Capsule filling line is not complete without a capsule sorting machine.

It forms an important aspect of quality control (QC).

With a capsule sorter, you can easily remove chipped, loose pieces, light weight or empty capsules.

You don’t have to inspect capsules manually (of course it is never accurate).

Today’s guide walks you through all the basics of a capsules sorting machine.

From basic definition, working principle benefits to the best brands to consider in the industry.

Let’s get started…

What is a Capsule Sorting Machine?

It is also known as capsule sorter.

Capsule sorter machine helps in separating and rejecting of empty or unqualified capsules like loose pieces, lightweight, cracked or chipped ones after capsule filling.

Using compressed air, modern capsule sorting machines automatically sort out those unsuitable capsules into a different chute.

The separation makes it easy to empty the unwanted ones.

Here’s exactly what am talking about:

Capsule sorter machine

Capsule sorter machine

Two-part gelatin capsules are vulnerable to numerous common defects caused by the capsule filling machine and inconsistencies of the production process.

These defects might make them unsuitable for shipment and marketing.

Some of these flaws include incorrect color or size, holes, cracks, bubbles, dents, dirt, double caps, strings, missing caps among others.

Typical defects include:

  • Oil Holes
  • Cracked
  • Telescoped
  • Short body
  • Punched ends/dents
  • Double caps

Some of these are referred to as critical defects.

A crack or hole is among the critical laws, and once you have filled the capsules, there is a possibility of the products spilling out.

Possible defects on capsules

Possible defects on capsules

This can result in serious problems if it reaches the consumer.

The area of bubble can easily transform into a hole since it is much thinner.

Dents have uneven shape and lead to failure during the capsule filling phase.

Inaccurate size, color and doub, e caps can as well result in serious problems if they reach the consumer, leading to possible recall of the products.

Strings and dirt fall cosmetic defects and do not impact on the capsule.

Nonetheless, it indicates poor quality control of the manufacturing process.

Types of Capsule Sorting Machine

Broadly, you can classify capsule sorter machines as:

1. Manual capsule Sorting Machine

With this type of capsule sorting machine, human inspectors analyze the quality of the capsules produced by the capsule filling machine.

The sorting process entails operators examining a conveyor belt of capsules and getting rid of any defective products.

They then collect the capsules with flaws in a rejects bin, which get disposed of eventually.

Chacking quality of capsules

Checking quality of capsules

Some of the advantages of manual capsule sorting machine include the fact that human inspectors can give timely remedies for quality control.

It is because they have undergone training to check for a set of various defects in the product line.

Another benefit is the adaptability of human examiners to changing the environment and varying products.

Frankly, this is beyond comparison to any automated system.

Even so, the disadvantages of manual capsule sorting machine costs more.

Let’s take a quick look:

Lack of Consistency is a Major Setback

Manual sorting of capsules is not consistent.

It is unrealistic to think that all human operators will give similar inspection output.

Human inspectors cannot maintain their attention at a similar degree throughout for the period of a particular shift resulting in inaccurate inspection outcomes.

The inconsistency in employees monitoring manual capsule sorting machine may result in serious financial implications to your company.

This process leads to a waste of production time, increase in costs of manufacturing, loss of revenue, and unpredictability over the quality of the pharmaceuticals your company release to the market.

Defects on softgel capsules

Defects in Softgel capsules – Photo courtesy: SENSUM

For that matter, there is need to use affordable, high throughput quality capsule sorter to enhance your factory’s productivity.

This will boost the quality of your manufactured capsules, which will, in turn, enable your products to compete better globally.

To fulfil these objectives, you should opt for automatic capsule sorting machine.

Automatic capsule sorter is functionally efficient with inexpensive hardware systems.

This makes it a better option for carrying out quality analysis of the manufactured capsules.

2. Automatic Capsule Sorting Machine

This is a machine for automated sorting of capsules based on weight and diameter.

Capsule sorting machine

Capsule sorting machine

The device allows for separation and automatic rejection of capsules having the following flaws:

  • Assembly defect marked by a tear or pinch between the two segments, head and body, which forms the capsule. You refer to such as telescoped capsules.
  • Metering failure of the capsule for example, unfilled or low-dose capsules.

The primary goal of the automatic capsule sorting machine is to segregate and examine capsules at a higher rate with above 95% accuracy of sensing defects.

You can use the automatic capsule sorter on products with sizes starting from 00 and beyond.

It has the capability to detect cracks, double caps, holes, bubbles, dents and wrong size.

Designed with versatility in mind, the automatic capsule sorting machine can manage a broad variety of capsules.

The sorter can switch between the different types of capsules without any need to change the physical components to accommodate different types of dose.

Different sizes of capsules

Different sizes of capsules

Automatic capsule sorter can handle almost any pharmaceutical solid dosage.

