Capsule Printing Machine: The Ultimate Guide

Most regulations require a distinctive imprint code useful for identification after removing the medicine from its package, a reason why you need a capsule printing machine.

The code can be a single number or letter, any blend of numbers and letters, consisting of:

  • Words
  • mark
  • Logo
  • Symbol
  • Company names, or other unique marks.

As a pharmaceutical manufacturer, you will need a capsule printing machine to put these imprints on your products.

Implying, you need a printer alongside capsule filling machines.

And today, you’re going to learn how to get the best capsule printing machine.

Let’s get started:

Capsule printing

 Capsule printing

What is a Capsule Printing Machine?

Capsule printer is a machine that helps in putting indicia on pharmaceutical products.

More particularly, it is a machine instrumental for printing marks or other identifying labels on filled or unfilled capsules.

As a pharmaceutical manufacturer, it is highly advisable to mark and identify your capsules appropriately.

You should provide several items of information, consisting of a lot number, manufacturer identification, trademark, among other essential information.

However, it is desirable to divide the printed matter between two printing regions, for example, on opposite sides of the capsule.

Capsule printing machine

Capsule printing machine

Most capsule printers in the market are known for fast and high-quality printing and high flexibility.

They commonly find application in axial printing on capsules of different specifications and types.

The material making the body of the printing machine is mirror finishing stainless steel with majority conforming to the GMP standards.

Capsule printing machine extensively find use in the pharmaceutical industry and is appropriate for printing on different capsule sizes, including some soft capsules.

Most capsule printers boast of the following features:

  • Adjustable speed
  • Stable performance
  • Easy operation
  • Small physical size
  • Low noise
  • Gravure distracted printing
  • Clear printing and high versatility to different products.

There are high-end models of capsule printing machines that are able to print trademark, pictures, and characters in circumference of 270 degree.

Other models with oriented and two-color printing on the cap and body of the capsule produce more varied and colorful printing effects.

You apply advanced changeable frequency control systems to operate these high-end types of capsule printing machines.

Also, it is easy to perfectly fuse them with electronics, aeromechanics and other machines making them a perfect fit for capsule printing.

Types of Capsule Printing Machine

There exist various types of capsule printer though available in the market can print one or two colors on every side of the capsules.

Both types of capsule printing machine are user-friendly and fully customizable.

With the machines, you can custom-print your capsules to include dosage, your brand name, logo, or any other identifying symbol or combination of characters.

 Printing on capsules

 Printing on capsules

As mentioned earlier, capsule printing machines can print both empty and filled capsules of any size and shape.

The control of the printing equipment is on a single panel and they are easy to operate than one operator can manage several at a go.

Irrespective of the type of capsule printing machine you opt for, they offer low cost per print, yet extremely high quality of the imprint code.

This enhances the appearance, brand identification and quality of your pharmaceutical products.

· Single Color Capsule Printer

From the name, it possible to print one color only on your pharmaceutical products using this capsule printing machine.

The equipment can manage a broad variety of capsule sizes and shape.

Besides, those with double gravure printing mechanism deliver twice the information, that is, logos, brand name, per cycle.

The machine has carefully designed rotary feed discs with each having dual carrier pockets that transfer the capsules to the printing station at high rates.

It banks on the reliability of the disc feeding and air controls. It combines the high-quality gravure printing with high output, precision registration, and versatility

 

 Section of capsule printing machine

Section of capsule printing machine

With the single color capsule printing machine, it is possible to achieve printing rates of up to 200,000 capsules per hour.

It will be based on the size of the product, disc speed and fill rate.

You attain clear, precise prints every time.

Single color capsule printer has the printing controls integrated on one panel at its front, with air jets controlling the pharmaceutical products handling.

You can easily repeat the pressure settings without trial and error.

Stainless steel makes the whole body of this type of capsule printing machine and most have PLC and touch screen control systems.

Because of ease of operating it, it can significantly lower the intensity of labor and boost working efficiency.

Single color capsule printing machines usually have compact bodies, making them appealing and elegant.

In addition, stainless steel forms all the surfaces that get into contact with the drugs, thus they meet the GMP standards.

· Multi-Color Capsule Printer

As suggested by the name, this capsule printing machine can print several color on the pharmaceutical products.

The most common type is the two-color capsule printer, which is fit for cap-body two-color print of capsules of various specifications and models.

Multi color capsule printer

 Multi color capsule printer

Remember, the two-color capsule printer:

i. Print to your customer requirements

ii. Enhancing the capsules appearance

iii. Prevent counterfeiting

iv. Promote brand image or brand

Some multi-color capsule printing machines have automatic arithmometer system.

