NUTRACEUTICALS MARKET: Supplements – Batch Processing
NUTRACEUTICALS: Supplements – Pressed Tablet Production
SECTION: Pressed Tablet Mfg. – Batch Processing Method
Step 1. Blend Ingredients:
Measure all ingredients and add them into a V-shaped blending machine (it has two cylinders that meet at one end and both of the other ends of the V flare out at 45 degree angles). The blender lid is closed, fastened and run for 45 minutes. The V-shaped blender has a cam driven shaft that elliptically rotates the blender and mixes the ingredients together allowing the magnesium stearate to bind the other agglomerates together.
Step 2. Color Adjustment:
Pigments are mixed to control for the final color correction. An example would be to mix yellow and blue to finalize a specific green color shade.
Step 3. Extra Ingredient Blend:
Repeat Step 1, then loose powder is ready to be pressed into its’ final shape. Load the agglomerated powder into a bulk holding bin and deliver to the tablet pressing machine.
Step 4. Rotary Pressing Tablet Machine:
A rotary press is a circular machine (in horizontal position) with small tablet sized chambers located all around the circumference of the circular plate. Each one of these small tablet sized chambers has an upper and lower compacting pin, which simultaneously squeeze the loose powder from opposing sides and compact it in the chamber.
The agglomerated powder is scooped out of the bulk holding bin and fed into two small hoppers located on the top of the rotary press. Each hopper has a sieve to eliminate large clumps, and the powder is fed by gravity into the rotary press machine. The granulated mixture of ingredients powder compacts as the machine rotates, constantly fed by specifically metered amounts for the batch (typical batch speed was about 1,800 tablets per minute) size. The upper pin lifts off of the chamber after compression; the lower pin pushes the tablet / supplement out of the topside chamber along with any excess powder.
Step 5. De-dusting Tablets:
The tablets and excess powder fall down a stainless steel chute into a perforated cylinder that rotates. This stainless steel (s.s.) rotating drum retains the tablets and the excess powder exits out of the perforated holes in the rotating drum. The separated tablets / supplements fall out of the drum into an open container, where they are ready to be counted & packaged. The loose powder is reclaimed after it exits out the rotating s.s. drum.
Step 6. Packaging:
The tablets fall onto a revolving metal table, where they spin out and are counted by a light beam. The supplements / tablets fall into a packaging (usually plastic) container which closes tightly to prevent any spillage of the end product.The plastic containers are transported by conveyor in a 4 sided stand with metal holding strips to keep the plastic package in position. The packaging machine drops a small pre-cut plastic sleeve over the container. As the conveyor moves down the line a blast of heat hits the plastic sleeve and it “shrink wraps” and seals the plastic container. These containers emerge from the machine processed, packaged and now ready for shipment to a retail store. Random samples should be taken for testing against ingredient monographs for purity levels, quality assurance and quality control.