It is able to sort capsules from size 5 through to 00.

In addition, you can quickly and easily disassemble the machine for cleaning and sanitizing.

To enhance safety and hygiene, the sorting machine has its contact parts composed of approved PEEK plastic or electro polished type 316 stainless steel.

Compressed air helps in the capsule sorting process.

After connecting compressed air to the machine, you feed the capsules through the feeding chute of the automatic capsule sorting machine.

Different sizes of softgel capsules

Different sizes of softgel capsules

To make sure that the correct weight or dosage capsules pass across and leave through the outlet side, you have to regulate the compressed air.

The air will separate the rejected capsules into the capsule collector.

Benefits of Capsule Sorting Machine

Enhancing the reliability and quality of your pharmaceutical products is a must do thing for any manufacturer.

To remain competitive, you will need machinery that satisfies the demands of your client while optimizing efficiency.

Capsule sorting machine

Capsule sorting machine

Capsule sorting machine plays an integral role in your pharmaceuticals manufacturing business.

Most producers now recognize the speed, accuracy and capacity advantages capsule sorting machine brings to the production line.

· Lower costs

Coupled with a quicker rate of throughput, reduced costs offer huge benefits for producers.

However, you should assess the initial cost of the machine before making the purchase.

Assess the capsule sorter based on its return on investment.

Investing in a capsule sorting machine will bear fruits almost immediately.

This is because gains in effectiveness are virtually immediate, implying savings will affect the business straight away.

· Improved accuracy

In most manufacturing sectors like pharmaceutical and medical, accuracy is of great essence.

Capsule sorting machines can function swiftly and more cost-effectively while making sure there is no compromise on the quality of your products.

Human error in most cases plays a bigger part in most of the incidents that happen within a manufacturing facility.

The introduction of capsule sorting machine eliminates much of those concerns.

Obviously, the positive cumulative impact is that with a pharmaceutical manufactured to a constantly higher quality.

It creates opportunities to attract new customers.

· Flexibility

Cutting costs and enhanced manufacturing efficiencies are achievable by installing a capsule sorter that is totally flexible.

Most automatic capsule sorters are capable of handling a variety of capsules of various shapes and sizes.

The machines do this without the need for alteration or changing of parts.

Such versatility is now achievable even for small scale manufacturing facilities.

Parts of a Capsule Sorting Machine

The capsule sorter consists of a sieve in the form of a selection disk having or lacking a rim.

It has an axis inclined by approximately 20 degrees relative to the vertical.

Parts of capsule sorter machine

Parts of capsule sorter machine

In the scenario of a selection disk lacking the rim, the frame of the capsule sorting machine acts as a rim.

This is important in containing the capsules.

· Calibrated Holes

The circumference of the selected disk has calibrated apertures adapted to the format of the capsules drilled about it.

Each hole consists of three main sections including a conical inlet to enable the introduction and turning over of the capsule.

Also, the second part is a calibrated segment having a cross-section greater, by some hundredths of a millimeter, than one of the capsules to be sorted.

The third part is section having a bigger cross-section that permits dropping of the capsules.

· Inlet Chute

This is the component you use to feed the capsules you want to sort into the capsule sorting machine.

They enter continuously through it and drop in the lower section of the selected disk.

· Drive Shaft

This is the part the sets the selection disk in motion, which in turn pushes the capsules into the openings.

Also, the shaft will eventually transport them towards the upper parts of the capsule sorter.

· Overflow container

This is a container that carries the excess capsules in the event of excessive supply due to selection disk stoppage or missing disk sorting capabilities.

· Scraper

A flexible device that aids in the introduction of the capsules into the holes of the selection disk during the upward movement stage of the capsules.

· Retaining plate

A fixed plate located underneath the sieve obstructs the outlet of the openings, forcing the capsules to remain superimposed vertically in them.

· Expulsion blowing curtain

This component is important in separating the lowly dosed, single (separate cap and body) and empty capsules from the conforming ones.

It does this by blowing the non-conforming capsules into a specific reject container.

· Dosing defects container

This is the part here capsules with dosing flaws collecting after automatic sorting.

· Ejection blowing nozzle

This blower eliminates the capsules with assembly defects (telescoped capsules)

· Assembly defects container

The container that collects capsules having assembly defects.

· Outlet Chute

The conforming capsules slightly deviate and drop into the outlet chute.

How Capsule Sorting Machines Work

Here, you’re going to learn how different types of capsule sorter machine work.

· Manual Capsule Sorting Machine

Manual capsule sorting machine enables your workers to examine reliably up to 50 kg of capsules every hour from all sides.

The operators can remove defective tablets using a flexible hand-held vacuum nozzle.