This makes them more convenient and appealing.

Two-color capsule printers have great demand in the pharmaceutical industry.

Their design enables them to offer fast and high-quality prints, and they can do both circle and axial printing on capsules.

Manufactured according to set GMP standards, you can easily configure a multi-color capsule printer to suit different kinds of production.

The machines are easy to operate, flexible, and trouble-free in operation.

The machines have a variable speed and clear printing and are variable in a wide range of specifications.

They offer precise printing on all types of capsules, whether round-shaped, oval sized, hexagonal, or small sized.

Some multi-color capsule printing machines can print barcode and data matrix as well; this further helps in protecting your pharmaceutical products from counterfeiting.

Benefits of Capsule Printing Machine

Product recognition

You can accomplish printing on one or two sides of your capsules, giving you the chance to print in two colors or various logos on every side of the pharmaceutical products.

Applications of two-sided capsule printing commonly comprise of printing the company logo on one surface and the brand name or symbol on the other surface.

Two-sided capsule printing also provides the perfect solution for pharmaceutical products that needs to be packed in blisters.

It guarantees that a vividly visible identification, imprinted directly on the capsule, will be visible in the blister pack.

· Product Differentiation

The identification of capsules by printing is instrumental in differentiating your products.

You can print the capsules either radially, or linearly, along the capsule length, up to 340° about the capsule

 Different types of capsules

 Different types of capsules

The machine can rectify and print with a brand name or logo in a single color usually on the cap, and a separate logo, in a different color, normally on the body.

Printing of capsules as well offers the chance for enhanced “just in time” production ability by:

  1. Having various capsules with similar size and color
  2. Employing capsule printing machine to differentiate them

Applying this concept helps you reduce inventory and increase your buying leverage by buying larger quantities.

Increase customer loyalty

Capsule printer is a worthy investment to increase your pharmaceutical product value.

Brand recognition plays a vital role in building customer loyalty.

For that matter, you should invest in a capsule printing system that imprints a precise, clear information on each pharmaceutical product that leaves your production facility.

The capsule printing machines are a brand marking systems that performs direct printing on basically any shaped capsule.

 Capsules without marking

 Capsules without marking

This offers infinite chances for creating product differentiation and distinct marketing strategies.

It is possible to brand applying simple straight-line print, unique symbols, or artistic designs employing characters or letters in contrasting colors.

You can customize a solution to offer the quality printing your pharmaceutical product deserves.

Whether your objective is to boost product recognition, increase product sale, or provide seasonal promotions.

Parts and Components of a Capsule Printing Machine

Capsule printing machine comprise primarily of a feeder system and the linking mechanism.

In addition, it has a transport system that is useful in the transportation of unprinted capsules in measured quantities.

That is, from the bulk storage to the hopper, positioned above the feeder mechanism.

 Capsule printing machine

 Capsule printing machine

1. Feed system

It consists typically of a feed disc attached to a flange, which in turn connects to a rotatable shaft steered from conventional gear reducer.

Along the circumference of the feed disc are several recesses or slots with separators.

The separators can have slanted, curved, or straight shape configuration.

The type of separator configuration relies on the size and shape of the capsules you will be feeding into the system.

There is a stationary ring immediately below the slot sections which go beyond the circumference of the feed disc.

The ring consists of a flat track section and an upstanding wall section, which goes upward adjacent the exterior end segments of the separators.

Implying, the support track and wall are discontinuous from a region just before the printing station, toa region following the printing station.

It allows for passing of the capsules between offset rolls.

The feed disc spins anticlockwise at approximately 170 r.p.m.

While the resultant centrifugal force pushes the capsules outwards, forcing them into the holes in an end-to-end alignment.

The design of the slots is in such a way that the capsules cannot jam in the holes.

As the feed disc continue rotating, it thrusts the capsules in each of the holes outwards.

This, in turn, pushes the outermost capsule in every hole against the upstanding wall section on ring and propped up below by the supporting track.

2. Hopper

This component primary comprise of an open-ended cylinder made of approved plastic or other material.

It holds and directs adequate amount of the capsules into the capsule printing system.

The hopper has a tapered bottom part, and an opening of smaller cross-section than the piston and its positioning is a short distance high up the plane of the rotating disk.

3. Deflector screen

Found on the exhaust end of the feed system, air flows through the screen, which in turn deflects the capsules downward.

By maintaining this movement of air flowing from the hopper, it prevents the blowing out of the low mass capsules.

