Softgel Manufacturing Equipment

Softgel Manufacturing Equipment

Our Encapsulation system is a solvent-free system, and fresh softgels are processed through drying + curing in low humidity chambers immediately after encapsulation.

Thereafter, this softgel can be directly printed using a laser printer or a conventional contact printer.

Some of our unique technical features include a special gelatin saving technology on our spreader boxes, tooling’s for clinical trials and small volume production batches, specially dedicated medicine pumps for oils and paste formulations, gelatin ribbon lubrication systems allowing different oil to be applied to both sides of the ribbon, pneumatic (quiet) wedge movement, water heated wedges, UPS systems, medicament recirculation systems, etc.

Some of these options are inbuilt and some can be offered to you on request. Request a quick quote on Saintyco Softgel Manufacturing Equipment now.

Softgel Manufacturing Equipment: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

What is Softgel Manufacturing Equipment?

It is an electromechanical machine that fills and seals Softgel capsules forming a hermetic seal.

You can also refer to it as Softgel encapsulation machine.

Unlike the hard gelatin capsules, Softgel capsules come as single piece that comes in different shapes, colours designs.

Softgel manufacturing machine fills liquid and semi-liquid material into a two gelatin ribbon that moves from two opposite sides.

Depending on the design of the tooling system (die roller), you can make different shapes of Softgel capsules.

 Softgel encapsulation machine

Softgel encapsulation machine

Why Invest in Softgel Manufacturing Machine?

Softgel capsules are becoming popular in many industries today.

Take for example, with the legalization of marijuana, a number of companies have invested in CBD Softgel encapsulation machines.

In fact, the future still looks promising for this industry.

Among the key reasons why you should invest in Softgel capsules encapsulation machine include:

i. You can produce capsules that are easy to swallow, making them perfect alternatives to hard gelatin or two-piece capsules

ii. Softgel capsules maintain the integrity of the ingredients

iii. Guarantees bioavailability of some ingredients

iv. Ensures accuracy and consistency in the dosing process

v. Can fill either suspension or liquids

vi. Offer better customization and branding with the ability to produce Softgel with complex shapes and sizes

vii. Hermetical sealing guarantees an airtight and safe sealing

What is Softgel Capsules?

These are translucent capsules, filled with liquid or semi-liquid solution that are hermetically sealed using Softgel encapsulation equipment.

Softgel capsules

Softgel capsules

Generally, soft gelatin capsules are popular due to:

  • Ease of customization depending on the shape of the die roll
  • Increased bioavailability
  • Ability to fill semi-liquid and liquid products
  • Ease of swallowing
  • Airtight sealing

Which Types of Softgel Manufacturing Equipment are in the Market?

There a range of parameters you can use to classify Softgel encapsulation machine such as:

i. Type of end product – there can include paintball encapsulation machine, CBD oil Softgel encapsulation machine, etc.

ii. Production capacity – you can choose from small scale, medium scale to large scale soft gelatin encapsulation machine

iii. Semi-automatic to fully automatic Softgel encapsulation equipment

iv. Benchtop to research and development Softgel encapsulation machine

Which Softgel Manufacturing Equipment does SaintyCo offer?

SaintyCo Softgel manufacturing line includes:

What are the Main Parts of Softgel Manufacturing Machine?

Parts of Softgel encapsulation machine

 Parts of Softgel encapsulation machine

Medicine Pump – It is also called a material feeding pump found just below the material tank.

It pumps material from the hopper, through the tube to Softgel encapsulation station.

Being a material pump, it is made from stainless steel.

Wedge or Injection Wedge-It is a wedge-shaped section which heats up the web to an ideal temperature.

The modern soft gelatin capsules manufacturing machines have sensors for coordinating motion, detecting temperature and motion.

Medicine Tank – They are made from stainless steel in compliance with the cGMP and FDA requirements.

It holds material ready for filling during the Softgel encapsulation process.

Normally, the design is such that it allows for seamless flow of material into the Softgel manufacturing equipment pump system.

It is for this reason that you will find most of them having a conical shape.

Gelatin Spreader Box – It spreads gelatin, forming thin film for the encapsulation process.

Softgel manufacturing equipment has spreader boxes on both sides of the machine (There are the left and right spreader box).

Material Feeding Pump System – Located just above the hopper, the feeding pump sucks material and directs it into the injection wedge.

The pump system has feeder tubes and returns tubes.

Furthermore, the machine has a pressure monitoring mechanism which protects the tubes from possible damage.

Cooling Drum – Softgel manufacturing machine has both the right and left spreader box.

