Cone Mill: A Complete Buying Guideline in 2023

Industrial revolution in 20th century lead to creation of machines and equipment that offered superior working efficiency previously thought undoable. From ancient Rome two millennia back where first milling industry was started to current era, humans have come a long way in skills, technology and science of particle size reduction.

One such equipment came to canvas of industrial engineering, invented in 1976 by Quadro and named “Cone Mill” because of its cone like milling head. Since then, these machines have become an integral part of pharmaceutical, chemical, food and other associated industries. As compared to its counterpart cone mill has superior mixing, de-lumping, and sizing (wet and dry granulation) capabilities.

This informative blog Cone Mill: A Complete Buying Guideline in 2022” will answer your every question related with cone mill and will help you in purchasing right cone mill for your manufacturing line.

Let’s have a deeper insight of cone mills.

    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    1.What is pharmaceutical sizing?

    pharmaceutical sizing

    Pharmaceutical sizing is defined as breaking down of large sized granules into small sized one by the help of mechanical forces or pressure. Physical state of material remains unaffected by this process.

    Size reduction is essential in many industrial applications for production of uniform size powders. This also aids in solubility and compression of substances such as solid dosage forms by increasing surface area and number of energy sites.

    Pharmaceutical sizing is achieved by

    • Cutting
    • Attrition
    • Impact
    • Compression

    pharmaceutical sizing-1

    2. What does term cone mill mean?

    term cone mill

    Cone mills also called co- mill, or conical screen mills are the milling instrument used to decrease the particle size of materials since its invention in 1976. These are also employed for various purposes like de-lumping, blending, pulverization, and sieving.

    These machines are available in various versions ranging from small scale laboratory equipment suitable for research and pilot setting and large milling machine mainly employed in high speed manufacturing lines.

    The cone mills are integral in tablet and capsule manufacturing lines for de-lumping of processing materials, wet and dry milling of granules.

    3.What are various kinds of cone mill available in market?

    Cone mills come in variety of makes and models. Cone mills can be very small to extremely large. Some types of cone mills are discussed below for your consideration.

    Pharmaceutical Cone Mill

    Pharmaceutical cone mill also referred as industrial cone mill, has mesh of holes for dry and wet screening of various sized ingredient. Type of granulation in industrial cone mill is influenced by grinding size and diameter of material particles.

    Rotation blades in these machines allow compression of material on screen. Conical shape of mill is necessary for powder flow.

    Pharmaceutical Cone Mill



    Tabletop Cone Mill

    Tabletop cone mill is small sized mill also termed as laboratory cone mill, is mainly used for calibration and grinding of wide variety of particles differing in geometries and sizes. Rotating blades help in crushing while conical chute expels the products.

    Tabletop Cone Mill



    Comminuting Cone Mill

    Comminuting cone mill is used for sizing, milling and crushing. It performs both wet and dry granulation of pharmaceutical ingredients.

    Rotar blades facililate the milling and crushing of substances and knife edges fixed on blades; reduces the particler size of materials and seive expels products through lower valve.

    Comminuting Cone Mill-2



    Multi Mill

    Multi mill are suitable for laboratory scale mixing and shredding of lumpy materials. These machines have impact and scapper blades for pulverization and downsizing. These equipment can handle both wet and dry substances.

    High velocity blades present in conical hopper assist in size reduction of granular particles.

    Multi Mill



    4.How does cone mill assist pre-formulation of drugs?

    Cone mills aid in many pre-formulation processes such as

    cone mill assist pre-formulation

    Size Reduction

    Cone mills helps in downsizing of materials, which results in uniformity of particle size necessary for easy compaction and compression of solid dosage.

    Size Reduction


    These machines screen or sieve the impurities from the end product. Sieving is essential to avoid contamination of products.



    Cone mills homogenously disperse particles to form ideal blend of formulations.



    Cone mills are very effective in breaking sticky heat-sensitive agglomerates into small pieces or crumbs. These machines de-lump the materials while upholding the quality of fragile substances.



