Automated Tablet Coating Machine Features Easy Adjustments

Romaco introduced its Tecpharm TPR 25 at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. The system features a sonar system and patented spray arm for automatic adjustments, and is available in pilot scale through 600kg.

Romaco showcased its new TPR 25 tablet coater at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, with its pictured automated spray arm and nozzles.
Romaco showcased its new TPR 25 tablet coater at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, with its pictured automated spray arm and nozzles.

Designed to optimize processes and deliver greater efficiency, the Romaco Tecpharm TPR 25 Pilot mobile automated tablet coater incorporates inlet and exhaust airflow systems required for the coating process to enable simple plug & play commissioning.

An all-in-one system that expands on the Optima product family, the coater fits a range of applications, from development activities and scale-up to the production of very small batches. The compact coater is designed to handle batches weighing from 1 to 25 kg, making it suitable for a batch size range from 5% to 100%.

Romaco Tecpharm Tpr 25 Pilot Tablet Coater 64e3beb929089The coating pan’s flexibility is made possible by fully automated processes requiring no manual adjustments. Without this level of automation, operators need a comprehensive understanding to make machine adjustments. This can involve either altering the coating pan for varying sizes or manually adjusting the spray arm for coating purposes. These manual interventions can open the door for human error and varied efficiency based on the operator's experience.

However, the TPR 25’s sonar system uses a sensor to gauge the fill volume, as Sabri Demirel, Romaco’s managing director explained at PACK EXPO. Based on this reading, the patented spray arm's position adjusts automatically, ensuring precision and the correct spraying distance with each adjustment in-process.

During a hands-on demo, Demirel showcased that the arm features three rotation points. "With these three rotation points, like on a robot, we can straighten the arm fully out to reach even to the pan if we wanted to,” he said. The nozzles, attached to a separate servo motor, can also adjust their positioning based on fill volume changes. As the pan angle changes with varying fill volumes, the nozzles recalibrate to ensure consistent application.

Another notable feature is the detection system present within the spray nozzles. Demirel said that should a nozzle become blocked, the machine initiates an automatic cleaning procedure, and if this does not resolve the blockage, the machine stops operation and alerts the operator with an alarm, ensuring continuous monitoring and intervention when necessary.

Efficiency at each step

The process air flowing through the tablet bed follows a precisely controlled path, which can automatically adapt to the level in the drum with the aid of an exhaust flap. This results in accurate application of the coating suspension and ultra-efficient drying of the tablet bed.

The machine also includes integrated wash-in-place and an air handling unit. A validatable wash-in-place system measures the outflow after the cleaning process to confirm the purity of the water, reflecting its comprehensive design focused on delivering efficiency at every step.

The system is a fit for a range of applications, for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies to contract manufacturers who may need the ability to adjust fill volumes at the touch of a button to streamline their processes.

The pilot version of the machine on show has a capacity of 25 kg, and the system is available at larger capacities ranging from 100 kg to 600 kg with the same intelligent features.