The cooling drum will solidify by cooling the gelatin web while rotating in constant motion.

Depending on the design, you can choose either a fan or water operated cooling drum.

Chilling System – In addition to the cooling drum, Softgel encapsulation machine may have a chilling system.

It helps to maintain the gelatin to a suitable temperature.

Gelatin Melting and Mixing Tank – Depending on the type of soft gelatin encapsulation machine, the tank may come fully integrated with the machine or as separate equipment.

From the gelatin melting tank, you will melt and mix gelatin to a suitable composition.

Depending on the design of the tank, it may have valves, wall jackets and clamps.

Again, it should be made from stainless steel.

Lubrication Rollers – The rollers tightens the gelatin web thereby eliminating possible “wrinkles” that can compromise the quality of the Softgel capsules.

Softgel encapsulation machines have lubrication rollers on both sides of the machine.

Also, they have food-grade lubrication solution that protectsthe gelatin web from any damage during the encapsulation process.

Tooling System – The tooling system consists of two dies with different shapes and configurations.

Remember, it is the shape of the die which determines the final configuration of the Softgel capsules.

As the two opposite die systems rotate, they form Softgel capsules.

The working mechanism depends on the working pressure of the die tooling system.

Stripper Roller – It removes soft gelatin capsules from the web.

Die Roll Brush – The brush removes many Softgel capsules stuck on the die rolls.

Discharge Chute – Softgel capsules from the die system drops on the discharge chute, from where they move to the conveyor system.

PLC Control Panel – Modern Softgel encapsulation machines have fully integrated touchscreen HMI. From this panel, you can configure and monitor all operations of the Softgel encapsulation machine.

Basically, these are some of the main parts of Softgel encapsulation equipment.

However, this is not all, the machine has hundreds of small parts and components.

You should request for the Softgel encapsulation machine manual to know every part and location on the machine.

How does Softgel Encapsulation Machine Work?

The working principle of Softgel encapsulation machine is simple and straightforward,

It involves the following key stages and processes:

Step 1: Gelatin Preparation

Softgel encapsulation process begins by preparing gelatin formulation.

Basically, this is the outer cover that will seal the capsules.

You can get gelatin from boiling tendons, skin or other protein.

Furthermore, you will mix plasticizer, water, opacifiers or colourants.

Here is a useful guide you can learn more about Softgel capsules formulations.

It is important that you heat and mix gelatin to a suitable formulation forming a thick syrup.

It should flow, spread and form hermetic sealing during the Softgel encapsulation process.

Step 2: Prepare the Softgel Fill Material

It is the material you will fill in the Softgel capsule.

Normally, it can be liquid, oil-based solution, paste or semi-liquid formulation with the ingredients you need such as CBD oil, specific drug ingredient, etc.

Once you have the fill material, pour it into the hopper.

Step 3: Soft Gelatin Capsules Encapsulation Process

Gelatin ribbons from both sides will start moving towards the tooling system.

As the gelatin reaches the die system, Softgel manufacturing equipment releases the fill material from the hopper, through the pump to the wedge.

It injects the fill material between the die rollers, which are in a constant rotating motion.

The rotating die system, through a compression force, seals the two Softgel ribbon with fill material.

As a result, it forms fully sealed Softgel capsules that take the shape of the die cavities of the tooling system.

Fully sealed Softgel capsules leave the system through the chute.

Step 4: Processing Soft Gelatin Capsules

Once Softgel capsules leave the discharge chute, they go to the conveyor system to the tumble dryer.

The tumble dryer will remove moisture.

However, complete drying does not take place here.

Next, using the drying trays, you will take the Softgel capsules into the drying tunnel.

This removes additional moisture from the Softgel capsules.

After drying, you will:

  • Sort soft gelatin capsules using capsules sorting machine
  • Count soft gelatin capsules with the help of capsules counting machine
  • Mark or label soft gelatin capsules
  • Package soft gelatin capsules – you can use blister packaging, tin packaging, etc.

What are the Recommended Quality Standards for Softgel Encapsulation Equipment?

Good Softgel encapsulation equipment should conform to the following key quality standards:

  • CE
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)

What should you Consider when Buying Softgel Encapsulation Machine?

Before you buy Softgel manufacturing machine, you should consider the following:

i. Ease of operating Softgel encapsulation – you should go for fully automated Softgel encapsulation machine

ii. Brand or model – It determines whether the Softgel encapsulation machine will serve the intended purpose or not

iii. Change Softgel encapsulation tooling – With single Softgel encapsulation equipment, you can produce Softgel capsules of different designs and shapes.

