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technical-tip-blog

Loading of Empty Capsules into Filling Machine Hopper

Posted by CapsCanada on 25-Jun-2024 10:38:08 AM

Empty capsules arrive in corrugated boxes containing tens of thousands of capsules, which need to be continuously loaded into machine hoppers for filling. There are various ways to move the capsules into the hopper.
 
Here are a few considerations for each method:

• Overhead feed from upper level: Gravity is the most efficient and effective way to move empty capsules. Bulk hoppers which are located on a level above the equipment are occasionally replenished with capsules. This method saves labor and is most gentle for capsules and safest for personnel. For companies with multiple filling machines, an operator (sometimes called a “spider”)  will take care of replenishing all machines.


• Capsule bag on top of machine, above the hopper: Similar to overhead feed, the bag is placed on top of the machine, utilizing gravity to move capsules. It is gentle on the capsules, though operators may need to climb step stools or ladders to place the capsule bags, and to occasionally adjust them. Sturdy platform ladders are recommended for accessing the top of the machine.

Air Transfer: Bulk hoppers are located at a floor level, and capsules are transported through flexible tubing up to the machine level using air. This prevents the operator from having to go to a second level, or from needing to use ladders frequently. The challenges posed are that capsules may be blown apart during conveyance if the capsule pre-lock is not sufficient, or air is turned up too high (creating loose pieces) and the extra equipment in the room (floorspace), and the need to clean the equipment between production runs.

Capsule Elevator: This is similar to the air transfer method; capsules are loaded into a bulk hopper at floor level, and are then transported using a conveyer. It is gentle on the capsules and does an effective job of moving the capsules. Capsule elevators use capsule size-specific change parts for a pre-liminary sorting drum. 

• Hand scoop into a hopper: The ideal scoop is stainless steel, as plastic may generate static electricity. Be sure to scoop capsules gently so capsules are not damaged. Hand scooping is most effective on machines with low output, but can be challenging when moving to faster running machines.

 

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Topics: Capsule Technology