Capsule inspection machine

Capsule inspection machine

Manual capsule sorter mode of operation entails the products flowing from the feed hopper directly into a vibratory chute.

Here, a perforated screen removes chips, dust and coarse, which later collects in a container.

The capsules then go to the inspection phase in a single layer.

A conveyor belt made of safe and hygienic material transports the capsules to a first operator who inspects the upper side of the pharmaceuticals.

Then, aspecial turn-over system delivers the capsules to the second operator who inspect the lower side of the products.

The capsule lie flat on the conveyor belt and are on consistent motion – no vibration during both inspection stages.

With adjustable mirrors fitted on the manual capsule sorting machine, the operators are in a position to inspect the far side of the products.

The process enables a reliable analysis of the full circumference of all capsules.

· Automatic Capsule Sorting Machine

As I have earlier mentioned in the guide, this is a machine that facilitates automatic sorting of capsules with flaws based on their weight and diameter.

It enables automatic selection and elimination of capsules with metering and assembly defects.

Softgel sorting machine

Softgel sorting machine

Automatic capsule sorter constitutes a rimmed selection disk spinning on a tilted plane of approximately 20 degrees relative to the horizontal direction.

Normally, circumference of the disk has one or two rows of appropriately sized holes drilled along it.

The holes are instrumental in holding the defective capsules until the machine automatically expels them out by a blast nozzle.

While falling, the gelatin capsules individually pass a blast screen which expels the flawed gelatin capsules.

The correctly filled capsules go freely via the sized holes.

Also, air blast does not deflect the acceptable capsules.

The machine discharges them through the outlet chute.

You can use the capsule sorting machine on empty capsule production equipment after partial closing.

Moreover, you can connect it either at the inlet or outlet of capsule filling machines.

Remember, 20 degrees of the capsule sorting machine is important in making sure the capsules remain in the lower segment of the disk.

Capsules glide in the inlet chute and drop in the lower part of the selection disk.

At the same time, the drive shaft causes the selection disk to start rotating.

Capsules get into the sized holes drilled along the circumference of the disk.

Tilting of the disk and flexible scraper gadget assist in the introduction of the capsules in the holes.

A defined height of the rim is necessary so as to hinder the capsules you want to sort from covering the whole of the disk.

In the event of stoppage of the selection disk or excessive supply, the extra capsules flows into a specific container referred to an overflow container.

Each hole of selection disk has the following features:

  • A conical inlet to allow the tipping over and the entry of the capsules
  • A calibrated section having a diameter bigger by some hundredths of a millimeter than that of the capsule.

Ultimately, the holes end with a section having a larger diameter permits the passage of the acceptable capsules.

Hole has a length that is adequate to carry several superposed capsules.

And, the distribution of the holes is on to staggered rows at the level of the conical inlet segment.

Again, drilling angle of the holes is in such a manner that the outlet of the apertures of both rows end on equal or nearly equal diameter to that of the sorting disk.

This is a very critical feature in the efficiency of the capsule sorting machine. It facilitates exposure of all capsules when they go past the empty capsules expulsion blowing curtain.

For the case of a low sorting rate capsule sorter, it will have a selection disk consisting of only a single row of calibrated holes.

The drilling of the holes is at right angle to the surface of the disk.

The retaining plate stops the capsules contained in the holes forcing them to move to the upper section courtesy of the rotation of the selection disk.

To allow for the release of the capsules, the machine opens a passage hole after half a revolution of the selection disk.

During the process, capsules with an acceptable diameter pass via the calibrated opening.

While falling, pass in front of the empty capsules expulsion blowing curtain.

At the same time, blowing curtain deflects the single pieces (separated capsule caps and bodies), lowly dosed and empty capsules into a distinct reject container.

The container is known as the dosing defects container.

Also, the blower does not deflect the heavier acceptable capsules, which drop in the conforming capsules outlet chute.

Capsules having an assembly flaw remain confined in the calibrated holes.

The selection disk makes an additional rotation of a quarter turn.

This rotation moves the confined capsules over the automatic telescoped capsules ejection blowing nozzle.

Then, the blowing nozzle ejects them upwards through a chute, into a distinct reject container referred to as the assembly defects container.

Application of Capsule Sorting Machine

To carry out the separation and removal of capsules with defects, you will install the capsule sorter directly in the outlet of the filling machine.

The capsule sorting machine helps you comply with the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) selection.

Capsule filling and inspection

Capsule filling and inspection

The machine finds application in automatically ejecting the following defective capsules into specific rejects collectors.

Sorting and removal of filled capsules having a deformation on the diameter:

  • Capsule having joining defect.
  • Telescoped capsules (inside and outside).
  • Capsules flattened, oval, crushed.
  • Capsules having product (pellets or powder) intercalated between body parts and cap.
  • Capsules having flaws, holes, asperity, bubbles, among others.

