Tablets & Capsules


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30 July/August 2021 Tablets & Capsules application, so it could screen out contaminants before the material was fed into the blender. Kason's engi- neering team designed and integrated the process for automated flow from the sifter to the blender. The blender was further enhanced by placing a mounting plate for the sifter directly at the blender inlet with a dust sleeve to prevent dust contamination outside the machines. "Usually, you would need to have a millwright come in to do that kind of work, but Kason was able to design the special plate and save us the trouble of doing that," said a company representative. Consistent performance and peace of mind The resulting Marion-Kason solu- tions are finished to 3-A standards and smoothly integrated between the blenders and sifters. Counter- weighted hatches on the units' doors prevent operator injuries during cleaning and maintenance, and the easily replaceable gaskets ensure long-term reliability and durability. Beyond consistent results and high-quality output, the Marion-Ka- son systems have given the CMO an additional benefit: peace of mind. The systems have proven to be extremely reliable, with no downtime over years of operation. "The best thing that I can say about it is that I don't think about it. It just does the job. Equipment that you never think about is about the best thing you can have on a pro- duction line," said the company's process engineer. "We deal with a lot of machinery and processes in our nutraceutical product lines. The Kason and Marion machines work reliably and consistently day in and day out, which is definitely more than I can say for some other parts of the process." T&C Marion Process Solutions 800 397 6371 Kason Corporation 973 467 8140 Based on the success of the powdered supplement line, the man- ufacturer chose the same companies for the new product line. They opted for a Kason Vibroscreen model KDS30-SS sanitary 30-inch- diameter circular vibratory sifter equipped with an 8-mesh screen. They determined that the vibratory sifter was a better fit for tablet formulations compared to a centrifugal sifter because the sifter's gentle vibratory screening action will not cause blend segregation. While a uniform particle size is essential for a good powder blend, the CMO has found that tablet compression works better if the formulation contains a range of particle sizes. According to the process engineer responsible for the tablet product line, if the formula- tion contained only fines, the tablets would be grainy, and if the formula- tion contained only coarse particles, the tablets would be susceptible to chipping. "We found that, in some of our blends, particularly our tablet blends, the centrifugal sifter would cause the fines and not fines to separate after blending," said the process engineer. "We had a blended product with a bunch of particle sizes, and then we'd sift it and end up with one drum of all fine particles and another drum of really heavy, dense particles or big- ger particles. It would nullify part of the blending process." The CMO chose a customized Marion 36-inch by 48-inch horizontal ribbon blender made from Type 304 stainless steel with a 120-grit polished sanitary finish for its ability to thor- oughly mix blends where a variety of ingredients are sequentially added to the mix. The ingredients are loaded manually, with the main ingredient added from bulk bags and then the minor ingredients hand loaded from bags following the main ingredient. However, because the ingredients are manually loaded from bags, the company found that the blends some- times contained bits of packaging that had fallen into the material when workers opened the bags. The solu- tion was to situate the sifter upstream from the blender for the tableting Type 304 stainless steel trough with a 120-grit sanitary finish. The system features O-ring gaskets that prevent powders from escaping and creating a hazard for personnel. The gas- kets also remove and replace easily for cleaning. The machine's high- grit steel parts and seamless welding eliminate residue, and ergonomic openings make it easy for anyone to inspect the machine's cleanliness at a glance. A Kason Centri-Sifter model MO-SS sanitary centrifugal sifter was added to the processing line to ensure a consistent particle size by separating out any oversized particles following blending. "We often recommend the Mar- ion-Kason combination to our customers," said Lightfoot. "These are both high-quality manufacturers located here in North America. They both pay incredible attention to detail when it comes to the construc- tion of the equipment, and frankly, as a service provider, I don't want to get any preventable service calls. With manufacturers like Marion and Kason, I know the equipment is just going to keep chugging along year after year, and I won't have to make any unexpected site visits." Adding a tablet compression line The Marion blender feeding into the Kason centrifugal sifter had been successfully producing a variety of powdered supplements for several years when the CMO needed to expand the product line further to include nutraceutical tablets. Because the product line was expanding, it made sense to add two new machines rather than make changes to the existing system.

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