The right capsule filling technology turns an inherently complicated process into a fast, accurate system with minimal product waste and precision dosing capabilities. The FEC20 and FEC40 encapsulators from Fette Compacting will integrate seamlessly into your automated production line to improve efficiency in your operation.

What is a Capsule Filling Machine?

Capsule filling machines precisely fill empty capsule units with solids or fluids. The encapsulation process is used in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and more. Capsule fillers work with a wide variety of solids, including granules, pellets, powders, and tablets. Some encapsulation machines can also handle capsule filling for liquids of different viscosities.

Types of Automatic Capsule Filling Machines

Capsule machines typically get categorized based on the types of capsules they fill and the filling method itself.

Soft Gel vs. Hard Gel Capsules

Hard gel capsules are made from two hard shells— a body and cap—that lock together after filling. These capsules are usually filled with solid materials. Conversely, gelatins and liquids are more commonly filled into soft-gel capsules.

Manual vs. Semi-Automatic vs. Fully-Automatic Machines

Various machine types each use different filling techniques to best accommodate the unique needs of the filler substance.

  • Manual encapsulator machines are operated by hand, allowing operators to combine ingredients into the individual capsules during the filling process.
  • Semi-automatic capsule fillers have a loading ring that transports the capsules to a filling point, where the desired contents then get added to each capsule. These machines minimize touch points, making them more hygienic than manual processes.
  • Fully-automatic encapsulation machines feature a variety of continuous processes that minimize the amount of human intervention, thereby mitigating the risk of unintentional error. These capsule fillers are commonly used in high-volume production for standard capsule products.

How Does a Capsule Filling Machine Work?

Most modern capsule filling machines follow the same, basic five-step process:

  1. Feeding. During the feeding process capsules get loaded into the machine. A series of channels controls each capsule’s direction and orientation, ensuring that the body is at the bottom and the cap is at the top once they reach the spring-loaded end of each channel. This allows operators to quickly fill machines with empty capsules.
  2. Separating. In the separation stage, the capsule heads are wedged into position. Vacuum systems then pull the bodies loose to open the capsules. The machine will take note of capsules that don’t properly separate so they can be removed and disposed of.
  3. Filling. This stage differs depending on the type of solid or liquid that will fill the capsule body. One common mechanism is a tamping pin station, where powders get added to the body of the capsule and are then compressed multiple times with tamping punches to condense the powder into a uniform shape (referred to as a “slug”) that won’t interfere with the closing process. Other filling options include intermittent dosator filling and vacuum filling, among others.
  4. Closing. Following the completion of the filling stage, the capsules need to be closed and locked. The trays holding the caps and bodies are aligned, and then pins push the bodies up and force them into a locked position against the caps.
  5. Discharging / ejection. Once closed, capsules are raised in their cavities and get ejected from the machine via a discharge chute. They are typically cleaned to remove any excess material from their exterior. The capsules can then be collected and packaged for distribution.

Fette Compacting Capsule Filling Machines and Solutions

Fette Compacting’s FEC series capsule fillers represent one of the most novel and significant advances in capsule-filling in many decades. Never before have fillers been capable of such high speeds and precision, nor have they offered a greater degree of control over the entire filling process.

  • FEC20. Singled-sided capsule filler capable of producing up to 200,000 capsules per hour. Compact and versatile, the FEC20 accommodates both powders and pellets.
  • FEC40. The larger sibling to the FEC20, the FEC40 is the first-ever double-sided capsule filler, capable of producing up to an astounding 400,000 capsules per hour. The FEC40 capsule filler can reduce production costs up to 30% for every 1,000 capsules produced in high-volume runs.

The hallmark features of the FEC series encapsulation machines include:

  • Innovative drive. The advanced drive concept of FEC capsule fillers utilizes both torque- and servo-motors, allowing for unparalleled control over each independent step in the capsule-filling process.
  • Removable Tamping Pin Stations. Building on Fette Compacting’s experience with removable turrets on tablet presses, the FEC tamping pin stations can be easily removed from the fillers and cleaned offline, greatly facilitating and expediting changeover.
  • Intuitive HMI. The human-machine interface on the FEC fillers is wonderfully easy to navigate, with its highly graphical layout, allowing for powerful and comprehensive control of all machine attributes.
  • TRI.EASY Design. Fette Compacting’s core engineering philosophy, prioritizing the simplification of easy cleaning, fast process changeovers, and routine maintenance.
  • NMC Sensor. Our Net Mass Control technology allows for precision dosage control of pellets. It guarantees virtually error-free filling, even across multiple different processes.]
  • Intelligent controls. The FEC fillers are SmartInterface-compatible, enabling them to easily integrate into IoT-enabled production lines.

Choose Innovative, Intelligent Capsule Filling Machines From Fette Compacting

The right capsule filling machine can streamline your production and create higher-quality products. At Fette Compacting, we specialize in high-volume machines that guarantee maximal efficiency at every step of encapsulation. Contact us today to find the right unit for your operation.