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Pharmaceutical

Tablet Drilling & Marking

Drug Delivery – Using Lasers to Drill Tablets PDF

Laser Drilling for Pharmaceutical Tablets

Pharmaceutical Tablets After Laser DrillingLaser 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.

Time releasing medication is the most common use for tablet drilling. Tablets or capsules can be made in layers with an indigestible coating, followed by medication and possibly another indigestible layer and more medication. The laser drilling allows a aperture or a pattern of apertures to be drilled through the various layers. This permits the medication to be released in the stomach through the apertures. By varying the size and number of apertures the delay of the medication can be “metered”.

The non-contact laser process is perfectly suited for this task as the drilling can be accomplished at extremely high rates with an infinite number of aperture sizes and pattern variations. With the addition of a vision system, aperture quality can be controlled, mis-drilled tablets or capsules can be rejected-and all of this can be done on-the-fly.

Additionally, the laser reacts favorably with medication and their carrier materials during the drilling process.

Control Micro Systems has been an industry innovator in on-the-fly tablet drilling systems for pharmaceutical companies. Our experience with high speed, reliable on-the-fly systems makes us the best choice for drilling your tablets or capsules. Some of our advantages are:

  • The CMS configuration offers true “on-the-fly” tracking of the tablets which should result in better aperture quality over the range of aperture sizes.
  • Our bowl feeder and handling system offer a superior handling environment for the tablets resulting in a smoother transition and thus less chance of tablet breakage and lost yield.
  • Due to the handling and the design of the CMS system the surface of the tablet is visible with the integrated vision system. This will allow for improved tracking of the tablet and misplaced drill sites again resulting in improved yield.
  • Changeover for varying tablet sizes require minimal changes in the CMS handling system; minimal changes would be done in the bowl feeder and minor adjustments to the conveyor system. In contrast others require the belts or wheels to be changed. This will result in improved uptime and reduced cost of ownership due to change over time resulting in lost production.
  • The CMS handling system is designed for minimal maintenance and cleaning requirements. This is accomplished with the smooth transport system that we offer in contrast to the chain link transport that others provide. Again resulting in improved uptime, improved cost of ownership and increased production time.
  • The handling design and the capabilities of the CMS system will allow the customer to drill multiple apertures per side of tablet should they choose.
  • The CMS system can process Bi-Color or Single color tablets.
  • The CMS system with a single, laser, system is based on expected throughput needs including growth. This design is capable of throughput ranges of 50,000 to 70,000 tablets per hour average and is capable of throughputs to 100,000 tablets per hour. In addition, this single laser system design will reduce maintenance and power consumption needs in comparison to a dual laser configuration.
  • The CMS system orients Bi-Color tablets “Drill Side” up so that the tablets enter the conveyor and through the Laser Drilling area “Drill Side” up.
  • The CMS system can be programmed to drill one aperture or multiple apertures and a single side of the tablet.
  • The CMS system is capable of drilling apertures in the size range of .3mm diameter to 2.0mm which is standard and is also capable of drilling larger or smaller apertures.
  • The CMS system has the flexibility incorporated into the system to handle tablet sizes from 7.0mm diameter to 13mm diameter with minimal change over time. This design flexibility results in lower cost and less need for multiple systems for different product sizes.
  • The CMS system incorporates a Vision System. With the ability to inspect every tablet for:
    • #of drilled apertures
    • Location of apertures
    • Size of apertures
  • Tablets that fail the Vision Inspection will be rejected into a reject bin, keeping the rejected tablets away from the “Accepted” or properly drilled tablets.

TDM-70 Laser Drilling and Anti-Counterfeit Marking Tablets System

Features:

  • Tablet Handler/Laser Driller – Fully automated
  • Vision Inspection System
  • Reject verification
  • All safety (CDRH Class I compliant) interlocks required.
  • Tablet Sampling and collection bin provided
  • Minimal change parts for various size product
  • Product changeover time less than 45 minutes
  • Software Validation
  • Product contact surfaces are 316L Stainless Steel or FDA approved materials.
  • IQ, OQ
  • Fume Evacuation
  • Self contained cooling
  • Number of apertures. One or multiple apertures drilled
  • Standard aperture diameters 0.3mm to 2.0 mm..
  • Average output of 50,000-70,000 tablets per hour for single 0.6mm diameter aperture on a tablet; system capable of 100,000 tablets/hour.
  • Shape & size of the tablets. Biconvex circular tablets. Range of tablet sizes to be 7.0 mm to 13.0 mm. Larger range of sizes achievable; separate quote can be provided to accommodate your additional tablet sizes on request now and in the future.
  • Appearance of the tablets. Bicolored round biconvex with sufficient color difference between layers. Also single color single layer.
  • CFR 21 Part 11 compliance regarding electronic signatures and audit logs.

TD-10 On-the-fly Laser Tablet Drilling

Features:

  • Tablet Handler/Laser Driller – Fully automated
  • Vision Inspection System
  • Reject verification
  • All safety (CDRH Class I compliant) interlocks required.
  • Minimal change parts for various size product
  • Product changeover time less than 45 minutes
  • Software Validation
  • Product contact surfaces are 316L Stainless Steel or FDA approved materials.
  • IQ, OQ
  • Fume Evacuation
  • Self contained cooling
  • Number of apertures. One or multiple apertures drilled
  • Standard aperture diameters 0.3mm to 2.0 mm.
  • Average output of 10,000 tablets per hour for single 0.6mm diameter aperture on a tablet.
  • Shape & size of the tablets. Biconvex circular tablets. Range of tablet sizes to be 7.0 mm to 13.0 mm. Larger range of sizes achievable; separate quote can be provided to accommodate your additional tablet sizes on request now and in the future.
  • Appearance of the tablets. Bicolored round biconvex with sufficient color difference between layers. Also single color single layer.
  • Designed for R&D development, trial runs, registration lots and production lots.
  • CFR 21 Part 11 compliance regarding electronic signatures and audit logs.

R&D Pharmaceutical Tablet Driller

Features:

  • Trays hand loaded by operator; drill side facing up. Second tray can be loaded while first tray is processing for increased throughput.
  • Multiple apertures drilled per side if required.
  • Aperture diameters 0.2 to 2 mm.
  • Shape & size of the tablets. Biconvex, circular, ROD, LCT and caplet; Additional shapes and sizes can be reviewed for compatibility.
  • Class I System for maximum Operator Safety.
  • LaserDrill32 Integrated Drilling Software.
  • Self contained cooling.
  • Stainless Steel Fume Extraction System.
  • Optional IQ/OQ/PQ support and documentation available.
  • Optional vision inspection station available.
  • Optional 21 CFR part 11 Compliance for signature and audit logs.
  • Optional X-Y table for increased throughput (as shown).
 Laser Tablet Drilling Images

Laser Tablet Marking Pharmaceutical

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 tablet 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 Tablet 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.


Laser Tablet Marking Images

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