Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3841262 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 15, 1974
Filing dateJun 7, 1972
Priority dateJun 18, 1970
Publication numberUS 3841262 A, US 3841262A, US-A-3841262, US3841262 A, US3841262A
InventorsG Groppenbacher, P Rieckmann, W Rothe, H Schalk, J Schellhorn
Original AssigneeBoehringer Mannheim Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for coating tablets
US 3841262 A
Abstract
Process for coating tablet cores or the like with a film, comprising moving a plurality of tablet cores about within a container, introducing a current of gas through an outlet into said container into the body of moving tablet cores in such manner that a substantially tablet-free gas space is formed just beyond said gas outlet which is surrounded by said moving tablet cores, and spraying a suspension or solution of film-forming material into said current of gas. The process combines the best features of conventional coating processes in a rotating dragee kettle with the advantages of a fluidized bed coating operation.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Groppenbacher et a1.

APPARATUS FOR COATING TABLETS Inventors: Gregor Groppenbacher,

Heddesheim; Peter Rieckmann, Mannheim-Waldhof; Werner Rothe, Hockenheim; Heinz Schalk, Mannheim; Jurgen Schellhorn, Mannheim-waldhof, all of Germany Boehringer Mannheim Gmbl-l, Mannheim, Germany Filed: June 7, 1972 Appl. No.: 260,579

Related US. Application Data Division of Ser, No. 152,797, June 14, abandoned.

Assignee:

Foreign Application Priority Data June 18, 1970 Germany 2029839 US. Cl 118/19, 118/20, 118/24 Int. Cl. B05c 5/00 Field of Search 1 18/19, 24, 20, 303;

3,141,792 7/1964 Lachman et al. 118/19 X 3,231,413 1/1966 Berquin 118/303 X 3,285,223 1l/l966 Sahlin 118/303 X 3,390,648 7/1968 Martin 118/19 X 3,422,792 l/l969 Rollette 118/303 X Primary Examiner-John P. Mclntosh Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Burgess, Dinklage & Sprung [57] ABSTRACT Process for coating tablet cores or the like with a film, comprising moving a plurality of tablet cores about within a container, introducing a current of, gas through an outlet into said container into the body of moving tablet cores in such manner that a substantially tablet-free gas space is formed just beyond said gas outlet which is surrounded by said moving tablet cores, and spraying a suspension or solution of filmforming material into said current of gas. The process combines the best features of conventional coating processes in a rotating dragee kettle with the advan' tages of a fluidized bed coating operation.

4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PATENTEnum 1 5x974 sum 1 or 2 FIG. I.

PATENTEDQBHSIQM SHEEI 2 OF 2 APPARATUS FOR COATING TABLETS This is a division of application Ser. No. 152,797, filed June 14, 1971, now abandoned.

The present invention is concerned with a new apparatus for varnishing formed bodies, especially tablets or tablet cores, with film-forming materials and is also concerned with a device for carrying out this process.

The varnishing of formed bodies by means of which an impervious coating is formed from film-forming ma terials and possibly adjuvants, is a process which is of increasing importance for the pharmaceutical industry. Ordinary tablets, which have been obtained by pressing from pharmaceutically active substances and filling and binding agents, must, for a large variety of reasons, be provided with a coating. The most important reasons are the following:

1. Protection from tablet dust in the case of colored or highly active materials;

2. Masking of an unpleasant taste or odor of the active material;

3. Facilitating swallowing due to a smoother and less absorbent surface of the tablets;

4. Protection of the contents of the tablets by means of a coating which is resistant to gastric juices;

5. Improvement of the appearance of the tablets.

The most important coated tablets are sugar dragees, which are coated with a thick covering layer, and film dragees or varnished tablets, which only have a thin coating. The varnishing of tablets is continuously increasing in comparison with the production of sugar dragees because varnished tablets possess the following advantages:

1. economic production;

2. substantially smaller increase of weight and size;

3. the preservation of previously provided scorings and markings on the tablets;

4. increased storage stability regardless of climatic influences, and thus simplification of packing.

The varnishing of formed bodies, especially of tablets and tablet cores, is, according to the present state of the art, carried out by one of two principal processes:

1. VARNlSI-IING IN A DRAGEE KET'TLE Drageeing kettles are axially symmetrical vessels which rotate about a horizontal or oblique axis. Consequently, when formed bodies are introduced into a rotating drageeing kettle, they are rolled around. The coating materials are sprayed in the form of aqueous or organic suspensions or solutions on to the moving formed bodies and the solvent or suspension agent is evaporated with a current of cold or warm air.