4. Inking and Printing system

This mechanism comprise of two rotatable components which have their axes of rotation inclined in parallel relationship: a rotogravure roll and an offset roll.

The inking and printing system consists primarily of two distinct and independent systems.

5. Rotogravure roll

This component of the printing system has an external surface of chrome plated on copper.

The layer has a depressed marks engraved in its surface.

It is this part that helps in the printing the information you would like to print.

Enclosing the gravure roll is a housing of plastic or other approved material useful to completely encase the roll and offer an opening for allowing contact with offset roll.

Technical drawing of capsule printing machine

 Technical drawing of capsule printing machine

6. Ink Reservoir

Located adjacent to the gravure roll is a conventional fountain of printing ink.

The reservoir holds an ink appropriate for printing the information on your pharmaceutical products.

Rotation of gravure roll applies the ink in the engraving with excess removed by a blade.

7. Offset roll

The location of the offset roll is on the opposite side of the gravure roll.

Material used to manufacture this component is any rubber-like substance conventionally used for such purposes.

Most offset roll surface are split into two different coplanar surfaces.

This division of surfaces allows the offset rolls to curve independently in order to accommodate the varying diameter surfaces, which make part of every half of an ordinary capsule.

After every capsule goes through between the offset printing rolls.

And because there is no support track section below it at this point, it simply drops into a collection container.

A high-pressure air jet helps in the downward fall of the capsule.

Design of the inking system of the capsule printing machine enables it to print one or two color on every capsule at the speed of at least 10,000 capsules per minute.

8. Inlet Pipe

The gear pump draws in the ink from the ink supply reservoir into the inlet pipe.

It is this part that discharges the onto the gravure roll.

The quantity of ink supplied to the rotogravure roll should be more than the amount required to ensure adequate inking and doctoring of the engraving.

9. Doctor blade

It is an important part of the capsule printer, which has a sharp edge in touch with the gravure roll to remove excesses of ink.

A conventional motor continuously drives it in rotation via a flexible cable.

Typically, the blade rotates in a clockwise direction making one revolution each one-quarter hour.

This wipes the surface of the gravure roll substantially cleaning it.

The excess ink flows back to the reservoir through a drain tube.

You can easily replace the doctor blade without disassembling the ink reservoir system.

You simply withdraw the old blade and insert a new one.

10. Discharge Chute

This is the component of the capsule printing machine that receives the products after their branding.

It deposits the capsules in a designated container for transfer to other points of processing or packaging.

How Capsule printing Machine Works

Capsule printer is useful in printing a variety of information for instance company name and logo, product name, the approved chemical name or product strength.

This enables quick identification of the ingredients of the capsule, which is specifically critical in instances of poisoning.

It as well assist in promoting the identity of the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

The commonly employed process in capsule printing is an “offset” technique utilizing pharmaceutical grade ink on an automatic capsule printing machine.

Usually, it is the manufacturers of empty shells who carry out the capsule printing.

However, a very small percentage of pharmaceutical producers do print capsules after filling them.

All capsule printing machines have similar basic parts that crucial for an “offset” process, and they vary from one another only in the manner of handling capsules.

You engrave the legend you want to print on a highly polished metal cylinder.

The material used to make the cylinder should either be stainless steel or a softer metal like brass, which is chromium-plated.

This is the part referred to as rotogravure cylinder.

The rotogravure cylinder of the capsule printing machine spins in a reservoir of printing ink.

Also, the engraving gets filled up with the ink, and as the cylinder spins it gets in touch with the sharp end of a metal strip referred to as the doctor blade.

Mark to print on capsule

 Mark to print on capsule

The blade eliminates the ink off the surface of the rotogravure cylinder leaving only those that fill up the engraving.

From here, the capsule printer system transfers the ink to a rubber-offset roll driven to run in touch with the rotogravure cylinder.

The ink gets transferred to the capsules as they pass below the rubber roll

In some capsule printing machines, you will find another rubber roller used at this position.

They will use the pressure roll to make sure the capsules push against the offset roller to pick up the printing ink.

There exist only a few specialist producers of capsule printers.

They offer models varying in capacity from 20,000 to 1,000,000 capsules per hour.

Some capsule printing machines have a longer conveyor belt immediately after the printing roller.

This gives the ink more time in order for it to dry on the capsule shells before they get into contact with each other in the collecting hopper.

Additionally, the belt provides room for positioning of automatic capsule inspection machines.

Some modern capsule printing machines have the capability to correct capsules prior to printing if necessary.

Hence you are able to print distinct information specifically on either the cap or body of the capsule.

As we have seen in the previous section, some machines have the ability to print information in two different ink colors.

