Tablets need to be compressed just the right amount for accurate dosage and volume delivery. At the same time, the equipment must deliver fast processing, minimal product waste, and the right level of automation for the specific product and volume. This blog post will discuss the tooling selection process for tablet presses.
Importance of Tooling in Tablet Compression Operations
Tablets have a variety of shapes, profiles, and compositions. The increasing complexity of tablets means that manufacturers must stay up to date with tooling that can handle changing needs. As you consider different tooling options, look for tooling that offers the following:
- Easily keeps up with output demand
- Withstands compression forces and high levels of pressure
- Minimizes production waste
- Tooling materials must be compatible with tablet materials and environmental conditions
Finding tools that meet these requirements can help you optimize tablet production. Incorporating high-quality tools can also extend the life of your tablet press.
Before selecting a tooling vendor, gather input from all areas of the company to ensure that all needs get addressed. Product developers, engineers, manufacturing technicians, and marketing teams should all weigh in on the final selection. This can prevent costly errors, delays, and replacements later in the production process.
Considerations for Choosing Tablet Compression Tooling
Unfortunately, there is no single tooling solution that can handle the variety of tablets on the market today. Instead, your team will need to identify the right tooling options for your unique product, production processes, demand forecasts, and tablet materials. Keep these considerations top of mind during the decision-making process:
- Tablet design. What is the intended makeup, shape, and size of the tablets? What unique tools or tool configurations will you need to cost-effectively produce this design?
- The cup. The cup depth in your punch will contribute to the success of the final product. How much force will the cup withstand during routine operations? What is the maximum amount of force or pressure for a particular cup configuration, and will it withstand forces required to produce the specified tablet?? Choose configurations and materials that can handle day-to-day operations and will not cause long stretches of unscheduled downtime if something goes wrong.
- Product tendencies. Two of the most common adverse characteristics of tablets during production are sticking and picking. Sticking occurs when tablets do not easily come free from punch cups—usually due to nicks, scratches, and other imperfections in the surface, but can also be due to product characteristics (i.e. hygroscopic products). Picking happens when product does not release from a punch cup that includes embossing.. Consider whether your product and processes are more susceptible to these problems and what you can do to proactively address them with your tooling selection.
- Heat. Ensure that your tooling is made from a material that can handle consistent exposure to the full range of operating temperatures found within your specific tablet operation.
- Abrasion and corrosion. Tablet formulations can sometimes be abrasive, while at the same time, may also be corrosive to certain steel types. These formulas can eventually cause pitting, excessive outer punch tip wear, or can scratch the surfaces of your punch cup, impeding reliable performance and creating a contamination risk. For very abrasive products, premium steels are recommended, as they can typically withstand abrasiveness much better than standard steel.
Tooling and Tablet Equipment From Fette Compacting
Each tablet product is unique, so it’s important to choose tooling that can handle all the requirements of your production process. Fette Compacting has extensive experience providing solutions for all types of tablet production. For assistance with tailoring your tooling to suit the details of your application, please contact us or request a quote today.