AAPS PharmSci

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 45–60 | Cite as

Comparison of the formulation requirements of dosator and dosing disc automatic capsule filling machines

  • Pavan K. Heda
  • Kapiamba Muteba
  • Larry L. Augsburger


The overall objective of this study was to provide ‘semi-quantitative’ or ‘rigorous’ definitions of the fluidity, lubricity and compactibility requirements of formulation for representative dosator and dosing disc capsule filling machines. To that end, model formulations were developed for those properties using Carr's compressibility index, ejection force, and plug breaking force at a specified compression force to gauge fluidity, lubricity, and compactibility, respectively. These formulations were each encapsulated on an Hofliger-Karg GKF-400 dosing disc machine and a Zanasi LZ-64 dosator machine. Each machine was instrumented to measure plug compression and ejection forces. The encapsulation process was evaluated for %CV of fill-weight, ejection force, plug breaking force and the dissolution of marker drugs incorporated in the formulations. The f2 metric was used to compare dissolution profiles. The results suggest: (1) formulations should meet different flow criteria for successful encapsulation on the two machines, (2) a relatively lower level of lubricant may be sufficient for the dosing disc machine, (3) a higher degree of formulation compactibility is needed for the dosator machine, and (4) transferring formulations between these machine types (same class, different subclass per FDA's SUPAC-IR/MR Manufacturing Equipment Addendum) could be challenging. In certain cases dissolution profiles for the same formulation filled on the two machines with equivalent compression force were different based on f2<50. Overall, the results of this study suggest a range of formulation characteristics appropriate for transferring formulations between these two types of machines.


Capsules Formulation Flow Compactibility Lubrication Filling Machines 


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavan K. Heda
    • 1
  • Kapiamba Muteba
    • 2
  • Larry L. Augsburger
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of McNeil-PPCPersonal Products CompanySkillman
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Maryland, School of PharmacyBaltimore

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