    Solid dosages every now and then are not as per specifications. These machines gently break tablets apart into powder form, bringing them in to a previous state before compression so that the powder can be reformulated again by adjusting parameters.


    5.What are different parts of cone mills?

    Changes have been made throughout the years in design and components of cone mill for high performance efficiency and trouble free operation. Below mentioned parts come in every standard cone mill:

    Part Explanation Picture
    Main frame It is stainless steel base or stand for accurate positioning mill on the bench top or on the ground. It is for easy mobility and support. Main frame
    Hopper Hopper or in-feed chute is a funnel shaped component, used for feeding or loading raw materials in the cone mill. Hopper
    Touch Panel Furbished with PLC push knobs or touch screen HMI for trouble-free programming instruction. Touch Panel
    Impeller Impellers are fixed in milling area and their rotation results in chopping of materials. These are of round and square shaped bars. Impeller
    Screens These are perforated sieves having various sized holes for refining powders. Screens
    Drive Belts Drive systems provides the power for rotation of impellers. These are present at the top, bottom or thru-wall. Drive Belts
    Receptacle Receptacle is a container for collection of powders after screening through sieves. Receptacle

    6.How do cone mills benefit productions?

    Cone mills are high speed machines that have many advantages for your production like:

    Low energy Materials in cone mills are processed under gravity so operational energy requirement is low.
    Labor Friendly These machines are easy to handle and operate due to HMI. Loading and functioning are less laborious.
    Product Handling Cone mills can process variety of material with easy change of screen and impeller.
    Batch variation These machines generally do not have batch variations due to optimized processing.
    Product Wastage Vacuum conveying prevents wastage of product in cone mills.
    Installation Requirement These machines are portable and can be installed virtually anywhere thus these machines have little to no installation requirement.
    Cost-effective These machines consume little power and do not require many personnel to operate; so these characteristics make them cost-effective solution for productions.

    7.In what kind of industries cone mills are used?

    Cone mills have occupied a central place in many industries for milling, grinding, blending and sizing purposes. Some key applications of cone mills are penned below:

    Pharmaceutical Industry

    Cone mills are useful in milling, and crushing of pharmaceutical ingredients. These machines preserve the therapeutic characteristics of APIs while decreasing the size of ingredients.

    These are essential in producing equally sized powders without ultra-fine as required by every kind of formulations from solid dosage to suspension and syrups.

    Pharmaceutical Industry

    Nutraceutical Industry

    Cone mills are perfect for granulation and mixing of sensitive materials like vitamins, minerals and proteins due to low heat and noise production during operation.

    These mills gently grind fragile nutritional supplements with minimal pressure.

    Nutraceutical Industry

    Food Industry

    Finely crushed powders of spices and herbs are all because of cone mills. These machines play a vital role in producing bread crumbs, sizing chilies, herb extraction, fine tuning density of dairy products, and de-lumping creams.

    These mills segregate bunch of resins and dissolve fat molecules for manufacturing of bakery goods.

    Food Industry

    Chemical Industry

    Cone mills are highly employed in chemical industry for treatment, milling, and crushing of difficult to break polymers and metals. These equipment are used for grinding of dyes, pigments, crystals, and fertilizers.

    These machines pulverize salt blocks and mineral crystals.

    Chemical Industry

    Cosmetic Industry

    Cone mills are predominately used in cosmetic productions as these equipment can process wide ranging products whether sticky or moist, dry or hard.

    These instruments essentially de-lump Teflon powder, centrifuge cake, and coloring agents for formulating blushes, foundations, and eyeshades.

    Cosmetic Industry

    8.What factors influence performance of cone mills?

    Performance of cone mills are affected by several factors such as

    factors influence performance

    Water Content

    Various material characteristics like hardness, rigidity, stickiness as well as particle size distribution (PSD) are affected by water content. For instance, dry milling of materials require 5% water content while for other materials more than 50% water content is needed for wet milling.

    Water Content

    Material Hardness

    Materials that are rigid are not efficiently processed by cone mills. Size reduction of these substances requires treatment with other kinds of mills before processing them with cone mills.

    Material Hardness


    Viscous materials having less flow usually stick with impeller blades and screening holes thereby decreasing performance efficiency of cone mills.