In addition, when you print the capsules radially, you in a position to print bands of colors on it to create a more complex set-up.

· Printing Ink

All inks used in capsule printing machines have similar basic formulation.

The process of making the printing inks involves dispersing insoluble colorants in a volatile solvent system containing a film-forming polymer.

Also, the constituents should be of oral pharmaceutical grade and conforms to the laws in your country or region.

Capsule printing process

 Capsule printing process

There are two basic colorants used in capsule printing machine inks:

  • Pigments
  • Lake dyes

Pigments are insoluble substances, and the commonly applied ones are titanium dioxide, carbon and iron oxides (yellow, black and red).

On the other hand, lakes are dyes which have been adsorbed on to a substrate of titanium dioxide or alumina.

You use the same dyes for coloring capsules to make them.

The amount of colorant utilized varies from 20-40 percent w/v of the ink.

It is possible to produce a broad variety of ink colors.

However, this is not always the case in practice.

The typical inks available are the basic colors white, grey, black, red and blue.

This is because you will in most instances be applying the inks to colored surface of a capsule.

In addition, the printing characters are usually very tiny making it difficult to see fine distinctions of color.

A film former is the most essential ingredient of capsule printing machine ink, with shellac as the widely used one.

You can use other substances such as improved cellulose, though shellac works best and offers the added benefit that it is globally acceptable in medicines.

However, the main disadvantage of shellac is that the substance is poorly soluble in water; this makes it difficult to clean the capsule printer after use.

Producers add various substances to the ink to enhance its performance on the capsule printing machine.

They may be suspending agents or surfactants. Suspending agents boost the stability of the ink during storage.

It also makes sure the ink retains its homogeneity on the capsule printer.

Improved cellulose, like HPMC, have found use for this purpose.

 Capsule printing section

 Capsule printing section

On the other hand, surfactants enhance the printing ink’s spreading characteristics by lowering its surface tension.

They make sure the engraving on the rotogravure roll sufficiently picks up the ink and boost its delivery to the rubber-offset roll and eventually to the surface of the capsule.

Some the surfactants used include lecithin and dimeticone.

Here, the selection of solvents depends on their volatility since this is the most crucial aspect in the performance of a capsule printer ink.

It should dry as soon as possible after its transfer onto the capsules.

This is because the printed capsules get into contact with one another almost immediately after ejection from the printing machine.

However, the ink should not dry too fast, or else it would stick to the rubber offset roll and the rotogravure cylinder. This would prevent the transfer of ink to the capsules.

The solvents are basically mixtures of lower alcohols and their blending ensure they have the right evaporation rate for each specific application.

The operation principle in printing is the fruitful transplant of the image from a surface to the intended object.

For capsules case, the transplant starts from the ink inlet to the gravure roll, to the offset rubber roll and eventually to the capsule.

All offset printing, irrespective of the capsule printing machine manufacturer, happens in this manner.

You should inspect the gravure roll before using them on the production floor.

For example, you can use jeweler’s glass to examine the retaining screens of the ink before placing the roll in use.

Rolls received with missing or incomplete screens will not be in a position to retain ink in the engraving, making it impossible to transfer the image to the offset rubber roll.

If this happens, you shall have unintentionally injected defectively printed capsules into the batch.

Majority of capsule printer manufacturers recommend utilizing a 50-50 blend of isopropyl and n-butanol alcohol as both a cleaning and ink thinning agent.

All ink manufacturers provide approved specific gravity varieties for their inks.

Regulating the viscosity of ink is essential throughout the whole batch.

Consideration when Buying Capsule Printing Machine

Purchasing new capsule printing machine can be a stressful experience.

There exist numerous options for machine models and manufacturers to select from that it is easy to get overwhelmed.

Considering the importance of the investment, it is essential to find the right capsule printer for your facility.

 Capsule printing bed

 Capsule printing bed

Avoid the stress and put these seven factors into consideration to make sure you are purchasing the best capsule printing machine.

· Reputation of the capsule printer supplier

With pharmaceutical machinery being critical investment, why gamble by purchasing your machine from a non-reputable, no-name-brand pharmaceutical machine supplier?

Established machinery manufacturers are known for quality.

They possess the expertise and experience to make sure that when you are buying your capsule printing machine from them, you are investing in high-quality equipment.

Do not risk your cash or manufacturing process; trust a well-known pharmaceutical machine manufacturer for all your capsule printing machine requirements.

·  Output capacity

Your printing output capacity depends on the speed of your capsule printer, the amount of capsules your machine can print at that speed, and the hours you operate the equipment per day.

