Gelatin Melting Tank and Automatic Gelatin Melter
Gelatin Melting Tank is also called soft gelatin melter, gelatin cooking vessel, one of the necessary auxiliary equipment in soft gel capsule production. Gelatin melter is used to heating, dissolving and melting gelatin powder, water, glycerin into a homogeneous liquid solution.
Information for First Time Buyer of Softgel Gelatin Melting Tanks
Let us introduce the soft gelatin tank from below points:
1.why gelatin melting tank is so important
2.the structure and components of gelatin melter?
3.how many types of gelatin tanks, how to tell them apart?
4.questionnaire for buying a gelatin melting vessel?
As you can see, gelatin melting is the first step raw material in softgel production process. So if the first step is not successful, the following job will be impossible.
This gelatin device is made of high-quality stainless steel delicately; a tank with a three-layer structure including one layer of inside tank body, one layer heating jacket, and a most outside insulation cladding. The mixing structure adopts an axial to connect & it consists of stirring paddle. Jacket adopts circulated hot-water to heat, with fast heating, strong temperature-keeping, fast gelatin melting.
The equipment is manufactured, tested, checked, and accepted in accordance with JB2880-81《The Specifications of Constant Pressure Containers Welded in Steel》. It complies with GMP hygiene standards of the People’s Republic of China.
Structure and Components of Gelatin Melting Tank
1. Tank body: To outsiders, tanks all look similar. They don’t look into details. For professional buyers, they will know just by a quick glance. To melting gelatin, our tank in most cases will adopt slender shape, where tank height/ tank width is to a certain ratio. This is because, by this design, the heating transfer within the tank is the best. So we seldom make fat tanks, unless buyers specifically asked for that.
2. Driving Motor: One crucial transmission part on the tank, because it drives the downward agitator to rotate. You must choose a motor and reducer with big enough power and strong torsion upon gelatin tank size and your preparation recipe. What if the torsion is small? Well, you will hear abnormal noises coming from the inside tank during gelatin melting. What if the motor is too big? Well as a good factory planner, you should save electricity power as much as possible. Too big power consumption is a waste. Upon our experience, we suggest below powers for regular gelatin mixing tanks.
3. Mixing Agitator: From the power table you can also see another parameter’ rotate speed’; those two are closely connected with each other. Faster agitator rotating speed requires bigger powder consumption. According to our knowledge about gelatin solution property, the most cost-effective speed 0-35RPM(round per minute); By this speed, gelatin powder can dissolve gradually and evenly. The blades on the agitator should be thick and strong to hold against the tension from gelation powder. You could imagine how you work with flour dough.
3.1 There are also PTFE scrapers on the mixing agitator, which is an option. The good part about scraper is that they can help gelatin paste fall off from the tank wall. The bad part is that if you want to leave, you need to take them out. So whether this part is needed or not, depends on factories’ clean SOP.
4. Bottom discharge valve: we use a specially made bottom ball valve to discharge gelatin. Why not regular ball valve? Because the gelatin mass, when cool down its fluidity is so bad that it will clog unloading nozzle. By this valve, we reduce distance of gelatin transfer pass; before it cools down, gelatin already is transferred into another service tank.
(This with advantages of high pressure, high-temperature resistance, small torque, long life, and other characteristics, to meet CIP and SIP cleaning and sterilization. It is very suitable for the application in high cleanliness requirements such as pharmacy industries)
sometimes we call this part handhole because sometimes the hole is big enough for a worker to enter the gelatin tank; sometimes on a small size tank, this hole only allows the hand to go in. This manhole has two functions: one is to inspect gelatin melting status by naked eyes; second, it works as a material feeding port; you can open this manhole to pull material into. Even our manhole is well polished to Ra0.8um-0. 5um. Fix with stainless steel handwheels.
6.Heating Jacket: The gelatin tank always comes with a layer of the jacket where the user can fill water or oil inside. Heating up water or oil then the jacket will warm up the most inside layer tank gradually, so as to make gelatin melt. Gelatin needs a temperature of 70℃ to be melted totally. The heating media within the jacket that can stay un-running to heat up tank and material gradually or can circulate with other heating equipment to speed up the heating process. By circulation, heat exchanging is faster.