You can only achieve this using different tooling systems which should be easy to change or modify.

iv. Easy to assemble and disassemble

v. Evaluate technical specification of the machine – these may include mould sizes, speed, machine design, dimension and related accessories.

vi. Easy to integrate with other Softgel encapsulation equipment

vii. Noise level

viii. Power consumption

ix. Softgel capsules production capacity

What Support Equipment does Softgel Manufacturing Machine come with?

There are quite a number of support equipment for different applications.

Some of the most common Softgel manufacturing support equipment includes:

  • Softgel polisher – It polishes dry Softgel capsules giving them shiny outer surface
  • Softgel Pulverizer – This equipment helps to recover damaged soft gelatin capsules thereby reducing the production cost. It may include unqualified or misshaped Softgel capsules.

Normally, it grinds Softgel capsules, where it separates the shell material and filling fluid or material.

  • Softgel Sorting Machine–The machine separates Softgel capsules according to sizes and shapes. It forms an integral part of the soft gel capsules quality assessment process.
  • Softgel Inspection Machine – Equipped with mirror, vibratory mechanism and rollers, it allows for inspection of all surfaces of Softgel capsules. It ensures that the Softgel capsules conform to high-quality standards.
  • Medicine Mixing Tank – It mixes medicine to get a homogeneous solution ready for the encapsulation process. They come in different options including the vacuum mixer.
  • Gelatin Melting Tank – For Softgel encapsulation process, you should melt the gelatin, which will act as a shell for the capsules.
  • Service Tank – Some have heat insulation, tight sealing and heating capability.It stores gelatin while maintaining a safe temperature.
  • Drying Trays – Once the Softgel capsules leave the tumble dryer, you will use the drying trays for further drying.
  • Colloid Mill – It is important equipment for grinding in the Softgel manufacturing process.

In a nutshell, these are the most common support equipment you need in the Softgel encapsulation process.

What is Paintball Production Line?

It is a special Softgel manufacturing machine specifically designed to make bath balls and paintballs.

In fact, there is no difference between the normal Softgel manufacturing equipment and paintball production line.

Does SaintyCo help in Softgel Encapsulation Machine FAT?

Yes.

It is through the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) of Softgel encapsulation machine that our customers will verify whether our equipment operates according to design specifications.

During the Softgel encapsulation machine FAT, we will work with your team and compile a report for the same.

Does SaintyCo help in Softgel Encapsulation Machine Assembly?

All our soft gelatin encapsulation machines come when fully assembled.

You will only need to fix the tumble dryer and integrate with other accessories.

Even with all these, our team helps in the assembly, testing and commissioning of the Softgel encapsulation machine.

More importantly, we also train your staff to efficiently operate and troubleshoot the machine.

In case of any problems, SaintyCo technicians are always ready to help.

Which Size and Shapes of Can you make with Softgel Manufacturing Equipment?

The size and shapes of capsules you can make using Softgel manufacturing equipment vary broadly depending on the design of the tooling system.

You can make oblong, round, tubs or oval Softgel capsules.

Of course, the capacity or size of the soft gelatin capsules will also depend on the size of the tooling system.

Types of softgel capsules

Types of Softgel capsules

Are there New Technologies in the Modern Softgel Manufacturing Equipment?

In the recent past, Softgel equipment manufacturers have been investing in new technologies and advancement to enhance productivity.

These include:

i. Advanced gelatin saving technologies with a modified spreader box system

ii. Fully interlocked system for safety, efficiency and reliability of the soft gelatin capsules encapsulation process

iii. Easy to change tooling systems for both trials and large scale manufacturing process

iv. Efficient material filling pumps

v. Specially designed lubrication system

vi. Fully automated system with touchscreen HMI

vii. Automatic gelatin ribbon thickness control, synchronizing of die system, timing and fill weight control

Furthermore, the machines may have more customized features and structure depending on specific production requirements.

What is the Average Production Capacity of Softgel Manufacturing Equipment?

Softgel capsules manufacturing process varies depending on the type of equipment.

For instance, there are small machines for clinical trials and high capacity machines for large scale production with a capacity of over 300,000 Softgels per hour.

How does Softgel Encapsulation Machine compare to Standard Capsule Filling Machines?

First, Softgel encapsulation machine is suitable for liquid, paste or semiliquid products.

On the other hand, a standard capsule filling machine is a perfect choice for powder, pellets or tablets.

The filling mechanism in both Softgel encapsulation machine and standard capsule filling machines is quite different. That is:

In Softgel encapsulation machines, two rotating rollers hermetically seal two gelatin ribbons as fill material flow within the ribbons.

