Pharmaceutical capsules are usually made from a soft or hard gelatine shell or HPMC (Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, which is a vegetarian alternative) that is designed to dissolve once ingested. There are several sizes of hard gelatin capsules depending on the amount that needs to be filled: 00, 0 EL (elongated), 0, 1 EL, 1, 2 EL, 2, 3, and 4. They are available in many different colours and can be also be imprinted with a variety of approved inks that contrast the chosen colour combination. Hard gelatin capsules may be filled with powder, granules, pellets, liquids, tablets, smaller capsules or combinations of these.
A capsule filling machine can be fully automated, semi-automated or manual depending on the specifications needed. A fully automated capsule filling machine has hoppers for both the empty capsules as well as the powder, granules and some can even fill liquids.
Automatic capsule filling machine are of either intermittent motion or continuous motion with the intermittent motion type accounting for the majority of machines used by pharmaceutical companies.
This is an R&D machine with a single set of dosators and is suitable only for filling hard gelatine capsules with powder or granules and takes sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. It is of the intermittent type and the main stages in its operation are: Capsules rectification, Separation of capsule caps from bodies, Waste capsules rejection, Filling, Capsule locking and Filled capsuled ejection.