Pharmaceutical manufacturing environments for tablets must monitor a wide range of processes, starting with manufacturing and ending with coating. Let’s take a deep dive into the different manufacturing and coating techniques used to develop high-quality, uniform tablets.
In a pharmaceutical manufacturing environment, there are several requirements that tablets have to meet. They need to be:
- Hard, strong, and able to hold up against mechanical shock during manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and dispensing
- Uniform in weight and drug content
- Made with bioavailable products according to indication requirements
- Chemically and physically stable, so they last over extended periods
- Free of common problems and have an elegant finish
Pharmaceutical manufacturing environments use different processes to make sure tablets meet the above requirements.
Tablet manufacturers use various techniques to develop high-quality, uniform products:
Wet granulation includes a size enlargement process and an adhesive substance known as binder to develop tablets. This is a method commonly used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing environment for compressed tablet production if the ingredients in the powder are destroyed easily. Using this technique to manufacture tablets improves the chances of meeting all physical requirements for tablet formation.
Another common tablet manufacturing technique is dry granulation, a process that works by compacting powder mixtures into large pieces or compacts and breaking them down into granules. Dry granulation is typically used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing environment when tablet excipients have sufficient, inherent binding properties. This method can also prevent substance exposure to high temperatures during drying or moisture.
This technique directly compresses powdered materials into tablets without modifying physical properties, and it’s considered a cost-effective way to develop tablets in the pharmaceutical manufacturing environment. Direct compression is a common solution for producing generic products in the pharmaceutical industry.
After tablets are manufactured and equipped with the required physical characteristics, they’re coated using a high-performance tablet coating system.
The pharmaceutical coating process masks the taste or odor of the medication to make it more palatable, protect the dosage from possible contamination or degradation, and add durability during packaging. Tablet coating systems achieve these product features by using one of the following tablet coating processes:
The sugar coating process masks the medication taste and gives the tablet an attractive color. Its sugar layer is water-soluble and dissolves quickly after swallowing.
The film coating process is performed by spraying a solution onto the tablet surface that includes polymer, pigments, and plasticizer into a rotating tablet bed, creating a thin, uniform film on the tablet’s surface. The sugar coating process is time consuming, so it’s more common in the tablet coating industry to use film coating.
Enteric coating creates a delayed-release for various dosage forms. The coating allows the tablet to pass through the stomach and move to the intestines unchanged, where the medication disintegrates and begins taking effect.
No matter which tablet coating process you use, environmental control through pharmaceutical temperature monitoring is crucial for developing a perfect coating. Temperature and humidity significantly impact tablet composition, and if these variables aren’t monitored properly in your pharmaceutical manufacturing environment, the risk of tablet inefficiencies and potential problems increases.
Environmental control means performing pharmaceutical temperature monitoring, including humidity, air circulation, ventilation, and air pressure, in a pharmaceutical manufacturing environment. You can limit tablet coating inefficiencies, like contamination, over-wetting, twinning, and cracking with proper monitoring in place.
In a pharmaceutical manufacturing environment, tablet manufacturers consider humidity control and tablet coating measures by monitoring pharmaceutical temperatures to identify the ideal coating procedure and analyze factors like temperature and humidity levels. Once the specific environment requirements are determined to coat tablets efficiently, set points are configured on the tablet coating system to ensure that the machine considers humidity trends during its coating process.
At Thomas Processing, our wide range of tablet coating equipment is equipped with air handling systems to ensure that your pharmaceutical manufacturing environment’s temperature and humidity levels are taken into account during the coating process. Our industrial-grade air handling units include features like pre-filters, inlet blowers, heat exchangers, and optional HEPA filters that adapt to your unique temperature and humidity trends. These adjustments help your coating equipment provide your tablets with a consistent composition across every surface and batch. Contact us today to learn more about our air handling and tablet coating systems.