust System
- Spraying System
- Perforated Coating Pan
- Tablet Bed
- Air Suck System
In this system, you can either use the partially or fully perforated drum in the coating of tablets.
The machine has the drum in an enclosed system which rotates in a horizontal axis.
The spaying system is responsible for the application of the spraying solution on the tablets.
The tablet bed is the mounting point or support system that holds the tablets during the coating process.
Inner air supply system provides enough dry air that passes directly on to the drum.
It is the best coating system that you can use in drying the tablets after the coating process.
How does Fluidized Bed Coating compare to Standard Coating Pan System?
The fluidized bed coating system as well as the standard coating pan system are two main types of tablet coating systems.
Here are how the two types of tablet coating systems compare.
1. Standard Coating Pan System
Standard coating pan machine
In the standard coating pan system, there are three main components which include:
i. Pellegrino pan
ii. Immersion sword
iii. Immersion tube systems
Apart from that, the standard coating pan system comes compete with different parts including:
i. Inner air supply system
ii. Exhaust System
iii. Metallic inclining pan with a varying diameter range falling between 15 and 200 cm that can rotate.
iv. Liquid supply system as well as the atomizing air supply system
v. Spray nozzle
vi. Air suck system and tablet bed.
As soon as you switch on the machine, the tablets on the metallic pan will begin to rotate as the pan rotates.
During the same process, you will atomize the whole system then spray the tablets using the coating solution.
After that, you will allow the inner air supply system to allow the proper flow of air in a bid to dry the tablets.
This system is continuous and will save you a lot of time while film or sugar-coating different tablets.
2. Fluidized Bed Coating System
Fluidized bed coating system comes complete with the following components:
Fluid bed coating machine
i. Exhaust Duct
ii. Coating Chamber
iii. Funnel-like Modifier
Apart from that, the fluidized bed coating system depends on the following parts to successfully coat tablets.
i. Support Screen
ii. Air Atomizing Nozzle
iii. Atomizing Air Supply System
iv. Nozzle Liquid Feed System
v. Fluidizing Air Supply System
You will suspend or fluidize the tablets in the air by allowing proper flow of air from the bottom upwards.
After that, you will activate the spraying nozzles at the top and bottom of coating system to initiate the spraying process.
The spraying nozzles will supply uniform coating on the tablets thus creating a balanced coat on the tablets.
What are the Main Parts of the Tablet Coating Equipment?
The tablet coating system has six main parts that you will depend on during the coating process.
Here are the main parts of the tablet coating equipment:
3. Automatic Control System
You will automatically control the tablet coating equipment operations from the automatic control system.
It has a human machine interface that allows you to properly configure and easily operate the equipment.
The automatic control system has a programmable operating system that you can configure to accurately operate the machine.
4. Electronic Motors
You will depend on the electronic motors to generate enough power that will create negative pressure in the machine.
It will also generate enough energy that you will use for blowing the air that will automatically mix the tablets.
You can install the electric motors in the following areas of the tablet coating equipment depending on the design.
i. Peristaltic pump systems
ii. Exhaust air system
iii. Hot air equipment
iv. Coating drum
5. Touch Screen Panel
This is part if the control system where you will configure the entire tablet coating equipment operations.
Apart from that, you can also monitor the operations of the equipment from the touch screen panel.
6. Peristaltic Pump
You will depend on the peristaltic pump to simplify the sprayer hence stabilizing the atomization process.
This will, in turn, make a mechanism where the spray film will automatically stick on the tablets.
7. Guide Plates
The guide plates on the tablet coating machine will provide proper direction to the tablets.
It helps in the process of preventing the breakage of tablets through the prevention of adhesion of the coating materials.
8. Automatic Spraying System
The spraying system comes complete with the tank, spraying nozzle, as well as the spraying pump.
It is quite a simple system that you can easily maintain thus saving on wastage of the spraying solution.
How does Tablet Coating Equipment Work?
In many cases, the bigger the tablet coating machine, the more automatic the operations are.
To understand how the tablet coating equipment works, we will take you through every step involved.
Here is a step by step process that you can follow while operating tablet-coating equipment.
1) Preparation Stage
First, you need to do proper preparations which include proper mixing of all the ingredients for making the film coating.
