Tablet coating is a process used in the pharmaceutical industry to apply a coating to tablets or pills. The coating can serve a variety of purposes, such as improving the appearance of the tablet, masking the taste of the medication, protecting the tablet from moisture and light, or controlling the release of the medication. A tablet coating machine is used to automate the coating process in manufacturing industries.
Preparation: The tablets are first prepared by mixing the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients to form a homogeneous blend. The tablets are then loaded into the coating machine.
Coating: The coating material is prepared by mixing the coating solution, which usually consists of a polymer, a plasticizer, and a solvent. The tablets are then coated by spraying the coating solution onto them using a spray gun.
Drying: After the coating is applied, the tablets are dried to remove the solvent and harden the coating. The drying process can be achieved using hot air in a drying chamber or by passing the tablets through a fluid bed dryer.
Polishing: After the tablets are dried, they may be polished to improve their appearance and reduce the risk of capping or sticking. This is done by tumbling the tablets in a polishing drum with a polishing agent.
Packaging: The finished tablets are then packaged and labeled for distribution.
Coating pan: This is the main component of the coating machine where the tablets are coated.
Spray gun: The spray gun is used to apply the coating solution onto the tablets.
Air handling unit: This provides the necessary airflow to dry the tablets.
Exhaust system: This removes the solvent and fumes generated during the coating process.
Control panel: This controls the various parameters of the coating process, such as the spray rate, temperature, and humidity.
Some of the key factors that affect the tablet coating process include the type of coating material used, the spray rate, the temperature and humidity in the coating chamber, and the duration of the drying process. Proper control of these factors is critical to achieving consistent and high-quality tablet coatings.