7.Insulation layer: This layer is important to the safety of personnel. When the tank inside heat up to about 70celsius degree; the tank outer surface feels very hot now. When a worker accident leading his body to the tank, he might scald his skin. But by stuffing polyurethane/PU material in this layer; the tank surface will not feel warm, not hot. Our gelatin melter manufacturer should be very careful to do this step. PU material is not as easy to stuffing as it seems. We always make sure the PU foaming up to every corner of the jacket; Some careless factories whose rookie workers leave one or two spots not filled. So when the tank used for a while, the heat insulation problem appears.
8.Tank hangers: we actually have 2 types of gelatin reactors. One is used on a platform; another one will stand on its own feet.
For the cleanroom that has ceiling height higher than 2.7meter, we suggest to the platform type gelatin tanks; for height less than 2.7meter, standing type is recommended. Since we are talking about different types of gelatin melter.
9. Cleaning spray ball: our stainless steel tank is installed with spray balls. One or two sometimes three spray balls are installed at the lid of the tank. So when hot water sprays out from the cleaning balls can flush 360° with the tank for total cleaning. We realize that some factories don’t have a clean water circulating system, but we still have spray balls in the tank so that in the future you can upgrade your cleaning system.
10. Temperature Sensor: there are two sets of temperature sensors installed to detect temperatures in the jacket and innermost barrel. Then there will be 2 sets of digital temperature controllers to show each data. For example, when set a heating temperature at 60℃, the temperature controller turns on/off the electric heater when the temperature is higher or lower than 60℃. The accuracy is ±1℃. The heating process is crucial in gelatin meting, can influence gelatin liquid quality in elasticity and stretching.
What is to consider when purchasing a gelatin melting tank?
Here we simply separate them into 4 types. And discuss each of the advantages and disadvantages.
I. platform type gelatin melter: the advantage of this structure is that tank operators can walk onto the platform to check gelatin melting status inside. Convenient and safe, and this design is fantastic for tank cleaning manually. Gelatin liquid is better unloaded in this way, where you can put a gelatin service tank underneath the platform, gelatin mass comes out under the force of gravity. The disadvantage is that a relatively larger space is needed to install this platform in area and height. And an extra cost to make the platform.
II. feet standing type gelatin melting vessel: better part is that it saves height space of cleanroom; when we plan the cleanroom, the less used space, the less energy is consumed, as we need to control temperature and humidity within cleanroom and sometimes even whole pharmacy factory, saving cost. The poor part is that used not as easy as type I.
III. gelatin melting reactor/cooker on moving castors: I&II types are mostly for big gelatin tank size ＞400Liter; III design we’d like to introduce to buyers making small batches of gelatin solution 300-50L. Because when a tank is as big as 400L, it is difficult to move the tank. Advantage: it’s a compact design, you can finish gelatin melting in this tank and also use it as a storage tank (pushing it right next to soft gel encapsulation machine, serving as a gelatin service tank).
IV. hot water jacketed gelatin tank, using a gelatin service tank as the melting pot. This type also for small batches; by interchange tanks, you can speed up production efficiency.
What Excellent Gelatin Mass looks like after properly melted and filtered.
Automatic Gelatin Melting System
After we go through the gelatin melting tank brief introduction, we’d like to update you about our newly R&D Automatic Gelatin Melting System.
1. What devices consist of an automatic gelatin melter?
To make short, this system has gelatin melting tank of course; valves with pneumatic actuator; piping for water and air; load cell; weighing transmitter; temperature sensors, pressure sensors, bubble sensor; vacuum pump; water pump, automatic control electric cabinet and operation panel and etc.,
2. What functions in this system?
The automatic gelatin melting system has functions such as automatic material feeding(gelatin powder, water, glycerin), online weighing(weigh each ingredient upon recipe), automatic gelatin de-aeration control(we will explain more this in following passages), process data record/output, remote/onsite interaction, the system can also report in-time operation states and monitor failures.
