Drug Delivery – Using Lasers to Drill Tablets PDF

Tablet Drilling

Laser Drilling for Pharmaceutical Tablets

Laser drilling is well established as an economically viable method for producing sub-millimeter apertures in pharmaceutical tablets. The benefits of sophisticated drug delivery systems are well proven, including decreased dosing frequency, more consistent drug concentration in the blood, and even customized delivery profiles. Osmotic drug delivery systems have proven especially valuable for providing controlled release of medications.

For the manufacturer, laser tablet drilling provides a high speed, highly accurate system that is largely self-operating, and able to visually verify aperture accuracy, even at speeds exceeding 140,000 tablets per hour. The typical aperture in osmotic pump tablets ranges from about 600 μm to 1 mm. Laser drilling, with throughput rates exceeding 140,000 tablets/hour, can easily produce apertures with these necessary dimensional tolerances and cosmetic appearance. As a result, laser drilling is the technology of choice for pharmaceutical tablet production.

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Tablet Marking

Marking Pharmaceutical Tablets

The ever-changing landscape of manufacturing pharmaceuticals requires tools that are readily adaptable and easy to implement. Systems for marking tablets and capsules need to adjust to multiple shapes and sizes, and be capable of changing information quickly, all reducing downtime in production.

It’s also important to produce at high speed, with extremely low rejection rates. Ink marking can smear, requires contact with the tablet, and needs regular maintenance (filling inks/replacing print heads/cleanup). And, when possible, marking should happen in step with other processes, eliminating extra steps in the manufacturing process. Then add the need for overt and covert anti-counterfeiting marks, and the case for laser-based marking is made.

Anti-counterfeiting for the Pharmaceutical Industry

No longer is a simple brand or product identifier enough. Steps must now be taken from ingredient choices through packaging that ensure the pharmaceuticals are reaching doctors and patients without compromise. Adding identifying marks to tablets before coating has proven to be an excellent covert method of anti-counterfeit measures. The capability to change marks just a few minutes, by batch or medication, or whenever desired, has made using laser tablet marking as an anti-counterfeiting measure an indispensable solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers across the globe.

CMS Laser’s laser marking systems provide protection against counterfeiting by permanently marking unique patterns, 2D codes, expiry dates, logos, and alpha-numeric characters. They will mark multiple sizes of tablets, caplets, capsules, and soft gels without adversely affecting the quality or safety of the product. And the systems can be built as stand-alone tablet markers, or built as a combination tablet marker/driller.

Advantages of Laser Marking Tablets

Several have already been mentioned, including rapid change of the mark, non-contact with the tablets and capsules, and adaptability to many different tablet and capsule shapes and size. In addition, CMS Laser’s tablet marking systems can achieve speeds in excess of 140,000 tablets an hour. And then, there’s this.

Our industry-leading tablet drillers can have marking tech built into them, and not lose any production speed. Now you can drill AND mark tablets at the same time, and keep the throughput of either drilling or marking systems alone. This changes everything for manufacturers. No extra footprint in the factory for an extra machine. No expense for a second machine in each production line. Even if you haven’t yet implemented any sort of marking, anti-counterfeit or otherwise, you can have that capability on the very same system with which you laser drill.

Begin Laser Marking

Our engineering staff will take your sample tablets/capsules and, for free, develop an application to provide you with a clear idea of the feasibility of using laser marking on your products. There’s no accompanying heavy pitch. We believe our systems speak for themselves, and their widespread use in pharmaceutical manufacturing companies worldwide back us up.

Simply fill out the form on the right side of this page or, to send us samples, use the form on our Applications Development Lab page. We will get right to work on your free feasibility study.

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