Whereas when applying a sugar coating the cores must be well moistened with the drageeing suspension in order to achieve a uniform dragee coating, this must normally be avoided in the case of varnishing in order to prevent the cores from sticking together. The rapid distribution of the varnishing suspension by spraying is, therefore, just as necessary as a simultaneous drying. According to Hess and Jansen (Lackierte Tabletten und Filmdragees, published in Pharmac. Acta I-Ielvetiae, No. 10, 599/ 1969), the problem is solved by utilizing a very large number, e.g., several hundred to several thousand, short, successive bursts of spray, drying being carried out by blowing in warm air during the intervening periods of time. In this way, the tablets in the kettle never become so moist thatthey tend to stick together or adhere to the wall of the drageeing kettle.

Important advantages of this process are that the ap' paratus used is extremely simple and, in many cases, is already available for the production of sugar dragees. Since the throughput depends practically only upon the volume of the kettle, relatively large quantities of formed bodies can be coated relatively easily. The most important disadvantage of this process is the production of spray mists which apply varnish not only to the formed bodies or tablet cores but also to the walls of the kettle, the exhaust pipes therefrom and the surroundings; besides causing an unpleasant contamination, this also results in a loss of up to of the amount of varnish sprayed in and thus gives rise to a considerable increase of the cost.

2. VARNISI-IING IN A FLUIDIZED BED In the case of the fluidized bed process a stationary vessel is used, formed bodies present therein being held in suspension and moved about by a current of air. A varnish solution or suspension is sprayed into this fluidized bed and, due to the current of air which holds the formed bodies in suspension, the solvent of suspension agent is simultaneously evaporated off (cf. Zeller, Lackieren von Presslingen in der Flugschicht", Pharmaz. Industrie, 31, 11/1969).

The advantage of such a technique lies in the rapid drying of the cores as a result of the high throughput of air and in the enclosed working space used which ensures clean operating conditions. However, a disadvantage of the apparatus used is that it is relatively expensive and, in most cases, necessitates new capital investment. Further disadvantages are the high operating costs (use of large amounts of air) with the use of relatively small batches (about 10 30 kg.). Furthermore, it has been found that only relatively tough or hard cores can be introduced into such a fluidized bed if the attrition caused by rubbing together of the cores is not to be too great.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a device which combines, as far as possible, the advantages of varnishing in a drageeing kettle with theadvantages of the fluidized bed process.

We have now found that this can, surprisingly, be achieved with the use of a conventional drageeing kettle in which the drying air is not,'as previously, blown on to the surface of the cores moved about by the rotation of the kettle but is blown in through an immersion tube, which terminates near the bottom of the drageeing kettle, into the middle of the cores and a suspension or solution of film-forming materials is sprayed into the small tablet-free gas space which is established just beyond the mouth of the immersion tube. This space is created by the expressed drying gas which is appropriate in pressure and volume so as not to blast through the tablet cores, in which case the varnish would not be fully utilized before the gas is exhausted, and so as not to permit only a few cores adjacent the mouth to receive too much varnish and adhere to each other with ultimate caking and clogging.

In spite of the comparatively strong current of the drying air, we have found that the spray mists are deposited practically quantitatively on the formed bodies and thus the troublesome contamination of the drageeing kettle and of the surroundings, as well as the loss of the varnishing suspensions or solutions, which are sometimes very expensive, are avoided.

Since the drying air comes into intensive contact with the cores or formed bodies, we have also found that the amount of air can be considerably reduced in comparison with the conventional process and, nevertheless, a more rapid drying is achieved.

For carrying out the process according to the present invention, it is substantially immaterial which varnish formulation is employed so long as it has a viscosity which is sufficiently low to permit efficient spraying thereof. Furthermore, practically all cores and formed bodies can beused which also sufficiently stable under the conditions prevailing in the case of sugar drageeing.

The invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic sectional view through a drageeing vessel with one embodiment of gas and liquid inlets in accordance with the invention; and

FIG. 2 is a similar view of another embodiment of gas and liquid inlets in accordance with the invention.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, both of which show their immersion tubes on a magnitied disproportionate scale, the form and arrangement of the immersion tubes can be altered substantially while still being able to fulfill the purpose according to the present invention. On form which has been found to be especially useful is illustrated in FIG. 1 wherein spherical container is mounted with its axis inclined at an angle of about 30 to the horizontal, the container being rotated about its axis by a drive. The container has a gas outlet 11 above the tablets for escape of gas supplied near the container/botton and is mounted so as to be stationary but not to interfere with rotation of the container. The pipe 12 bends inside the container in the same direction as the rotation of the container so that its opening 13, whose plane is substantially vertical, is adjacent the container bottom. Axially of pipe 12 there is a spray nozzle supply pipe 14 which terminates in a nozzle 15 located substantially in the plane of opening 13.

