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Kason and Marion Combination Creates Perfection for Powders and Tablet Preparation

Kason and Marion Combination Creates Perfection for Powders and Tablet Preparation
21 Dec 2023  |
When you have a system that’s working, you don’t mess with it. We deal with a lot of machinery and processes in our nutraceutical product lines. The Kason and Marion machines work reliably and consistently day in and day out, which is definitely more than I can say for some other parts of the process.


  • Precision requirements for high-quality, high-consistency product output and repeatability in every batch. Every bag of powder and every tablet must have the precise same composition as the previous batch.
  • Compliance with stringent pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sanitary standards
  • Preservation of mixed particle sizes for tablet pressing machine
  • High-efficiency performance and low-cost maintenance
  • Safety for cleaning and maintenance.

In their search, the manufacturer discovered mixing and sifting equipment through Marion Process Solutions and Kason Corporation, respectively. Global leaders in their own right, Marion and Kason had merged together under the Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) platform in the fall of 2019 to provide comprehensive application solutions to a wide array of industries.

The synergy between the companies’ product lines, paired with their reputation for high-performance equipment and over a century of combined engineering knowledge and expertise, appealed to the nutraceutical manufacturer and compelled them to engage with Marion and Kason for an application solution that would be custom-tailored to meet their needs.

Over the past two years, since Marion and Kason have come under joint management by May River Capital, and as a result they have joined forces in creating integrations in their sales, service and product lines that complement one another in a variety of industries.

Powders and Tablets: Peace of Mind with Reliable Operation

As one of the largest contract manufacturers in Canada, the nutraceutical manufacturer’s reputation is built on high quality and reliability that outperforms their client’s standards.

In the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, product reliability and precision are key, and nowhere is that more true than for this company. “This manufacturer works with brand name customers that use their facilities with the provided formulas. In other words, these are large customers with multiple consumer products, in the real sense of the word—that is, people literally eat, drink or swallow these health products,” said Scott Lightfoot, managing director of Canada Process Equipment. “Every single mix must come out perfect every single time. The taste, texture, smell and of course the nutritional value and safety must be precisely according to spec.”

Powder Supplements

Several years ago, as they were ramping up their operation for powdered supplements, the nutraceutical company turned to the local representative for Kason and Marion, Canada Process Equipment to help them put together a solution for their mixing and sifting operations.

At the time, the nutraceutical manufacturer chose Marion Process Solutions’ paddle blender for its sanitary finish, quality of construction, door gasket design and quick-clean features. The o-ring gaskets on the Marion system are easily removable for cleaning and easily replaceable so that powders never escape and cause a hazard to personnel. For easier, faster cleaning, the machines feature ergonomic openings, high-grit steel parts, and seamless welding to eliminate residue and make it easy for anyone to inspect the cleanliness of the machine at a glance.  

A Kason CENTRI-SIFTER Centrifugal Sifter was later added to their processing line when they found that one of the ingredients sometimes contained foreign materials leftover from packaging. The machines are hand-loaded with bags of material, so parts of packaging may go astray when a worker opens the bag manually. The sifter adds a safety measure by screening out any contaminants prior to blending. Kason’s engineering team designed and integrated the process for automated flow from the sifter to the mixer.

“We often recommend the Kason-Marion combination to our customers,” said Lightfoot. “These are both high-quality manufacturers located here in North America. They both pay incredible attention to detail when it comes to the construction of the equipment, and frankly, as a service provider, I don’t want to get any preventable service calls. With manufacturers like Marion and Kason, I know the equipment is just going to keep chugging along year after year, and I won’t have to make any unexpected site visits.”

The company had been successfully producing a variety of powdered supplements for several years using a combination of the Marion mixer feeding into the Kason centrifugal sifter. The product line includes a variety of different blends, so it’s essential to have simple sanitation of the equipment between batches. The sifter is key in getting rid of any contaminants, such as parts of the packaging that might have gotten into the mix. It also ensures a consistent particle size by separating out any oversized particles.

Tablet Pressing

Uniform particle size is essential for a good powder blend. However, for a tablet formulation, the opposite is true. For tablet pressing to work, the particle size needs to be varied.

“We found that in some of our blends, particularly our tablet blends, the centrifugal sifter would cause the fines and not fines to separate after blending. We had a blended product that had a whole bunch of particle sizes, and then we’d sift it, and we’d end up with one drum of all small size particles and then another drum of really heavy dense particles or bigger particles,” said the process engineer responsible for the tablet product line.

“It would nullify part of the blending process,” he continued. “In order to get a tablet, you need particles of different sizes, because if you get the ones that are too small, then you get grainy tablets. And if you get the ones that are too big, then you get chipping. So, you’ve got to have the right combination.”

The solution was to situate the sifter upstream from the mixer for the tableting application, which screened out contaminants before the material was fed into the mixer for blending. The sifter is loaded manually, with the main ingredient being added from bulk bags, and then the minor ingredients following the main ingredient.

Because the nutraceutical company was expanding its product line, it made sense to add two new machines rather than make changes to the existing system. Based on the success of the Marion-Kason combination, the manufacturer chose the same companies for the new product line.

They found that a VIBROSCREEN vibratory sifter was better for the job than a centrifugal sifter because of the gentle action of the vibratory sifter, which does not cause segregation of the blend. The ribbon blender was chosen for its ability to allow a thorough mix of blends that have a variety of ingredients being added sequentially to the mix.

The system was further enhanced by placing a mounting plate for the screener directly at the mixer inlet, with a dust sleeve to eliminate dust contamination outside the machines.

“Usually, you would need to have a millwright come in and do this kind of work, but Kason was able to design the special plate to save us the trouble of doing that,” said the company representative.

Beyond consistent results and high-quality output, the Marion-Kason system has given the team at the nutraceutical company an additional benefit: peace of mind.

“The best thing that I can say about it is that I don’t think about it,” said the process engineer. “It just does the job. Equipment that you never think about is about the best thing you can have on a production line.”

For their tablet pressing line, the nutraceutical company utilizes a sanitary 30″ diameter VIBROSCREEN Circular Vibratory Sifter to gently screen and remove foreign particles from the powder blends. The screened powders are fed directly into a sanitary ribbon blender for thorough particle mixing.

Benefits of Marion-Kason Solutions

  • Sanitary equipment finished to 3-A standards
  • Consistent processing and end product
  • Smooth integration between mixers and sifters
  • Customizable configurations for mixed or homogenous particle sizes
  • Extreme reliability with no downtime over years of operation
  • Counterweighted hatches on doors prevent operator injuries during cleaning and maintenance
  • Easy gasket replacement for long-term reliability and durability
  • Batch operation for precision mixing

Powder Supplement Line

  • Customized Marion Model BP4-5496-UW4 54″ x 96″ U-Trough Horizontal Nutraceutical Paddle Blender, 120-grit polished 304 stainless steel
  • For scalping following powder blending: Kason Model MO-SS Sanitary CENTRI-SIFTER Centrifugal Sifter

Tablet Pressing Line

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