The historical references to different types of tablets and their coatings go all the way back to ancient Egypt. We’ve come a long way since then, and Thomas Engineering is not finished innovating.
Ancient Egyptians Used a Different Type of Tablet Coating Process
The exact date of the invention of tablet coating is still debated, but historians can trace it as far back as the ninth century B.C. in Egypt. Records on old papyrus tell the story of Egyptian medical practitioners of the time using bread, honey, or grease to make medicine easier to consume for their patients. The recipe has changed, but the principle remains roughly the same today. Tablet coatings are applied to make medicine easier to consume or to ensure the dosage is delivered at the right time during digestion.
In ancient Greece, there are even records of people using coating techniques with gold and silver. This technique proved to be impractical because the dosage would pass through the digestive tract without releasing any of the medicine. They did not have enteric coating back then.
Other historical references linked the first use of sugar coating on tablets to William Warner in 1856. He was a pharmacist in Philadelphia who invented a process to apply a sugar coating onto medicines for patients. This coating was less about protecting the drug or delayed-release and more about making it easier for the patient to swallow. Certain medications can come with an unpleasant taste due to their ingredients, and this coating makes treatment more tolerable for the end user.
We’ve Continued to Make Innovations in Conventional Coating
All of these earlier steps, along with the trial and error of the Egyptians and the Greeks, ultimately led to the coating equipment of today. We’ve been able to develop and deliver tablet coating systems that offer time-saving efficiency and quality-assured uniformity because we’re standing on the shoulders of those who came before us.
And we’re not done yet. Thomas Engineering has earned a reputation for never saying no to a new challenge. Even though we’ve raised the level of tablet coating performance across the industry, we believe we can do more, and we’re dedicated to always improving for our customers.
Using Tablet Coaters to Balance Efficiency and Quality
Over time, the pharmaceutical industry has developed the best coatings for various medications. The missing piece of the puzzle was how to apply these coatings evenly, uniformly, and on a bulk scale for thousands of patients. The team at Thomas Engineering filled this gap in innovation with the best tablet coater systems available today. We offer multiple systems depending on your manufacturing facility’s needs. We have coaters optimized for research and development scale projects, along with production scale coaters for your larger projects.
Thomas has made a significant impact on the tablet coating industry. We created the Accela-Cota system back in 1969, and it continues to set the industry standard for thermodynamic efficiency, unrestricted air flow, and flexibility in the coating process.
We Integrated Continuous Coating Machines for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Thomas Engineering, along with a major manufacturer of over-the-counter medications, developed continuous coating technology for pharmaceutical tablets in 1992 and 1993. Before that, continuous manufacturing did exist, but it was applied to agricultural seeds and various food processing applications.
We saw the potential for transferring this technology to the aqueous coating of tablets and capsules. Our continuous tablet coater is known as the CTC model. It was built on the same fully perforated side-vented pan technology that came from our Accela-Cota developments more than 50 years ago.
Doing Our Part for the Pharmaceutical Industry
We have a well-founded history in tablet coating that goes back over 60 years. For those outside the pharmaceutical industry, it might seem like a simple process for applying coating to the surface of tablets or determining the best recipe for time-released coatings. However, the team at Thomas Engineering understands the hard work our partners in pharmaceutical manufacturing are faced with every day, and we’re here to help.
We want to sharpen your competitive advantage in tablet coating with our cutting-edge tablet coaters and stellar support services for your operations. To find out how we can help push your tablet coating systems forward, reach out to Thomas Engineering today. Let’s set up a time to talk about optimizing your process or the tablet coating system you’re missing in your facility.