In FIG. 2 the cylindrical container rotates about a horizontal axis and is provided with a gas outlet 21 above the level of the tablet cores. A vertical immersion tube or pipe 22 projects into container 20 and its horizontal opening 23 is widened in the direction of rotation of the container, i.e., counterclockwise. A spray nozzle supply pipe 24 is secured inside pipe 22 and terminates in a nozzle 25 so located that spray therefrom is discharged in the direction of movement of gas discharged through pipe 22.

The process according to the present invention for the varnishing of tablet cores and the like with filmforming materials is, therefore, characterized in that a suspension or solution of film-forming materials is sprayed into a current of drying air which is on all sides surrounded and enveloped by moving tablet cores or the like.

In order to obtain an especially uniform coating, we have found it to be advantageous to conduct the current of drying air, and thus the current of sprayed varnish solution or suspension, substantially in the direction which corresponds to the movement of the cores or the like brought about by the rotation of the container and by the action of gravity.

Whereas in the case of the conventional varnishing process in a drageeing kettle, single-component nozzles are necessary in order to minimize the spray mist, it being necessary, therefore, to operate with spray pressures of up to atmospheres, such spray mists do not have a disturbing effect in the case of the process according to the present invention. Therefore, ac cording to the present invention, there can also be used, with good results, two-component nozzles which can be operated at an atomizing air pressure of only 2 5 atmospheres.

It has proved to be especially advantageous that, with the process according to the present invention, the amount of varnish applied to the individual tablet cores or the like can be precisely predetermined. Therefore, highly active materials can be incorporated into the varnish suspension and, nevertheless, can be applied uniformly in precise amounts to the individual tablet cores 'or the like without waste.

The present invention also provides an apparatus for varnishing tablet cores and the like, this device comprising a container for said cores, means for rotating said container, fixed means for introducing a gas into said container adjacent its bottom independently of the rotation of said container, said container being provided with an outlet for said gas, whereby gas introduced into said container traverses said container on its way to said outlet, and means for spraying liquid into said gas introducing means so that said sprayed liquid flows into said container together with said gas. If desired, the spray nozzle can be constructed as a twocomponent nozzle. Furthermore, the spray nozzle and the opening of the air inlet can discharge their fluids in a direction parallel to the bottom of the drageeing kettle.

The following Examples are given for the purpose of illustrating the present invention:

EXAMPLE 1 50 kg of scored placebo dragee cores are placed in a drageeing kettle, in accordance with FIG. l,rotated at 30 rpm about an axis inclined at 30 to the horizontal. The cores have a diameter of 10 mm, a Stokes hardness of 3, kp and an average weight of 333 mg per core.

A tube made of polypropylene with an internal diameter of 8 cm which broadens out via a curve into an end piece of 12 cm diameter, dips into the cores. The air exit opening points in the direction of downwardly directed flow of the cores. In the middle of the air exit opening, there is a two-component nozzle which, for aerodynamic reasons, has a conical shape. The nozzle opening is 1.5 mm. The varnish suspension, which is kept continuously stirred, is supplied without pressure. An atomization pressure of 2 atmospheres gage is used. The immersion tube operates at a rate of 500 m lhour and the air is blown in at ambient temperature.

With the use of the above-described device, there is sprayed on to the cores, within the course of 50 minutes, 6000 g of the following varnish suspension:

Eudragit E (l2.5%)

When the application of the varnish is finished, the drageeing kettle is rotated for about another 5 minutes. In this way, a varnish-like gloss is automatically obtained. The average increase of weight is 6 mg/core.

EXAMPLE 2 A varnish solution is applied with an application device similar to that used in Example 1 but with the following alterations:

a. the immersion tube has the form illustrated in FIG.

2 of the accompanying drawings;

b. the nozzle has the shape and arrangement shown in FIG. 2 of the accompanying drawings and has an opening ofl mm;

c. dry air is applied in an amount of 300 m /hour and at a temperature of 20C.

The varnish suspension applied has the following composition:

ethyl cellulose 60 parts polyvinylpyrrolidone parts polyoxyethylene stearate 10 parts carbon tetrachloride 880 parts isopropanol 40 parts EXAMPLE 3 Into a drageeing kettle, there are placed 50 kg of rodshaped placebo granules averaging 10 mg in weight, 5 mm in length and 1.5 mm in diameter, and these are then varnished in the manner described in Example 1. However, instead of yellow varnish ZLT 2, there is used the same amount of a brown iron oxide pigment. The amount of varnish applied is 8000 g.