You must dry the end product before final inspection and packaging.

 Softgel encapsulation process

Softgel encapsulation process – Photo credits Caps Plus

On the other hand, whether you go for dosator capsule filling machine or tamping pin capsule filling machine, it involves:

i. Separating or opening hard gelatin capsules

ii. Filling the capsules

iii. Closing the capsules

Filling hard gelatin capsules

 Filling hard gelatin capsules

It follows that the Softgel encapsulation machine and standard capsule filling machines have different structures and designs.

Besides, the working principle is also different.

Should Softgel Encapsulation Machine Feature Fully Integrated or Standalone Tumble Dryer?

It will depend on the design of the Softgel encapsulation machine.

In fact, you can buy a tumble dryer as standalone equipment or alongside the soft gelatin capsule filling machine.

What matters most is how you integrate it into the manufacturing line.

That is, it should be such there is a mechanism through which the Softgel capsules leave the discharge chute direct to the tumble dryer.

7 Softgel encapsulation machine with sg50 tumble dryer

Softgel encapsulation machine with SG 50 tumble dryer

What Other Drying Options can you use alongside Tumble Dryer in Softgel Encapsulation Process?

You can use:

i. Softgel capsules drying tunnel – you can customize the drying tunnels depending on your specific manufacturing requirements.

ii. In-line drying systems for Softgel capsules – It is a perfect alternative more so for high production of Softgel capsules.

With a fully integrated in-line drying systems, you don’t need tunnels, pre-drying systems, or drying trays.

Can you Polish Softgel Capsules?

Absolutely.

There are dedicated Softgel capsules polishers.

They improve the quality of the capsules.

Softgel polisher

Softgel polisher

Are there Conditions Suitable for Softgel Encapsulation Process?

Yes.

It is for this reason that the Softgel encapsulation machines are fitted with some sensors to monitor and control various working conditions.

For example, the gelatin melting tank, cooling system, hopper, wedge and rolling die systems; must maintain certain working conditions for optimal Softgel encapsulation process.

Furthermore, that temperature can range between 70° and 75° F.

At the same time, relative humidity should be about 30% to 35%.

Additionally, Softgel manufacturing equipment must control microbial and contamination.

Does SaintyCo help in Developing Softgel Manufacturing Equipment URS?

Definitely.

Together with your team, SaintyCo will help you choose suitable Softgel encapsulation machine that meets your specific application requirements and needs.

Simply contact SaintyCo technical team for any help in developing user requirements specification for Softgel encapsulation equipment.

How does Softgel Encapsulation Machine Control Soft Gelatin Capsules Uniformity?

Softgel capsules uniformity is an important quality aspect.

In fact, when you’re dealing with rotary die Softgel encapsulation machines, leaking is a major problem.

Besides, filling very small Softgel capsules can also be a challenge.

It is for this reason that the modern Softgel encapsulation machines feature:

i. Mini pumps which ensure accurate filling process – they are properly set up and accurately calibrated for accurate dosing.

ii. It is also important to evaluate the condition of the entire Softgel encapsulation equipment for any worn out the plunger, sealing system, tooling die system, valves, etc.

iii. A number of new Softgel encapsulation machines feature servomotors which are easier to control and configure.

iv. The machine should ensure accurate and consistent adjusting of gelatin ribbon, and web

v. Use accurate die rolls and a precise wedge system

Of course, all these will also go hand in hand with choosing high quality and reliable Softgel encapsulation equipment.

How do you Reduce Softgel Capsules Manufacturing Cost?

You should invest in high quality and reliable Softgel manufacturing equipment.

It will guarantee uniform mixing and precise dosing.

How do you Control Die Synchronization of Softgel Encapsulation Machine?

For a consistent and uniform Softgel capsules, you should control the die synchronization mechanism.

You can achieve this through mechanical adjustments by depending on modifications and gadgets.

Also, in case of improper alignments, your Softgel manufacturing machine will not operate and a signal will be displayed on the control panel.

With the improper alignment of die system, there is high chance of producing capsules with irregular shapes, besides possible leakages.

Of course, automatic die synchronization will reduce downtime and guarantee efficiency.

Does SaintyCo offer Aftersales Support and Maintenance for Softgel Encapsulation Machines?

Yes, at SaintyCo we offer aftersales support for all our Softgel encapsulation machines and support equipment.

Besides, we train your team on basic maintenance, troubleshooting and repair procedures.

Even if you want new parts or tooling system, SaintyCo team will be there to assist.