Solid dosage solution

Optimised tools for the coating and sealing of solid dosage forms

With the Sepion 175 drum coater and the GKB 2100 banding machine from Syntegon, visitors to this year’s Interpack were able to experience two essential process systems for solid dosage forms with optimised functionalities.

The Sepion series with drum sizes from 175 to 1,000 litres was presented for the first time at the virtual Interpack 2020. The versatile system for the film and sugar coating of tablets comes with Syntegon’s latest human machine interface (HMI), an intuitive and modern solution for even easier process control and monitoring. In addition, the coater ensures significantly shorter process times thanks to increased spray rates as well as recipe-controlled, enhanced cleaning. With the GKB 2100 banding machine, Syntegon is responding to the growing demand for oncological therapeutics, phytopharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, as well as the trend towards vegan alternatives made from HPMC or pullulan. In addition to gentle handling, the GKB 2100 provides reliable sealing and drying, thus ensuring high tightness levels.

Modern coater with intuitive controls

The new HMI is the digital control and monitoring centrepiece of various systems in the firm’s machine portfolio. This is also the case with the Sepion 175 drum coater: from setup and recipe creation to process monitoring and reporting, the interface supports operators in each process step. For example, the HMI allows to easily initiate sampling during the coating process.

The distance between the spray nozzles and the tablet bed can also be specified in the recipe; the spray arm adjusts automatically. The coater even enables tracking of the spraying arm via optional laser distance measurement. “With the Sepion 175, we are specifically targeting customers who need a flexible and efficient coating solution for small batch sizes,” says Fritz-Martin Scholz at Syntegon. “The Sepion coater meets both requirements thanks to its modern control system and innovative drum design.”

The interface also provides easy access to the company’s digital service solutions – paving the way for greater overall equipment effectiveness: detailed information on essential OEE data, machine settings and alerts enables operators to plan preventive maintenance and thus reduce downtime.

In terms of end-to-end optimisation, the core technological components of the Sepion 175 also offer coating benefits. A higher number of spray nozzles combined with an extended drum length results in a spray rate that is up to 40% higher than some comparable established coaters. “As a result, the process times for film coating turn out to be shorter overall; however, the yield and quality of the coating remain unchanged at a high level,” says Scholz.

Optimised cleaning times

In terms of cleaning technology, Syntegon has made important changes based on comprehensive tests, leading to significant savings compared with benchmark coaters. “Operators can individually optimise the cleaning process via a flexible cleaning recipe. This enables manufacturing companies to use their cleaning agents and resources as effectively as possible,” explains Scholz. The coater thus contributes to more efficient and sustainable processes. A validated, reproducible recipe forms the basis for the entire cleaning process and minimises manual operator intervention.

Innovative sealing of hard capsules

Visitors to the show were also able to experience the new GKB 2100 banding machine for sealing hard gelatin and cellulose-based capsules at an output of up to 125,000 pieces per hour. “The liquid-filled capsules of both materials require additional sealing, known as banding, to seal them tightly,” explains Matthias Mössinger, senior market expert Pharma Solid at Syntegon.

The gentle handling of the capsules poses another challenge. To avoid crushing during feeding into the sealing area, the company relies on an automatic and extremely gentle roller feed system. Sealing rollers apply the sealing liquid in two layers in two independently controlled stations before capsules enter the drying module in up to 12 tracks. In this area, the applied band dries in segmented zones by means of conditioned air.

Recent Issues