In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s essential to have exactly the right type of machine to fill the specific capsules you’re creating. Most capsule filling machines (commercially known as capsule fillers), or equipment that fills capsules with the needed powder or liquid, will differ in size and production output. The main difference in types of capsule filling machines, however, comes down to how they work and what they produce. Learn more about each of these factors below, starting with what they produce.
Soft Gel vs. Hard Gel Capsules
Capsule filling machines can be separated into two main categories based on whether they have the capabilities to produce the following:
Hard gel capsules, also known as 2-piece hard gel capsules because they have a body and a cap that are locked together, can be filled with powder, pellets, tablets, and/or microtablets.
Soft gel capsules can be filled with liquid or gelatin. Fish oil is a common soft gel capsule.
Depending on your current machinery and needs, it should be easy to determine which type of capsules you need your machine to produce. Work with your team to understand whether you need your machine to fill capsules with powder, pellets, tablets, liquid, gelatin, or multiple types of fillers, and choose from the various types of capsule fillers accordingly.
Semi-Automatic vs. Fully Automatic Capsule Filling Machines
Capsule filling machines are also divided into three categories based on how they operate:
Manual encapsulators are hand filled.
In semi-automatic encapsulators, a loading ring drives the process.
Fully automatic encapsulators use intermittent or continuous motion.
You will have more leeway in deciding between these three categories, although we recommend the efficiency of the semi-automatic and fully automatic capsule filling machines. If you have capsule fillers now, determine what type they are and if they provide the efficiency your company needs. If you need to be filling more capsules in less time, it’s time to upgrade to a fully automatic capsule filling machine.