Apart from that, you have to prepare the machine by ensuring that it is in proper working condition.
This includes doing proper configurations of the parts such as the spraying gun and the spraying nozzles.
After that, you will load the tablets you intend to coat inside the coating drum of the tablet coating equipment.
The process also requires you to program the machine from the control panel and allow the rest to proceed accordingly.
2) Actual Coating Process
As soon as all the parameters are in place, you will proceed with the coating process by starting the machine.
This will happen after ensuring that you have the spraying film formulations within the spraying tank.
The process begins with the atomization of the droplets so as to have a proper adherence of the film to the tablets.
As that happens the tablets will flow from the tablet drum and onto the coating chamber.
Once in the coating chamber, the tablets will rest on a tablet pan which can either be in a constant rotation motion.
After that, the spray nozzles will release the film formulation which will settle uniformly on the tablets.
The spraying process will take a few minutes according to the programming details.
3) Drying and Discharging Coated Tablets
On the final step, the machine will allow a stream of air to flow through the tablets thus drying the coating film.
Finally, the tablet coating equipment will uniformly discharge the coated tablets from the tablet coating equipment.
What should you consider when choosing Tablet Coating Equipment?
When choosing a tablet-coating equipment, it is important to take care of a number of factors.
Here are the main features that you should really pay close attention to.
9. Air Supply
The tablet coating equipment must have adequate process air supply to help in the complete coating and drying process.
10. Temperature Range
The machine should also have a system that is capable of maintaining narrow temperature ranges between 30 to 70 degrees centigrade.
11. Dew Point Range
You must also look for a machine that will make it easier to maintain a particular dew point.
Most machines must have a mechanism capable of maintaining the dew point between 10 and 20 degrees centigrade.
12. Ease of Maintenance
It is important that you go for a mechanical system that you can easily and affordably clean and maintain.
13. Automation Level
You should go for the latest form of technology with the highest level of automation of tablet coating equipment.
Speaking of technology, you must also ensure that the latest form of technology includes sensors on the machine.
The sensors will help in making the machine safer and also increase the efficiency and accuracy of the coating process.
How do you Control the Efficiency of Tablet Coating Equipment??
You can control the efficiency of the tablet coating equipment through proper calibration of the machine.
This includes proper calibration of the parts such as the spraying nozzle or system as well as speed of operation.
How do you Troubleshoot Tablet Coating Equipment?
You may experience a few challenges when using the pharmaceutical tablet coating machine which you can easily solve.
Some of the problems that you might face include picking, roughness, logo bridging, chipping and cracking of the tablets.
Apart from that, you may also experience film peeling and flaking, erosion, pitting, breakage, discoloration, and twinning of the tablets.
You can easily resolve these common problems by choosing the right type of machine, formulation and coating process as well.
Apart from that, you can use a mild drying condition to help in the blistering process.
Additionally, you can avoid some of the problems through proper programming of the machine at the control panel.
What is an Aqueous Sugar Film Coating System?
Aqueous sugar film coating system is a coating mechanism which minimizes the drying time from days to hours.
It is capable of creating a sugar film coating on the tablets within the shortest period possible.
Besides, it is a very safe process that uses water instead of using toxic organic solvents to coat the tablets.
It is ideal for use in non-automatic systems thus creating a wide range of tablets coat colors to meet demand.
Why use Peristaltic Pump in Tablet Film Coating?
Peristaltic pumps are the best type of pumps that you can use in the coating process of different tablets.
It is capable of transferring solvent particles in the most precise manner thus resulting to adequate thin films.
Apart from that, it allows you to control the rate of spraying according to the right speed.
You can also diversify the type of solvents which can either be non-toxic or toxic solvents thus ensuring safety.
Do Tablet Coating Machines Have Clean-In-Place (CIP) Systems?
Yes, tablet coating machines have Clean-In-Place (CIP) systems.
You will depend on the clean-in-place system to automatically get rid of dirt and unwanted particles from the system.
Do Tablet Coating Equipment have Drying Capability?
Absolutely, tablet coating equipment come complete with drying capabilities.
Most tablet coating equipment have air inlet mechanisms that allow entry of enough air into the system.
The air will dry the coated tablets and leave through the air outlet thus enabling proper drying mechanism.
