Capsule sorters or sorting machines are simply used to sort out good from bad capsules before packaging and distribution for sales is done. There is no way the capsule filling setup can be complete if this machine is not available.
It is very vital in the whole area of quality control. Another name for this machine is the capsule sorter.
In this guide, you will get to know more about the advantages of this machine, its functions, features, different parts, its application process, and more. Read on.
Advantages of Capsule Sorter Machine
If you wish to enhance the quality and reliability of your medicinal products, there is the need to own this machine. This will help you stay competitive all the time in the pharmaceuticals industry. Some of the major advantages that comes with using this machine includes:
- Reduced costs.
The costs that come with sorting with a capsule sorter is cheaper compared to that of the manual way of sorting out capsules. Also, it does or handles work at a quicker rate which brings manufacturers many gains.
- Enhanced level of accuracy.
In the pharmaceutical industry, accuracy is never taken lightly. This is why the use of these machines helps to keep all sorting jobs done in total accuracy without compromising on quality of products. Human error can affect such sorting jobs greatly. So, the capsule sorter comes in to ensure this is not a problem.
They come qith total flexibility as they are able to sort out capsules of different shapes ans sizes. Also, these machines work without any interruptions.
Functions of Capsule Sorting Machine
- Made to ensure sorting capsules that are loose, light in weight, and deflected is easily achieved.
- They are used to get rid of chips, broken capsules, and loose pieces.
- Gets rid of low-weight-filled capsules and ensures time is not wasted or lost in changeovers.
- Eliminates all risks linked with or to contamination.
- Ensures the best capsules within your batch are prepared for packaging and sales.
Features to Look for Capsule Sorting Machine
- It doesn’t take up much space and has small footprint which makes its integration good.
- Used to sort capsules of unique sizes. The sizes can range from 000 to 5.
- 316L and 304 stainless steel are used for different parts of the machine.
- cGMP – complaint.
- Can adjust well to voltage fluctuations. This prevents the increase in vibrator noise levels.
Parts of Capsule Sorter Machine
- Calibrated holes.
The edge of the designated disk comes with calibrated holes. These are modified to the format of the capsules that are drilled about it. Each calibrated hole is designed with 3 major sections. These sections are the conical inlet (introduces and turns capsules over), the bigger cross-section (ensures capsules drop easily), and the calibrated segment.
This part does its job by introducing capsules into selection disk holes.
- The Inlet chute.
It feeds all capsules into the machine to begin sorting. Capsules travel from the top section and exit via the required discs.
The overflow container.
All excess pr extra capsules are kept in this container.
- Dosing defects chember.
This container collects all capsules with dosing issues or defects after the sorting process is completed.
- Drive shaft.
It sets the system’s disc which helps in the movements of capsules through to the upper section of capsule sorter.
- Retaining plate.
This is a fixed plate that is located under the sieve. It works by obstructing the openings of the outlet, which in turn ensures capsules are vertically superimposed within.
- Outlet chute.
This chute is where all conforming capsules go through to their container.
- Expulsion lowing curtains.
This part ensures that capsules that are empty and low weighted are separated from conformed ones. It does its work by ensuring all capsules that aren’t conforming are blown into an exact discard container.
- Rejected product container
It does its job by being the container where all capsules with assembly defects are well stored.
Step-by-step Capsule Sorting Process
The process or working principle is based on airflow force. The process is stated below, step by step:
Step 1 – Connection of compressed air.
Compressed air is linked to the capsule sorting machine.
Step 2 – Feeding in capsules
Capsules that require sorting are fed into the machine to begin sorting.
Step 3 – Regulating compressed air
Regulation of the compressed air linked to the machine is done. With this done, the ideal weight and dose of capsules are separated through the outlet chute.
Step 4 – Loose pieces separate
With compressed or tight air, all capsules that are lose, light in weight, and empty are separated into the appropriate container.
Common Defects in Capsules Manufacturing
Most of the time, there are some defects that commonly comes with manufacturing capsules. Knowing about these defects will help you know how to spot them out. Below are some of these common defects:
- Cap loss during the transfer process or cap misalignment and body bush. This is caused by high vacuum.
- Dusty capsules. This is caused by going through with dusty fills.
- The cause of cracks in capsules is wrong storage conditions that makes it easier for moisture to be moved from capsule shells to encapsulated components. Also, the wrong alignment of upper and lower capsule parts can cause this too.