    Impeller Dimension

    Impeller shape and dimension largely impacts the PSD of the materials. Shearing forces-whether low or high- are determined by impeller configuration. Large sized impeller allows for high reduction of particle size.

    Impeller Dimension


    Rusting of blades and granulators decreases the rotation speed of the cone mill. Lubrication of rotating parts prevents rusting and also reduces friction and heat generation.

    Sieve Size

    Sieve holes affect the end granulation of products. If sieve mesh is not right for particles then end products will be unrefined.

    Sieve Size

    9.What are the differences between cone mill and ball mill?

    Cone and ball mills are the kind of milling machines employed for reducing the size of materials except there are some major differences between both of them.

    Cone Mill Ball Mill
    Cone Mill Ball Mill
    Cone mill was manufactured by Quadro Engineering around 1976. Ball Mill was first used for pottery grinding in 1870.
    Cone mills have conical shaped chamber with wider opening. Impeller and screens are fitted inside the mixing chamber. Ball mills are hollow cylindical instruments partially filled with varying sized balls.
    Cone mills are used for sizing, granulation, dispersal, and reclaiming. Ball mills are used for grinding and crushing.
    Rotation of impeller and screening action of sieve causes milling of particles. Rotation of cylindrical exterior and balls results in tremendously fine particles.
    Size Reduction
    Size reduction is caused by impact, attrition, cutting and compression in cone mill. In ball mall, sizing is achieved by impact and attrition.
    Cone mill are usually used to treat relatively soft substances like spices, fats, crumbs etc. Ball mills are employed for crushing of hard substances like cement, ceramics, coal and metal ores.
    Cone mills have low energy requirements. Ball mills consume much energy due to high friction, heating, and movement of balls.

    10.What is working principle of cone mill?

    Milling function of cone mills are carried out by rotation of blades and selected sieve that assist in screening of fine powders. Some stages in working of cone mills are:

    working principle

    Material is placed inside the hopper which goes to feeding inlet by the means of hand, vacuum or gravity. Feeding
    After feeding, the substances go inside the milling unit, where the impeller blades by means of centrifugal forces, grind the materials and move these particles towards screen. Milling
    The particles of desired size are then passed to sieves of different mesh size refining the powders. Preferred sized particles are collected in chamber while other particle remain in between sieves and impellar. Screening-2
    Fine sized particles are then passed through sieve aperture located at the bottom of mill. Discharging

    11.What are hazards associated with cone mills and how to avoid them?

    With the discovery of novel and potent drug substances, the levels of drug dust had to be checked.  Accumulation of drug dust is a major hazard associated with cone mills.

    Drug containment is necessary because it not only poses personnel and environmental risk but also have the ability of flaming during production.

    hazards associated

    Following measures should be taken to avoid drug dust.

    • If dealing with less harmful substances, use venting hoods and laminar booth.

    laminar booth

    • Proper ventilation in discharge pipes is needed to lower drug dust.
    • Charge bags can also be used to contain drug dust in combination with isolator valve.
    • Isolators operating under high pressure are generally used to contain more toxic dust.
    • Vacuum systems are employed for removing dust in large scale milling systems.
    • For more injurious materials, rigid bin and flex-pack system with downstream processing are recommended.

    12.What are cleaning and maintenance hack of cone mills?

    For everlasting operational life of cone mill, routine cleaning and maintenance is necessary. These procedures increase machine efficiency and lower repair periods.

    Cone mills cleaning tips are:

    • First remove the drug dust, excess products and other impurities from impellers, blades, screen and inner side of mixing vessel with spatula and then with clean cloth.

    cleaning and maintenance

    • Dismantle impeller and blades and wash them with water.
    • Rinse screen and conical vessel with 20 liter of water and nylon brush and after this, wash these parts with 2% non-ionic detergent solution.

    detergent solution

    • Wash outer body of cone mill with 50 liter of water.
    • After washing, wipe all the parts and ensure their drying before reassembling them.