Sorting and removal of unfilled capsules and separate body parts and cap:

  • Empty capsule.
  • Very poorly filled capsule (effective when is less than 15% of the total weight).
  • Body loose part loaded with product.
  • Separate cap and body parts.

Features of Capsule Sorting Machine

  • The design of the Capsule Sorter is particularly for automatic sorting of loose powder, loose caps, and diametrically defective packed up capsules.
  • Eliminates all diametrically deformed capsules, loose powder, and loose caps.
  • The machine needs very little space.
  • The material used to make all contact parts are 316 stainless steel and specially plated aluminum parts.
  • Able to adjust to voltage fluctuations to prevent a sudden increase in noise levels of the vibrator.
  • Lower changeover time ranging between 3 – 5 minutes
  • Can sort capsules having sizes 000 to 5.
  • High accuracy for distinct flaws
  • High freedom to set up a new product
  • High integration abilities because of small footprint

Important Factors to consider when buying Capsule Sorting Machine

There are various considerations you need to take into consideration as a manufacturer.

Of these concern, we have highlighted the five most crucial factors when sourcing for a capsule sorting machine.

Capsule sorting machine technical specification

Capsule sorting machine technical specification

i. Equipment speed

The speed of your capsule sorter will dictate the output capacity of your manufacturing process.

In as much you might want to believe that faster is often better, you need to keep in mind that your workers still need to manage the output.

While some capsule sorting machines can attain up to eight rotations per minute, it is advisable to work at six RPM instead.

By this, one operator will be in a position to keep up with the output, and the capsule sorter will be able to handle the quantity of capsules it need to sort.

Additionally, the quicker the machine runs, the higher the number of defective capsules that will pass unsorted.

ii. Equipment quality

The quality of your capsule sorting machine will have a direct effect on the standard of your products.

Due to that, you want to ensure you are buying a quality machinery.

How do you know if you are purchasing the best capsule sorter for your facility?

Trusting a respected, experienced, and proven capsule sorting machine supplier makes sure you are buying the highest quality machinery.

iii. Equipment versatility

You want to ensure that you purchase the correct machine that undertakes the necessary functions for your manufacturing process.

You have many alternatives when it comes to capsule sorting machine, and it is crucial to consider their versatility before making the purchase.

In addition, it may be a wise choice to opt for other auxiliary equipment like polishers, which can help enhance your manufacturing process.

iv. Equip employees

You get success employees through thorough training and experience.

Among the services your capsule sorter supplier should offer you is training.

Training will enable your employees to get more informed about the manufacturing machine.

After going through the training session, they will have the necessary expertise and knowledge to counter any complication they may encounter.

v. Process assessment

You can always improve your production process.

You need to assess your operations more often to optimize the efficiency and output capacity of your machine.

You ought to always check on areas that need improvement.

Through this, your manufacturing process will continually progress in a beneficial as your business grows.

SaintyCo Capsule Sorting Machine

The world’s pioneering capsule sorter of its design.

CS capsule sorter is suitable for all varieties of capsules including pellets, granules, powder and micro-tablet filled capsules.

This capsule sorting machine automatically eliminates unqualified capsules like:

  • lightweight
  • loose pieces
  • chipped, and cracked
  • Empty capsules.

It is possible to adjust the height and angle of the device to fit any automatic capsule filling machine.

CS capsule sorter is a perfect piece of machine to operate together with any capsule polishers.

It functions on an air compressor in the absence of power supply.

CS capsule sorter can handle up to 300,000 capsules/hour.

SaintyCo capsule sorter machine

SaintyCo capsule sorter

Working Principle

Clean compressed air separates low weight capsules, fragments and loose pieces of capsules from the sorter segment G to the collector H.

The filter decompressed valve meter I show the pressure of the compressed air, which you can adjust based on the requirement.

Then, the outlet J ejects the qualified capsules.

Working of SaintyCo capsule sorter

Working of SaintyCo capsule sorter

Purchasing this automatic capsule sorting machine will significantly help you boost the quality of your pharmaceutical products.

It guarantees simple sorting of capsules that are misshapen, too thin, too thick, too thin, in small fragments, or stuck together – prior to the next process step.

Conclusion

Sourcing for the correct capsule sorting machine can be a tiring task.

Numerous individuals or businesses lose thousands of dollars when shipping pharmaceutical equipment.

This can come in the form of poor quality machines, transacting with fraudulent companies or lack of technical support.

For this reason, you need to be patient and exercise due diligence.

Be extra careful to validate everything, from paperwork to the capsule sorter itself.

More essentially, do not take any matter for granted.

Ask the capsule sorting machine producer all possible questions and take your time to fill the URS.

It is the only certain way to purchase the right capsule sorter.