Which Types of Tablet Coating Equipment are there?
There are three main types of tablet coating equipment that you can choose from.
Here is a complete review on the three main types of tablet coating equipment.
· Standard Coating Pan
This is a type of tablet coating equipment with a circular metal pan that helps in proper mixing of tablets.
One of the advantages is that you can get the circular metal pan in different sizes according to your coating specifications.
It is also a very simple machine that you will easily learn to operate with minimal assistance.
On the flip side, the continuous tossing of tablets within the equipment leads to quite a lot of broken tablet pieces.
The working principle is dependent on the fact that the coating pan revolves thus tossing the tablets in different directions.
This allows the spraying nozzles to apply enough and uniform film coat on different tablets.
You should consider using this type of tablet coating equipment because it is cheaper to acquire in comparison to others.
Apart from that, it leads to the formation of uniform film layers or coats on different tablets.
· Perforated Coating Pan
This type of tablet coating equipment has partial or complete perforations on the tablet coating drum.
The drums are often in a constant rotation motion in a horizontal axis.
It is a simple machine that is easy to clean and maintain.
Apart from that it reduces loss of tablets through breakages and chipping since it rotates at a slower speed.
It is quite expensive in comparison to the standard coating pan thus forcing you to dig deeper in your pockets.
Additionally, you will have to be careful with the coating process as it uses toxic formulations that could harm you.
The perforated coating pan is in constant rotation along a horizontal axis.
As it rotates, the spray nozzles within the drum sprays enough film formulation on all the sides of the tablets.
After that, it allows the entry of warm air which will help in the drying process of the coated tablets.
You should use this type of machine because it increases the speed of coating tablets while minimizing loses.
· Fluidized Bed Coater
The fluidized bed coater is a machine that you can use in coating different tablets using the suspension process.
Fluidized bed coaters work at a very good speed thus increasing the rate of coating tablets within an hour.
It creates uniform films all over the tablets ensuring that none of the parts is left out without film covers.
It also has a very efficient drying mechanism of the tablets after the coating process.
One of the greatest disadvantages is the fact that the tablets might reduce in size due to constant erosion.
It costs a lot more in comparison to the other types of tablet coating equipment.
The fluidized bed coaters have vertical columns with tablets right at the base of the columns.
It introduces a stream of air flowing at high velocity to suspend the tablets in the air.
It also sprays nozzles within the chamber that will automatically spray the suspended tablets with the film coating.
After that, it will suspend the spraying process and introduce a stream of drying air to dry the coated tablets.
You should consider purchasing the fluidized bed coater because it is very efficient and accurate in coating tablets.
What are the Quality Standards for Tablet Coating Equipment?
You must make sure that the tablet coating equipment adheres to the international quality standards before purchasing.
Here are the main quality standards that the tablet coating equipment must adhere to.
· CE Quality Standards
The CE quality standards ensures that all the electrical components within the machine are of high quality.
It will ensure you are safe from any electrical faults that may occur as you use the machine.
· Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Quality Standards
This quality standard will ensure that the machine is safe for the coating process of different tablets.
· Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) Quality Standards
The cGMP quality standards will ensure that the machine production is up to the latest quality standards.
Which Tablet Coating Equipment Parameters Affect Quality of the Coated Tablets?
There are four major tablet coating equipment parameters which will affect the quality of the coated tablets.
Here are the parameters that you have to take into proper consideration.
- Adequate atomizing means of the spray nozzle
- Proper agitation and mixing of the tablets
- Proper input of energy in the form of heated air
Proper exhaust facilities
Which Types of Tablets can You Coat Using the Tablet Coating Machine?
There are quite a number of tablets that you will coat using the tablet coating machine.
Some of the tablets that you can coat using the tablet coating equipment include:
- Valsartan 320mg
- Ranitidine 300mg
- Ondansetron 8mg
- Zinc 30mg
- Ibuprofen 200mg
- Atenolol 100mg
- Accord Clarithromycin 500mg among others.
In short, whether you want tablet coating equipment for small scale or mass production, SaintyCo provides a perfect solution for you.
Contact us today for a complete support on tablet coating equipment such as design, manufacturing, equipment qualification, installation, commissioning and maintenance.