Tablet Tooling: Punches and Dies

Currently, there are two officially published tooling standards:

  • TSM standard. The American standard, these specifications were developed under the direction of (IPT), Industrial Pharmaceuticals Technology section of the (APhA’s) Academy of Pharmaceuticals Sciences. The “TSM standard” is most commonly used in the US.
  • EU standard ISO standard. The (EU) standard is the most commonly used tooling configuration however, unlike like the American standard is not set or managed by a single organization.

Both standards are similar however, they are not interchangeable. Therefore, a reputable tooling manufacturer should be able to accommodate both standards to support both manufacturing markets. These standards define important dimensions, tolerances, and characteristics of punches and die. The standards do not define tool steels, hardness, and coatings to be used. This responsibility lies with the tool manufacturer.

For a tablet press, tablet compression tools include one upper punch, one lower punch, and one die, per station. A “set” of tooling consists of a full complement of punches and dies required for the number of stations in the turret.


The punch is made up of a head flat, shaft diameter, keyway, overall length, tip, and functional length. Punches guide through the cam track of the tablet press and need to be in excellent condition to avoid irregular alignment and poor dwell time.


The die is a precision component i.e. a mold where the product is compressed into a desired design/shape.

Choosing the Right Punches and Dies

The punches and die you select will have a significant impact on the final product.  These tools determine the shape of the tablet, and it is important to have a smooth, aesthetically appealing product that consumers enjoy. The tools should allow for fast and easy material compression. Using the wrong equipment can lead to inaccurate filling and compression, as well as out-of-spec tablets, tool damage, and more.

When choosing equipment, select the press design based on:

  • The target market for the tablet size and shape
  • The production rate you need to maintain

Fette Compacting Tooling Solutions

At Fette Compacting, we specialize in designing, manufacturing, and supplying clients with high-quality tablet compression tooling and machinery. Our tooling solutions include:

Standard Tooling

We offer standard TSM and EU tooling sizes for tipped tooling, punch heads, and more. Standard tooling options are available with fast order fulfillment.

Custom Tooling

We can design and manufacture custom tooling components to suit your unique requirements and specifications.

Multi-Tip Tooling

Our multi-tip tools are available for die or segmented turret assemblies and can include micro-tabs, complex shapes, and more. Our tooling complies with all TSM and EU standards.


We are a leading provider of die table segment technology. Our patented systems have a streamlined construction with fewer parts for fast and reliable installation and operation. The segment design reduces the risk of human error while simultaneously decreasing the time required to set up and dissemble each turret.


We offer specialized tip coatings that can stabilize punch tip interactions with tablets and allow for a faster, smoother operation. Hard chrome, PVD-chrome, chrome nitride, titanium nitride, and titanium aluminum nitride plating are popular options. Our coatings can provide strengthening effects, resistance to extreme heat, and more.

Materials (Steel Options)

Our tools are constructed from high-alloy hardened steels for maximum performance and long-lasting value.

Choose Fette Compacting for Tablet Compression Punches and Dies

Fette Compacting is a leading provider of standard, custom, and specialty tablet compression punches and dies. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or to place your order.