Tube – a container for multi-dose semi-solid pharmaceutical forms consisting of collapsible material; the contents are released via a nozzle by squeezing the package.

Filling of semi-solid dosage forms

  1. Automatic Process
  1. The water soluble (aqueous phase) components are dissolved in demineralized (free from dissolved minerals) water. This process is called the water phase, and it is done in a particular container, known as the water phase vessel.
  2. Similarly, the wax and oil components are mixed in another container, referred to as the wax phase vessel.
  3. Both these containers are heated and mixed thoroughly with the help of motor-driven agitators.
  4. After this, all these components (i.e. the melted wax and heated water) are filtered and moved to another container through pipes with the help of vacuum system. This one is called the ointment manufacturing vessel. The drug component of the ointment are added at this step while heating and stirring the mixture.
  5. High-speed homogenizers and emulsifiers are also used for the homogenization and emulsification of the mixture to distribute the components as uniformly as possible.
  6. When the product is ready, a bump pump is used to transfer it to the storage tank. The storage vessel usually has heating and moving facility.
  7. The storage vessel is, then taken to the filling machine and the material is heated to make the transfer easy. Then a metering pump is used to transfer the product to the hopper of the filling machine.
  8. Triple roller mill is used to remove the extra water from the final product before filling into the tubes. It also helps further homogenizing the product.
  9. The tubes are loaded into the filling machine. The piston of the filling machine cylinder sends out the calculated amount of the ointment take goes through a nozzle into the tube due to sucking mechanism.
  10. After filling, the tube passes through the pressing station, crimping station and coding stations respectively.
  11.  In the case of plastic tubes, they first go to the air blowing station where hot air is blown at the end of every tube. In the end, there are sealing and trimming processes after which they are ejected out from the filling machine.
  12. CIP systems automatically wash all the containers used in the processes.
  1. Semi-Automatic Process
  1. Water is first heated in a container; then wax components are added in the same container. They are stirred and heated together. The drug components are also introduced in the same container; heating and stirring are continued. The planetary mixer is used to help the thorough mixing.
  2. The material is transferred to the storage vessel passing through a colloid mill for the reduction of particle size as well as for the proper homogenization of the product. The storage vessel will have a heating system and wheels for movement.
  3. The material is heated in the storage vessel to make sure easy transport to the filling machine. The metering pump is used for the transportation. Triple Roller Mill helps in removing extra liquid content from the final product.
  4. The procedure for filing, sealing and packing tubes is also the same as automatic.
  5. The vessels and containers used in the process are washed and cleanes.