EXAMPLE 4 Using the application apparatus described in Example 1, 50 kg of round placebo cores with a diameter of 10 mm and an average individual weight of 333 mg are sprayed with a varnish formulation of the following composition:

Eudragit L 8000 g Eudragit S 8000 g talc 5800 g white spirit 18200 g The finished varnished dragees have an average increase of weight of 43 mg. Their disintegration corresponds to the requirements for coatings resistant to gastric juices according to Deutsches Arzneibuch 7th Edition.

EXAMPLE 5 On to 10,000 placebo hard gelatine capsules of oblong form and of size 2 with an average weight of 438 mg, there is applied, in a drageeing kettle, by means of the device used in Example 3, the following varnish solution:

hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose 42.0 g phthalate diethyl phthalate 12.6 g acetone 365.4 g

The capsules are satisfactorily varnished. The increase of weight per capsule is, on average, 42 mg.

EXAMPLE 6 Eudragit E (12.5%) 300.0 parts talc 49.5 parts titanium dioxide RN 56 40.0 pans yellow varnish ZLT 2 20.0 parts polyglycol 6000 10.0 pans (50% aqueous solution) 0.5 parts digoxin 580.0 parts.

ethanol The average increase of weight is 6 mg/core. The varnish coating of each core contains 0.2 mg digoxin. Analytical determinations according to United States Pharmacopoeia 17, page 198, on 50 varnished dragees give a digoxin content of 0.2 mg. i 10 percent. Varnishing by means of the process according to the present invention permits a sufficiently accurately measured incorporation of a small amount of an active material into the varnish coating.

Eudragit E employed in the foregoing examples is a cationic copolymer of dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate and lower alkyl methacrylates; Eudragit L and S are anionic copolymers of methacrylic acid and lower alkyl methacrylates, the proportions of monomers differing in the two to modify the water solubility. The polymers are available from Rohm A. G. of Darmstadt, Germany.

It will be appreciated that the instant specification and examples are set forth by way of illustration and not limitation and that various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for coating tablet cores or the like with a film, comprising a container for said cores, means for rotating said container about a horizontal or inclined axis, fixed means for introducing a gas into said container immediately adjacent its bottom independently of the rotation of said container thereby to be discharged into the mass of said cores and to form a tablet-free gas space just beyond the point of gas introduction, said container being provided with an outlet for said gas, whereby gas introduced into said container traverses said container on its way to said outlet, and means for spraying liquid into said gas immediately adjacent said point of gas introduction so that said sprayed liquid flows into said container together with said gas and immediately contacts the tablets surrounding the tablet-free gas space.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said container is rotated about a horizontal axis.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said spraying means comprises a two-component nozzle.

4. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said spraying means and said gas introducing means are positioned so as to discharge the liquid and gas in a direction substantially parallel to the bottom of said container.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2639269 *Aug 23, 1950May 19, 1953Dube John BMethod for producing lightweight aggregates
US3141792 *Jun 8, 1962Jul 21, 1964Ciba Geigy CorpAutomatic tablet coating apparatus
US3231413 *Nov 13, 1962Jan 25, 1966Potasse & Engrais ChimiquesMethod and apparatus for granulating melted solid and hardenable fluid products
US3285223 *Dec 9, 1963Nov 15, 1966Archer Daniels Midland CoApparatus for coating granules
US3390648 *Sep 15, 1964Jul 2, 1968A Wander S A DrProcedure for coating particles
US3422792 *Apr 18, 1968Jan 21, 1969Rollette Robert CApparatus for applying color coating and reflective glass beads to stone
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3916825 *Dec 17, 1973Nov 4, 1975Schnitzler Gmbh & Co EApparatus for coating fibers with binder to produce fiberboard
US5397393 *Jul 12, 1993Mar 14, 1995Freund Industrial Co., Ltd.Pan coating apparatus
US6485569Jul 11, 2000Nov 26, 2002Beta Raven, Inc.Spray chamber and system and method of spray coating solid particles
US7824729Mar 6, 2008Nov 2, 2010Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.Methods for coating an implantable device
US20040261698 *Jul 19, 2004Dec 30, 2004Roorda Wouter E.Stent coating apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification118/19, 118/20, 118/24
International ClassificationA61K9/28, A23G3/26, B05D1/02, A23G3/20
Cooperative ClassificationA23G3/26, B05D1/02, A61G11/00, A61K9/28, A23G3/20
European ClassificationB05D1/02, A23G3/20, A23G3/26, A61K9/28