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Tablet Inspection Machine – Operation And Cleaning Guide

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To ensure consistent high quality of tablet production it is necessary to inspect each and every tablet produced by a tableting machine. Machines have been available for many years that can assist in the manual inspection of tablets. These feed the tablets from a chute onto a conveyor that vibrates or rotates the tablets through 360 degrees so that physical defects can be identified by an operator.

Most recently with the introduction of digital image recognition technology and software, machines are available that can automatically identify and reject tablets that have defects. For either manual or automatic inspection machines, it is essential that the equipment is thoroughly cleaned before starting the inspection of any new batch of tablets. The following is a brief guide that can be applied to the operation and cleaning of most tablet inspection machines.

Pre Start Up

  1. Check that the area in which the inspection machine is located and ensure that the machine is clean, and there are no remnants of previous products in the area or in the equipment.
  2. Check the relative humidity and temperature of the work area and document it in the logbook.
  3. If the temperature is not within the allowable limits, inform the maintenance, department and do not start the operation.
  4. If temperature is within limits, start the inspection operation.
  5. Ensure that the equipment is correctly labelled for the particular batch of product.
  6. Get line approval from Quality Assurance (QA) department to start the process.

Operation

  1. Switch the mains electricity ON.
  2. Check for any abnormal noise by pushing the start button.
  3. To collect the inspected tablets, place a tared polythene lined duly labelled high-density polyethylene container below the machine’s discharge chute.
  4. Place the required batch of tablets into a trolley and place trolley near the inspection machine.
  5. Manually feed the tablets to the machine’s hopper.
  6. Set the vibration or rotation of the conveyor as required.
  7. Switch on the conveyor belt.
  8. In the case of manual inspection, check for any defects on the tablet as the move along the conveyor.
  9. Collect the recoverable rejected tablets from the rejection box and place into a polyethylene container.
  10. When the container at the discharge chute fills up, replace it with a similar container.
  11. Remove the container and close the bag with a tie band, and place it in a different trolley to the product.

Shut Down

  1. When the tablet inspection is complete, switch the machine off.
  2. Isolate the main electricity supply.
  3. Move the product tablets to the intended placement area.
  4. Remove the machine status label and dispose of it.
  5. Place a “to be cleaned” label on the machine.

Cleaning

  1. Remove the “to be cleaned” and tear the label after checking the information on it.
  2. Clean the machine hopper and conveyor belt using lint free cloth dipped in purified water.
  3. Send a rinse sample to the in-process QA department.
  4. Clean the machine with line free cloth dipped in purified water and dry with lint free cloth.
  5. Clean the equipment body with dry lint free cloth.

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