    Interval Servicing work Use  
    Daily Polishing of impellers and blades For obstruction free movement Daily
    Daily Grease rotating parts To prevent friction and heat generation Daily-1
    Daily Temperature monitoring Low temperature is necessary for smooth machine working Daily-2
    Weekly Full machine cleaning For efficient working Weekly
    Weekly Examine exhaust pipes For proper ventilation and reducing dust accumulation Weekly-1
    Monthly Tighten loose bearing Ensure optimum working Monthly
    Monthly Check all conical mills parts For repairing and replacing old parts Monthly-1

    13.How does a cone mill conform to international quality standards?

    Cone mills are manufactured in accordance with international quality standards. The operation and design of cone mills fully comply with best formulation procedures in pharmaceutical industry.

    FDA Compliance

    Cone mills are designed keeping in mind FDA regulatory instructions, therefore cone mills are safe and robust milling systems for particle granulation.

    FDA Compliance

    cGMP Certified

    Cone mills adhere to good manufacturing practices which enable these equipment to produce superior quality and pure drug formulations.

    cGMP Certified

    ISO Certification

    Operational procedures of cone mills meet the guidelines of ISO, thus these machines are up to par in ensuring standardization and excellence.

    CE Compliant

    Cone mills comply with European safety regulations and do not pose any personnel and environmental risk making these machines operational in European countries.

    CE Compliant

    OSHA Certification

    The construction of cone mills conforms to OSHA standards.

    OSHA Certification

    14.How to select superior cone mill machine for your production?

    An excellent quality cone mills encompassing all the desired features is a lifetime investment. So before purchasing cone mill, ponder on different aspects of these machines. Some factors are discussed below for your consideration.


    Your budgeting finance is the factor that plays a significant role in your purchase. If you have startup business with low finances then go for small portable kind of cone mills. This will give you profit while saving money.


    Production Efficiency

    Your production efficiency impacts the size and specification of cone mill. Large sized cone mills with advanced technology have high performance efficiency thus milling larger material bulk in short time.

    Production Efficiency


    Businesses having space constraints should opt for under driven cone mills as these have smaller floor print.


    Machines equipped with advanced technologies, automation, interactive screen displays, and safety alarms are preferred in huge manufacturing plants. Before buying, always check machine features as an up-to date equipment ascertains effortless operation.


    Desired Particle Size

    Look for cone mills that guarantee your required particle size. Generally, cone mills produce end products with particle size of 250-4750 µm. Sieve mesh having right kind of perforations ensure ideal sized particles.

    Desired Particle Size

    15.Should you opt over driven or under driven cone; features of both mills.

    Deciding between overdriven and under-driven mills usually depends on processing material, preferred particle size and adaptability of mill. Some feature of both these machine types are given below for aiding you in selection of suitable mill.

    Over Driven Mill Under-driven Mill
    Over Driven Mill Under-driven Mill
    Over driven mills occupy larger space and have more height. Under-driven mills have 30% less space than overdriven mills resulting in easy installation.
    Drive System
    Overdriven mills usually have drive-belts located at the top. Bottom fiited gear boxes powers the under driven mills.
    Milling Head
    Due to presence of top driven belts, milling head cannot be dismantled. Milling head is easily separated for easy cleaning and maintenance.
    Inline Feeding
    Overdriven mills do not have direct in-line feeding so powder bridging is increased. Larger in-feed diameter increases the working capacity up to 50%.
    Heat Sensitive Materials
    Overdriven mills have top driven belts does not generate a lot of energy; making these millers ideal for processing of heat sensitive materials. Heat sensitive materials are generally not handled by under-driven mills as high heat is generated in these mills as compared to overdriven mills.
    Less noise is produced in overdriven mills because of drive belts. Gear boxes in under-driven mills produce more noise.


    Cone mills are important instrument having vital role in several industries. Sizing and granulating are main functions of these mills. This blog provides detailed account of various aspects of cone mills like their advantages, working, maintenance, and applications. By going through this blog, you can effortlessly choose perfect cone mills for your manufacturing line in no time. We at Aipak believe in providing solutions to our customers. If you have further queries contact our 24/7 customer care services.

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