- Empty capsules. It is caused by malfunction in capsule filling machines which prevents empty capsules from getting to the exit chute.
- Dents and pinholes on its tips. The cause of this defect is excess lock or closing length setting although the process of encapsulation. Other causes of this defect include closing pressure being excessive, capsules being over-filled, wrong pin size or pin configuration, as well as the wrong conditions of storage (moisture).
- Telescopic capsules. These are caused by the wrong alignment of caps and body bush. Also, it can be caused by the rubber sheet of capsule closing plate being damaged, and the closing pin not being in the center of the body bush.
- Non-separation of capsules. This happens when there is insufficient vacuum or wrong vacuum pump.
- Damaged band. This common defect is caused by badly tuned banding methods, like the wrong wheel speed and height, wrong temperature processing, wrong band thickness, and bad or poor band wheels.
- Capsules that can’t enter the rectifier block. Capsules that are stored overnight and come with no climatic control and the non-alignment of magazine with rectifier block.
- Capsule damage during loading. This happens when the rectifier block with bushes is misaligned.
- Weight of capsule targeted not reached. It takes place when the wrong weight that was targeted regarding capsule size is concerned, when there is poor flow of the product, when there is insufficient binding for the specific size chosen, etc.
Other common defects include capsule lock length variations, weight variations, etc.
Manual Capsule Sorter vs. Fully Automatic Capsule Sorting Machine
Below are some of the ways through which manual or fully automatic capsules are different or unique:
- Working method.
Manual capsule sorters are manually or hand operated by workers or production team while full automatic capsule sorters are automatically operated with very little or no human involvement.
The fully automatic type is highly efficient when compared to the manual type. This is due to the fact that, fully automatic machines do everything from start to finish without no human interventions.
- Output or results
Comparing the manual and fully automatic sorting machine, the fully automatic one yields the best results in output compared to the manual. All the fully automatic capsule sorter requires is to be set, then it works. Since it is a machine, it works to its perfection. But with human interferences involved with the manual type, sorting capsules might not be to the perfection as is required.
It is never a surprise that the design of a manual capsule sorting machine is not the same as that of a fully automatic one. With the fully automatic type, everything is built-in. This is done to ensure there are no human involvements no matter what. However, with the manual even the vacuum nozzles are handheld, etc.
- Labour costs.
A fully automatic capsule sorting machine saves production labours costs compared to that of the manual type.
Integrating Capsule Sorter with Capsule Polishing Machine
The capsule sorting polishing machine is that machine that is ideal for polishing capsules but comes with the sorting feature too. It is used as well to dust off all dust from capsules after sorting out is completed. Apart from polishing and sorting capsules, it eliminates static electricity. Below is its working principle:
- Capsules are fed into the machine.
- The turning brush then brings all capsules into the cylinder.
- In the net cylinder, the brush polishes and takes separates capsules. All loose pieces and fragments are retrieved through the vacuum sucker.
- The brush moves capsules to the cylinder’s outlet.
- In sorting, fresh and tight air gathers lowly weight, loose piece and fragments of capsules to collector.
- The tight air force is shown on the filter decompressed valve meter. This can be altered at unique requirements.
- All good or conforming capsules are ejected from the outlet.
How Capsule and Tablet Sorting Machine Compare
The capsule and tablet sorting machines are not the same. This is because tablets are mostly hard pills and capsules are gelatin coated. So, the machines used in sorting capsules out are not ideal to sort out tablets.
Even with this difference, both capsule and tablet sorting machines have some common features. For instance, their working principles are quite similar
Quality Compliance for Capsule Sorter Machines
The manufacturing practice cGMP regulations include:
- cGMP Design
- Class 1 Laser System: FDA 21 CFR Part 1040
- OPC – UA Data Compliant
- CE Complaint
- FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant
- Validation Packages Available
Industries Using Capsule Sorter Machine.
- Pharmaceutical Industries.
It is used in this industry that helps in the production of gelatin capsules. They are also used along with pellets, granules, and powders. This can be achieved individually or in unison providing unique combinations.
Capsule sorting is an important quality control process. It helps you package high quality capsules that meet recommended starts.
For all your capsules sorting equipment, contact us now.
Capsule Inspection Machine – Source: SaintyCo
Capsule Sorter – Source: SaintyCo
Capsule Sorting Equipment – Source: SaintyCo
Sorting Capsules by Stiffness – Source: RSC
Automatic Capsule Filling Machine – Source: Capsule Filler