Capsule filling equipment is a major investment for dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical companies. The right capsule filler can streamline production, minimize waste, and improve productivity. However, choosing the ideal machine requires careful consideration of key factors that impact performance, quality, efficiency, and long-term value.
This buying guide examines must-have features, specifications, and capabilities to evaluate when purchasing the capsule filling machine for your facility.
A capsule filler’s output volume – measured in filled capsules per hour – must align with your current and projected production needs. Higher output machines maximize efficiency for high-volume facilities, producing millions of capsules per day. Lower output units may suffice for smaller batch production.
Consider your present requirements and how demand could scale over the next 3-5 years. Will you be expanding into wider product lines or markets? Investing in a machine with slightly more capacity than needed can support business growth without requiring a near-term upgrade.
Machines typically offer outputs ranging from 5,000/hr for entry-level to 150,000/hr for industrial scale. Understand output rates across a filler’s full range of capsule sizes. Output may be higher for larger sizes versus smaller ones.
The filler control system guides and monitors the equipment’s automated capsule filling processes. Advanced control technology improves speed, precision, and connectivity.
Look for units with touchscreen interfaces that simplify programming and provide user-friendly operation. Systems that store multiple recipes help streamline size and formulation changes.
Network connectivity allows remote access for monitoring production metrics and equipment performance. Data analytics can optimize settings to increase output and yield.
Validate that the control technology integrates smoothly with your other processes before and after filling, such as capsule sorting, joining, and custom capsule packaging.
Capsule Size Flexibility
Matching your filler to the exact capsule sizes ensures proper fitting and sealing during filling.
Ideally, select machines that can accommodate a wide range of capsule sizes from 000 (largest) to 5 (smallest). Quickly interchangeable tooling and parts to switch between sizes save changeover time when shifting formats.
Verify that the output rates and filling precision remain consistent across different capsule dimensions so production flexibility doesn’t compromise performance.
Higher precision filling improves product quality, consistency, and professional appearance. Precision factors include:
- Fill weight accuracy with minimal variability
- Consistent capsule positioning and alignment
- Vacuum and tamping systems to avoid trapped air pockets
- Leakproof sealing for proper dissolution
Look for precision rates of at least 99.75% or better to minimize rejects and rework.
Cleaning and Validation
Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications require regular cleaning and validation to confirm machines meet quality standards and avoid cross-contamination between products.
Stainless steel components permit frequent washdowns. Tool-free dismantling streamlines the cleaning of contact parts.
Validatable machines provide protocols for formal equipment performance validation and documentation. Automated validation saves time compared to manual verification.
After-Sales Service and Support
As with any tool, even the most top-of-the-line equipment will inevitably require some level of maintenance, repair, and upgrades after years of use. This is simply a natural part of the process, as wear and tear can take its toll over time. However, by staying on top of these necessary tasks, you can prolong the life of your equipment and ensure that it continues to perform at its best for many years to come. So, don’t hesitate to give your equipment the attention it needs and deserves – it will pay off in the long run.
Select suppliers for capsule filling machines that offer in-house technical support and service. Local technicians provide quick issue resolution.
Ask about preventative maintenance contracts, spare parts inventories, equipment warranties, and operator training. These services maximize uptime and extend the machine’s lifespan.
By balancing these key factors – output, control systems, flexibility, precision, cleanliness, and serviceability – supplement producers can invest in capsule filling machine that meets current needs while offering built-in capacity to scale up operations. An optimized capsule filler improves quality, efficiency, and productivity for your growing nutritional supplement business.