After the Softgel encapsulation process, drying is the next crucial stage.
This guide will teach you all the vital processes when drying soft Gelatin capsules.
Let’s dive right in:
Step 1: Receiving Softgel Capsules From Encapsulation Machine
Once the Softgel capsules leave the soft gel encapsulation machine’s die roll, they should go straight to the drying system.
With this, you will avoid soft Gelatin contamination.
The first drying system here is the tumbler dryer.
Today’ machines have tumbler dryer as part of the production line.
There is a conveyor belt that connects the machine to the tumbler dryer.
Step 2: Drying Softgel Capsules With Tumbler Dryer
Tumbler dryer only pre-dries the Soft Gelatin capsules.
Usually, when these capsules leave the encapsulation machine, they are flaccid.
So, the tumbler dryer will improve the physical properties of Softgel capsules.
That is, they shape the Softgel capsule. By doing so, the Softgel capsules will maintain the shape of the die.
At the same time, these capsules will lose moisture, and the drying process begins.
The structure of the tumbler dryer is unique and straightforward.
As the tumbler dryer rotates, the Softgel cools down and becomes solid.
A Softgel drying machine may have multiple baskets. Of course, there are those with only one basket.
Of course, this is also alongside independent blower systems.
Ensuring Softgel Capsule Drying Efficiency
This is how you will improve Softgel capsules drying efficiency with a tumbler dryer:
i. Treat the walls of the tumbler to ensure there is no damage or scratch on the Softgel capsules during the drying process.
ii. Well-designed tubes or guiding bars should have a symmetric design. The bars will disperse all Softgel capsules within the tumbler dryer for optimal drying.
iii. Ultra-high molecular material with a low coefficient of friction will ensure no soft Gelatin capsule sticks on the surface of the tumbler dryer. Additionally, the Softgel tumbler drying basket should have an electrostatic discharge device.
As the tumbler dryer rotates, the soft Gelatin capsules will begin to spin. Similarly, the fans at the bottom or sides of the Softgel tumbler dryer begin to spin.
This will blow moisture air into the tumbler dryer. As a result, moisture or water on the surface of the Softgel shell will begin to evaporate.
As the process continues, water in the inner section of the Softgel capsule will move to the outer shell through osmotic pressure.
Eventually, the Softgel capsules dry to the quality you desire before moving to the next stage.
After the process, the tumbler dryer should remove between 23% and 27% moisture or water in Softgel capsules.
However, the process will not end here – Softgel capsules require further drying.
Step 2: Drying Softgel Capsules In Drying Tunnels
Once the Softgel capsules leave the tumbler dryer, it is time for further drying.
That’s where the tunnel dryer comes in.
First, you will choose special drying trays for the Softgel capsules.
Once the capsules leave the tumbler dryer, empty them in the drying tray. The trays have a unique internal lining for an effective Softgel drying process.
After spreading Softgel capsules in the trays, you will place them in the drying tunnel.
So, how does the drying tunnel for Softgel work?
Softgel drying tunnels offer an effective and reliable way to improve the quality of capsules. They help reduce water and moisture to a desirable level.
It is the only sure way to guarantee the stability of Softgel capsules.
Depending on the size of the drying tunnel, you can stack 14 or more Softgel drying trays.
Most Softgel drying tunnels use a counter-flow of air. That is, air flows from the product exit to the entry point.
Typically, this mechanism ensures an effective and efficient drying process. The moist air will be in contact with wet Soft Gelatin capsules.
As a result, there will be no possibility of skinning on Softgel capsules. Remember, skinning may occur when soft Gelatin capsules meet hot air first.
This will significantly affect the quality of soft Gelatin capsules.
As a result, we will have gentle and efficient drying as Softgel capsules move through the drying tunnel.
Although the drying tunnels come in many designs and configurations. They have a room-like structure which should:
- Guarantee free flow of air
- Ensure fast and even drying of Soft Gelatin capsules
- Maintain a controlled environment throughout the drying process
- Allow for both continuous and batch drying of Softgel capsules
In most cases, the air in Softgel tunnel drying has a relative humidity of 20%.
The formulation of soft Gelatin capsules, the capacity of the drying system, drying air and machine’s efficiency will determine the Softgel drying time.
Step 3: Quality Inspection
Once the Softgel capsules leave the drying tunnel, you will inspect the quality. This should include any inconsistent drying, color change, or possible damages.
After quality inspection, you can take Softgel capsules to other processes.
These may include polishing, counting, and packaging.
Bonus: In-line Softgel Capsule Drying Or Tumbler Dryer, Then Drying Tunnels
When it comes to drying Softgel capsules, these are some of the most common options available.
When you choose a tumbler dryer then drying tunnels, it implies:
- You will pre-dry capsules in the tumbler dryer
- Then transfer Softgel capsules into the drying channel
Ideally, this is a Softgel drying process.
The inline Softgel drying process makes the process straightforward. An inline dryer is on-piece soft Gelatin capsule drying equipment.
It receives Softgel capsules from the encapsulation machine. Then effectively dries all the capsules.
The Softgel capsules leaving the inline dryer are ready for inspection and subsequent packaging. So basically, it automates the drying process, reducing contamination and labor costs.
However, inline Softgel capsules drying systems are expensive. Besides, they are suitable for mass production.
Using a tumbler dryer and tunnel drying is an effective and reliable way of drying Softgel capsules. However, for high production needs, you may consider inline Softgel dryers.
At SaintyCo, we have a range of Softgel machines for your production needs.
Whether you want Softgel encapsulation machines, Softgel drying equipment, soft Gelatin capsule polishing, or packaging machines – we offer a perfect solution for you.
Contact us now for all your soft Gelatin capsule drying machines.