3. How does this system work?
a. The whole system is ready;
b. Remote PC sends key technical parameters or onsite touch screen uploads technical parameters;
c. The system runs;
d. The hot water circulating system of the jacket starts;
e. Purifying water pneumatic valve opens automatically and the online weighing unit works till it reaches the pre-set weight, and then the pneumatic valve closes;
f. Mixing starts up;
g. The vacuum valve opens till the vacuum degree reaches its pre-set value; then the glycerol feeding pneumatic valve opens till it reaches pre-set weight; then the pneumatic valve closes;
h. When the temperature in the tank reaches its pre-set value, the vacuum pneumatic valve will open. When the vacuum degree reaches its pre-set value, the gelatin feeding pneumatic valve will open. When the gelatin reaches its pre-set weight, the pneumatic valve will close and so does the vacuum pneumatic valve;
i. When the mixing time reaches its pre-set time, the vacuum pneumatic valve will open. Then the system enters the defoaming process;
j. When the gelatin solution foam reaches a certain height, the smart liquid level scale will alarm. At the same time, the vacuum pneumatic valve will close while the gas inflow pneumatic valve opens;
k. Repeating the ‘j’ step, the vacuuming time will reach its pre-set time while the moisture reduces to its pre-set value. Then the mixing stops and the system enter the static state. When the pre-set static time is reached, the vacuum pneumatic valve will close while the compressing pneumatic valve and discharging pneumatic valve open to start the process of material discharging;
l. When the online weighing unit show ‘0’, the discharging and compressing pneumatic valves close;
m. The cleaning unit starts cleaning;
n. The whole workflow finished automatically and the system resets;
4. Features The automatic gelatin melting system is very intelligent with a user-friendly interface that saves labor and improves efficiency. It reduces the labor intensity and increases the comfort feeling for operators. All in all, it is a desirable solution for modernized production.
Automatic De-Aeration System in The Soft Gel Gelatin Melting Process
Why design Automatic Vacuum De-Aeration System for soft gel gelatin melting tank?
I. The reasons for automatic gelatin de-aeration.
In the conventional production process, vacuum de-foaming for the gelatin melting tank is usually controlled by the worker manually. But the following drawbacks due to the manual operation has long-time existed:
1.1 The mal-practice probability is high.
Manual operation requires the operator to have strong work responsibility and rich work experience, which is difficult to control. Once the operator is negligent, the gelatin bubble enters the pipeline, easy to cause pipe blockage and is difficult to clean. If the cleaning is not timely, there will be contamination. Not only increases the cleaning workload, but it also affects the production schedule.
1.2 Labor waste.
In the current environment of rising labor costs, saving manpower is an urgent problem that enterprises need to solve.
1.3 The operator’s labor intensity is high.
During manual operation, the operator needs to observe the bubble level inside the gelatin melting tank constantly. Because softgel gelatin melting takes a long time about 45minutes, the operator needs to concentrate. The manual type is not user-friendly design, needs to be improved.
II. The principle and work process of gelatin solution de-aeration.
Create Vacuum – gelatin foam (gelatin bubble) rising – contact foam detector – signaling – shut down vacuum – time lag – turn on vacuum again – cycle the action to complete deforming.
III. Advantages of Automatic Vacuum De-Aeration System
Automatic bubble alarm
Automatic vacuum and venting
De-foaming time can be set
IV. Can you have soft gel Automatic Vacuum De-Aeration System
For new tank design, Joysun Pharma can design a built-in automatic de-aeration system into a gelatin melting tank; for your old under-using-gelatin tank, the client can send back photos and drawings, Joysun Pharma will evaluate and provide update solution.
V. Electric Compoents：
We work with reliable and top brands suppliers for crucial electric components such as Siemens, ABB, Alan Bradley, Omron and etc.
Contact us for price and detail parameter for Gelatin Melting Tank Or Automatic Melting System or for the auto de-aeration system.
Learn more about softgel encapsulation machine, click here.