While you may have the temptation to operate the capsule printer at its maximum capacity, it is advisable to prioritize management.

In case a problem arises during operation, and the machine is running too fast, its operators will not be in a position to keep up.

·  Digital capabilities

Information technology remains one of the most instrumental aspects in the pharmaceutical industry.

Selecting capsule printing machines having advanced digital abilities enhances efficiency and ease of use.

From touch screens to all-access control panels, digital capabilities of capsule printer can boost output and make your production process more manageable.

· Disconnection ease

Cleaning is an instrumental aspect of your pharmaceutical production process.

However, it needs not to consume too much of your time from the production line.

When you buy a capsule printing machine that has easy-disconnect properties, you are simplifying things for your operators.

They will do the cleaning quickly and take less time from manufacturing.

·  Production scale

Your needs will be significantly different if you are in the research sector as compared to of those in the commercial industry.

For this reason, it is essential to find a capsule printing machine that better suits your type of production.

There exist both commercial-scale and lab-scale capsule printers available for you.

Establishing the type of capsule printing machine, you require in advance will help you search for the appropriate pharmaceutical machinery more successfully.

· How your pharmaceutical product might affect your choice

It is crucial to always bear in mind how your pharmaceutical product may affect your purchasing decision.

For instance, if you are manufacturing an oil-based soft gelatin capsule, you will additionally need a drying system other than in-line drying type.

Always consult your equipment supplier who can assist you in selecting the best machine for your operations.

· Ease of use

Using your capsule printer should not be rocket science.

With the right machinery training, the operators should be in a position to effectively operate the equipment.

If you buy a machine that is too complex to operate, it could result in serious errors during the capsule printing process.

Also, a machine that is too simple may not have all the necessary features you need.

Ensuring a balance between the two is the surest way to ensure your capsule printing machine is producing high-quality products.

Besides, your workers are able to manage day-to-day operations.

SaintyCo Capsule Printing Machine

We are one of the leading competent total-solution suppliers of pharmaceutical equipment and turn-key cGMP projects for the past 15years.

 Capsule printer machine

 Capsule printer machine

SaintyCoblends Europe technology with the manufacturing advantage of China to offer high-end machinery. Besides, they meet the European standards.

CPCapsules Printer Machine

CP high-speed oriented two-color printer is one of our newest state-of-the-art pharmaceutical machinery.

Figure

We applied two patented innovative technologies; capsule’s cap and body-oriented system and two color printer, with patent number (97106359.1,97106361.3).

CP Capsule Printing Machine guarantees you value for your money since it provides fast printing, top quality, and high versatility.

The widely finds application in circle or axial printing on capsules that are of varying specifications and type.

Our Capsule printing machine is appropriate for printing on various sizes of capsules, consisting of some soft capsules and broadly finds us in the pharmaceutical industry.

You are able to operate this high-end capsule printer conveniently using the advanced variable frequency control systems.

It is very easy to couple the control system with other equipment making it a perfect choice for capsule printing.

CP Capsule printing machine can print trademark, picture, and character according to the requirements of the clients, on all types of capsules.

The single row printer is instrumental in small batch capsule printing processes.

Salient features

    • Top quality gravure prints at rates of up to 60,000 capsules per hour, or 80,000 capsules every hour based on the diameter of the capsules.
    • Design favors long runs at high speed.
    • Complete ease of handling.
    • One operator can manage several machines.
    • Production rates of up to 120,000 per hour for capsules of similar sizes.
    • Completely automatic operation.
    • Rotogravure roll and feed disc are available in any size so as to achieve most efficient production.
    • Fully flexible printer.
    • cGMP model.
Capsules Printer MachineCP-4 Capsule and Tablet Printing MachineCP-5 Capsule and Tablet Printing Machine
Printing output<100,000pcs/h<180,000pcs/h
Circle scope to print on capsule<270degree<270degree
Power sourceAC,380V,50HAC,380V,50H
Consumption power1.7KW2.5 KW
Weight400Kg500Kg
Appearance size2110mm×400mm× 1860mm2110mm×500mm× 1860mm

 

Conclusion

If your quest for a reliable capsule printing machine has landed you here, be rest assure that you are in the right place.

We will offer you the best possible product that will leave you more than satisfied.

We have a variety of efficient capsule printers that deliver high output at any given time.

What sums it all is that our high-speed capsule printing machines have reduced noise levels and facilitates fast change-over.

Enough said, give us your trust to supplier you with high-functionality capsule printing machine that the favored choice in the pharmaceutical industry.

For more in-depth details, go through our website straight away!

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