Tablet Coating and Press Lubrication

Coperion K-Tron Feeders are used in high accuracy dispersion for both tablet press lubrication and addition of powders to the coating process

Tablet press lubrication and powder dispersing for tablet coating are both processes which can be significantly enhanced using Coperion K-Tron pharmaceutical feeders. Recent co-operation of Coperion K-Tron with a number of tablet press manufacturers led to the development of feeders which feed a variety of lubricant powders direct to the press tooling by means of a gas injector. The gas in the pneumatic conveying line conveys the lubricant to a nozzle which uniformly coats all surfaces of the tablet press tools that are in contact with the granulate. Alternatively, Coperion K-Tron screw feeders are also used in conjunction with tablet coating machines, both batch and continuous, to meter the powdered materials direct to the coating machine. Finally, the Coperion K-Tron line of vibratory feeders are specifically designed to accurately deliver the uncoated tablets direct to the coating machine. All three operations described provide more efficient handling of the tablets, lower risk of over lubricating the tablet granulation, less off-spec tablet production and even dispersion of the powdered material on the tablet surface. Typical products are: tablet lubricants (e.g. magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, stearic acid), coatings (e.g. carnauba wax), opaquant extenders (e.g. talc).

Features and Benefits

  • Tablet press lubrication using Coperion K-Tron feeders (both volumetric and gravimetric) ensures uniform coating of the tablet press tools
  • Coperion K-Tron’s superior weighing accuracy utilizing the patented SFT digital weighing technology provides accurate delivery of the lubricant or coating
  • The Coperion K-Tron Pharma feeder is designed specifically for ease of cleaning and engineered in accordance with the strictest cGMP design standards
  • Coperion K-Tron can provide controls for complete integration with either the tablet press or the coater
  • Tablet press lubrication and coating applications available as low as 50 g/h!
  • Use of the Coperion K-Tron tablet press lubrication system can decrease overall lubricant consumption as well as increase tablet quality by decreasing the amount of lubricant which needs to be added to the blend

Application Examples

Gravimetric Tablet Press Lubricant Feeder in a separate mount design for integration with tablet press controls

In a traditional pharmaceutical blending process lubricant is mixed with excipients and the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) before they are compressed in the tablet press. Lubricants are added to ensure that the powders do not stick to the tablet press tooling. Oftentimes, however, the tendency is to overlubricate the blend, resulting in cohesive granulations. Spraying the lubricant direct to the tablet press tooling significantly reduces the sticking to the punch and die and is a considerably more controlled method of lubricant addition. The application sheet linked below outlines the methods used for tablet press lubrication via Coperion K-Tron gravimetric and volumetric feeders.

Download the application sheet for more information:

Volumetric pharmaceutical feeder with gas venturi on outlet

When using dry powdered waxes, sugars or opaquant extenders in your coating process, it is often difficult to control the even delivery of these powders to your coating nozzles. By utilizing twin screw feeders in conjunction with a venturi-powered air supply, an even and accurate dispersion of the powder within the gas stream can be obtained. In addition, the use of gravimetric feeders will give you even more control as well as a method of accurately measuring and recording the exact amount of powder addition. The application sheet linked below defines the use of Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight feeders for both continuous and batch coating processes.

Download the application sheet for more information:

Comprehensive Product Range

Feeding Equipment

High Accuracy Dispensing of even the most difficult flowing lubricant or coating

The Coperion K-Tron PH line of pharmaceutical loss-in-weight and volumetric feeders are used throughout the industry for tablet press lubrication and powder coating dispensing. Coperion K-Tron’s line of pharmaceutical vibratory feeders are also used for delivery of the uncoated tablets to the coating machine. Our highly accurate twin screw feeders can be used for lubricant and powder addition as low as 50 g/h, thus permitting the delivery of even lower amounts of lubricant to the final blend. Our Micro Screw Feeders are also designed with the hygienic requirements of pharmaceutical applications in mind.

Volumetric and gravimetric feeders

Material Handling

Coperion pneumatic conveying for automated refill

The Coperion K-Tron line of P-Series pneumatic receivers can be used in conjunction with the lubricant or coating feeders for automated refill. These vacuum conveying systems can also be designed for transfer of the coated tablets direct to the packaging machine. The P-series line of receivers are available in easy-clean pharmaceutical design, with all stainless steel construction and ease of cleaning, and with overall systems design available for a variety of material pickup requirements, such as from drums, bins or IBCs.

Process Equipment
Coperion service technician


Superior Global Service

Our global service personnel possess extensive material handling and process design knowledge for these special hygienic applications and are available 24/7 to assist you with your tablet press lubrication and tablet coating process needs.

After Sales Service

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most recent advances in tableting technology for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries?

The introduction of both granulate as well as lubricant to the tablet press is of key interest to a wide variety of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food manufacturers. The method of feed for both of these applications is of key importance in providing an efficient and cost effective press operation. Due to the tight space limitations which exist in many tableting suites, dense phase vacuum conveying as a method of transferring granulate to the press is often used. Furthermore, the possibility of introducing lubricant direct to the tablet press and significantly decreasing the amount of lubricant added to the blender formulation is gaining increased popularity in tableting operations. (For more information on tablet press loading via dense phase conveying see "Pharma conveying".


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Coperion K-Tron pharmaceutical loss-in-weight feeder

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