Capsule filling machines play an essential role in manufacturing pharmaceutical products. They allow you to produce individual capsules at high volumes and give you the option to automate the process.
For businesses that are manufacturing pharmaceuticals for high-volume orders, these machines are essential to operations. Selecting the best one for your specific requirements is also equally vital. This is why we’ve created this Ultimate Guide to help you get the most out of your investment.
First, What is a Capsule Filling Machine?
A capsule machine fills empty capsules with substances like powdered vitamins, supplements, and more. Because capsules are small and can be subject to breakage if handled improperly, using a device designed to do this for you can streamline the manufacturing process exponentially.
How do they Work?
Capsule filling machines separate the bottom and top halves of an empty capsule, add the desired substance into the base, and then press the two halves together to create a filled product.
Most production-grade machines are designed to fill many capsules at the same time. Depending on the size of the machine, the batch amount that you can produce at one time will vary.
Why Should I Use a Capsule Filler?
Filling capsules by hand would be a time-consuming and delicate process. Factor in that they are often used to house powder substances which makes precise, mess-free production nearly impossible.
Instead, a capsule filling machine allows you to create completed batches at scale. This removes the extreme tediousness that would come with completing this process without any equipment.
What Types of Filling Machines are There?
Though there are some small capsule filling machines designed for personal use, CapPlus specializes in offering production floor-quality products to manufacturers. Our systems can range from tabletop units to large, freestanding ones for high-volume production cycles.
Businesses that use capsule fillers may elect to incorporate multiple machines into their processes. For example, if you operate a production facility serving multiple contract manufacturing clients, you may want to use a high-powered automatic machine for the client that orders millions of capsules at a time.
Conversely, a small tabletop unit that produces roughly 3,000 capsules per hour would be suitable for a customer that only orders tens to hundreds of thousands of capsules each time. You could include both types of machines in your production process to ensure your lower-volume clients are not competing against larger ones for filling machine time during the workday.
Automatic Capsule Filling Machine
Automatic capsule filling machines automate the process from start to finish. They orient, separate, load the bottom half of the capsule with the intended product, and then close it.
Though there are many reasons you might prefer an automatic machine, here are some scenarios where this type of unit would prove most relevant:
- Most of your facility uses automated manufacturing processes for pharmaceutical products and you want another similar machine.
- Your team handles multiple production cycles for different products and cannot spend time manually filling capsules.
- You operate a facility that meets extremely high production requirements.
As an example of an automatic machine, CapPlus’s CF25 is capable of filling an average of 25,000 capsules an hour. Within an eight-hour workday, that equates to approximately 200,000 individual capsules produced. Over the course of a five-day workweek, that number multiplies to one million.
Need more production power? We also offer the following automatic units:
- CF72 – rated at 72,000 capsules per hour
- CF100 – 100,000 capsules per hour
- CF150 – 150,000 capsules per hour
- Incap Capsule Filler – Automatic tabletop system capable of filling 3,000 capsules per hour.
Manual capsule fillers require human participation to create completed products. Unlike automated machines, pinpointing a precise rate of capsules-per-hour is not as easy. This will depend on the production requirements and the speed at which the operator can work as well as the size of the capsules themselves.
A typical manual capsule filling machine will have a bottom and top tray. Sometimes, they are two separate pieces, and other times, the machine will have the top tray on an attached lid that functions as a press for sealing the capsule.
With manual machines, the process typically works like this:
- The operator deposits the bottom halves of capsules in a tray with a set number of spaces. The bottom halves should have their opening facing upward.
- Top halves of capsules are placed on a separate tray. Their openings should be facing out.
- The capsule bottoms are then filled with the intended substance.
- The operator then takes the tray with the capsule caps, aligns it with the tray containing the bottom halves, and presses it down on the tray containing the filled capsule bottoms.
- Depending on the machine you are using, you may have to manually tighten trays together to create a seal.
- Once complete, separate the two trays and remove the sealed capsules.
Manual filling machines are recommended for small batches with low-volume production demands. The process takes more time and attention to detail than with an automatic version.
Most of our customers prefer to use automatic machines, but we do offer a variety of manual and semi-automatic units. For example, this 2013 Pam SA-9 Semi-Automatic capsule filling machine combines elements of both manual and automatic capsule filling for a more streamlined process while permitting a significant amount of manual control.
What to Consider When Selecting the Right Capsule Filler Machine for You
CapPlus offers a variety of capsule machines because no two manufacturers have the same operational requirements. Finding the right systems that integrate with the rest of your production processes can help generate a massive return on your investment.
Here are some key factors to consider when doing your research on the right capsule filler for you:
Why Are You Looking for a Capsule Filling Machine?
This question may seem obvious. If you are reading this post, you probably found it while researching capsule filling machines.
However, think about the question for a moment. What changed in the production processes that now requires you to look for a new machine? Common answers could range from but are by no means limited to:
- You just signed a new private label contract for capsule products and need to ramp up production.
- Your pharmaceutical company manufactures in-house and needs new production space for increased output.
- You want to replace your existing machine or add another one to augment manufacturing capabilities.
- Your business does not currently offer capsule filling services, but it is a new avenue you want to pursue.
Again, these are just some examples of the many reasons why people are searching for capsule filling machines. Knowing why you are looking for a machine will help you better compare the solutions on the market to make a more informed decision.
Production Facility Floor Space
Every inch of floor space is critical to maximizing your facility’s production output. After all, each piece of equipment needs to fit in the same general area for you to establish a manufacturing process.
Take this into consideration. Do you have the floor space to accommodate a large, freestanding unit? If not, can you allocate table space for a tabletop unit without taking away from other machines in your facility?
Before you start shopping for capsule filling machines, imagine where you want to put your future unit on your production floor. Mark out that area with some type of tape, and record the measurements. Having these dimensions on-hand will let you know what will and will not fit in your facility.
Current and Future Manufacturing Demands
Consider the volume of your current capsule manufacturing demands as well as your anticipated growth in the future.
You want to select a capsule filling machine that can accommodate your current order volume and also be able to scale as you grow your business.
Would You Be Interested in a Used or Refurbished Model?
Capsule filling machines are a significant investment in your operations. Sometimes, however, the cost of a new machine does not match your budget.
In addition to brand new models, CapPlus also offers production floor-ready used and refurbished machines. These pre-owned systems are restored to work as-new and can save you significant dollars on the bottom-line.
If you are interested in learning more about our used and refurbished capsule filling machines, we recommend that you contact us as soon as you are able to. These units are always in demand, and we would be glad to discuss our current inventory with you at any time.
How Do I Add a Capsule Filling Machine to My Operations?
Most stores you visit do not offer capsule filling machines. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though, as most units are specially designed for manufacturers. Someone selling televisions and consumer-grade dishwashers at a department store would not have nuanced knowledge of the granular features of each capsule system.
Instead, we recommend connecting with people like the CapPlus team to help you not only acquire the machine you need but also select the right one that matches your exact specifications. After all, you are manufacturing vitamins and supplements that are impacting lives all over the world. We want to help you ensure you are doing that to your fullest potential.
Get Started with the Right Capsule Filling Machine Today
Since our first day in business, CapPlus has connected countless capsule manufacturers with production equipment matched to their exact specifications. Our team wants to do the same for you. To learn more about the products we offer, our current inventory, and to answer any questions you may have about capsule filling machines, please contact us anytime.