Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a highly controlled and regulated environment. Almost every process can be automated; and there is a piece of pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment involved in every step. Below, we have highlighted some common equipment used in solid dose (tablet and capsule) and liquid pharmaceutical manufacturing:

Processing equipment

  • Agitators: To mix liquids, to promote chemical reactions and to increase heat or cooling transfers.
  • Blowers: Used in solvent recovery and other evaporation applications.
  • Boilers: To create steam by applying heat energy to water.
  • Capsule equipment: Different equipment is available to fill, polish, and sort capsules.
  • Capsule and tablet printers: For printing information like drug names or dosage on the capsules or tablets.
  • Centrifuges: Used for separation of liquids of different densities, or for separation of liquids from solids.
  • Chillers: To quickly lower temperatures.
  • Coaters: To coat tablets or capsules with films like a sugar film.
  • Cooling towers: Used for cooling liquids or condensing steam.
  • Dryers and Granulators: For drying liquid preparations into powders or granules.
  • Heat exchangers: Used to transfer heat from one medium to another.
  • High Pressure Homogenizers: The most efficient fluid processing equipment for particle size reduction and cell lysis.
  • Inspection machines: Allow for visual inspection of the product as it is moved along by rotating rollers.
  • Metal detectors: For detecting tramp metal (bits of metal like nuts, screws, or broken fragments of machinery) that may have contaminated the product.
  • Mixers: For blending and particle size reduction.
  • Ovens: For providing necessary heat or drying.
  • Pulverizers / Cone mills: Particle size reduction equipment for granules.
  • Tablet press: For producing tablets.
  • Tablet deduster: For removing any dust created in the tablet press. Often also polishes the tablet.
  • Sifters: For sieving powders or granules.
  • Spray coating machines: Used for spray coating liquid onto a powder.
  • Tanks: For holding liquids.

Packaging Equipment

  • Blister packers: Designed to pack tablets, capsules, softgels, injection solutions, syringes and other small medical items into blister packs. “Deblistering” machines are also available to recover tablets, capsules or softgels from blister packs.
  • Bottling and filling lines: For filling bottles with liquids or containers with tablets, capsules or softgels.
  • Cappers: Designed to place caps onto filled bottles or containers of medicines.
  • Cartoners: These sophisticated machines can fill small medicine boxes with blisters packs, fold and insert leaflets, and close, code, and seal the box.
  • Counters: Counts capsules, tablets, softgels and any other small, solid items.
  • Induction Sealers: Seals aluminum foil seals to the bottle mouth.
  • Labeling equipment: For attaching or printing labels onto the packaging of boxes, bottles, containers, tubes etc.
  • Tube fillers: For filling and sealing tubes of ointments, creams and gels.
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