Sieve Shaker Machine – Construction and How it Works?


The powdered drug is separated according to its particle size using several sieves in a nest. These are subjected to different types of agitation, so that size separation is rapid.

Construction of Sieve Shaker Machine:

  • Standard sieves of different mesh numbers are available commercially as per the specifications of IP and USP. These sieves are fixed in a mechanical shaker apparatus (Figure).
Sieve Shaker Machine

Working of Sieve Shaker Machine:

  • Sieves are arranged in a nest with the coarsest at the top. A sample (50 g) of the powder is placed on the top sieve (Figure). This sieve set is fixed to the mechanical shaker apparatus and shaken for a certain time (20 minutes). The powder retained on each sieve is weighed.

Practical considerations:

  • Care should be taken to get reproducible results. The type of motion influences sieving; vibratory motion is most efficient, followed by side-tap motion, bottom-pat motion, rotary motion with the tap, and finally rotary motion. The type of motion and intensity of the shaker are fixed and standardized. Shakers are commercially available.
sieve shaker machine
Figure: sieve shaker machine
  • Other factors are the weight of the sample and the duration of shaking. Sieves produced by photo-etching and electro-forming techniques are used to get a better estimate of the size distribution analysis with a lower limit of estimation of particle diameter 50 µm.


  • It is inexpensive, simple, and rapid with reproducible results.


  1. The lower limit of particle size is 50 µm.
  2. If the powder is not dry, apertures get clogged with particles, leading to improper sieving.
  3. During shaking, attrition (particles colliding with each other) occurs causing size reduction of particles. This leads to errors in estimation.

Variants of Sieve Shaker Machine:

  • Electromagnetic sieve shaker-It is useful for analyzing powders under controlled conditions. Sonic sifter This apparatus utilizes sonic oscillations. Mechanical pulse action is used to reduce blinding and agglomeration in the sub-sieve sizes.
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