This guide will teach you everything you should know about tablet press machines.
From basic parts, working principle, design to tooling system.
And, later, I will recommend the most efficient, cGMP compliant and reliable equipment, which will increase productivity in your tablet compression business.
By the end of this guide, you will be an expert in tablet press machines.
Let’s get started:
Chapter 1: What is Tablet Press Machine?
As a first timer, this is an inevitable question to ask yourself.
However, seasonal pharmaceutical producers know what it entails and many other aspects.
Primarily, it refers to electro-mechanical equipment which compresses powder into tablets homogenously regarding size and weight.
The compression of this machine is always forceful thus making it relatively easy for the tablet in powdery form to transform into tablets.
The description of this machine provides one fundamental aspect which is worth noting; homogeneity of the tablets regarding weight, size, and thickness.
Of course, it is a vital aspect given that such drugs are often sensitive in several regards hence the need for making sure that they match accordingly.
It is quite weird to prescribe a particular type of drug with a similar name and purpose and expect it to come in different shape, size or weight.
At times such basics compromise the quality and efficiency of the tablet which also goes a long way to affect user’s conviction.
Ordinarily, you can use this type of machine to produce different kinds of materials. Some of the common ones include:
- Cleaning products
- Pharmaceutical products, etc.
Nonetheless, the particular application which the machine does is what determines its name.
For example, you’ll find that those that specially manufacture drugs and related products are known as pharmaceutical press tablet machine.
Tablets – Photo Courtesy: 3 DERS
Again, it is important to understand that a tablet press machine generally provides a seamless and streamlined control to bulk production of tablets.
You see, processing of tablets incorporates using die and punches.
These components help to fuse various powdery particles to form some kind of a solid material which is the tablet.
For that reason, the tablet press tooling becomes a significant process when it gets to designing this equipment.
In fact, the design of this tablet tooling helps to guarantee strong tablet compression process.
Don’t worry about the various aspects of the tablet tooling design.
We shall look at it in details later on in the subsequent sections of this guide.
For now, let’s look at some of the advantageous reasons that make use of this machine essential;
Chapter 2: Benefits of Tablets Dosage Form in Pharmaceutical Industry
Undoubtedly, the pharmaceutical industry is somewhat broad.
It this implies that users tend to get different forms of dosage when in need of managing various treatments and other related conditions.
Use of tablets is one of the significant forms of dosage that have been in the industry since time immemorial.
Incidentally, it is one of the most popular solid forms of drug delivery.
Patient taking tablets – Photo courtesy: Health.com
Tablets are generally solid unit dosage form of medicament’s that either do or don’t contain a mixture of necessary active ingredients and excipients.
This is nonetheless dependent on the size, shape, and weight of a specific tablet and needs to or not to add diluents.
Preparation of tablets is often through compression or molding.
It is quite apparent that the essence of tablets as a form of dosage is to initiate or enhance treatment plan for a specific ailment or condition.
Well, as you can see, there is much into pharmaceutical tablets especially when it gets to dosage.
And for that reason, we want to find out some of the benefits you’d obtain from incorporating tablet dosage;
· Accuracy Measurement
Ideally, tablets provide relative stable and precisely measured dosage which contains drug substance.
This is entirely different from other popular forms of drug dosage such as liquids which makes it somewhat difficult to attain accurate measurement.
You will realize that during prescription of tablets, the physician is always particular about the quantity of intake and patients follow the exact instruction.
· Easy Identification
Several cases of the wrong prescription of drugs to patients have been typical in the pharmaceutical world.
Let me tell you something here.
The primary reason for such confusions is because of the difficulty for some physicians, especially the novices to identify the same.
What happens is that at times some form of drug dosages which tend to have a similar final product or slight variation are difficult to differentiate.
While we’re on the subject, this also narrows down to the patients who at times after getting home fail to differentiate the drugs they have.
For that reason, the tablet becomes easy to identify given that they come in different colored coatings, printings and embossed markings among others.
· Easy Formulation
You’ll find that in some cases, you’ll have to take different types of drugs at the same time.
It could be because your body or the condition you’re managing requires two or more compounds simultaneously.
Now the good thing with tablets dosage is that the manufacturers can formulate all the different ingredients into one substance.
The significance of this is that it reduces the use of multiple tablets.
Before I forget, formulation of tablets can as well help to disguise drug substances which seem to be unpalatable.
The other beneficial aspect of tablets is that they are relatively affordable in all perspectives.
Necessarily, you do not require extremely hi-tech machines, labor and knowledge to produce tablet drugs.
In fact, overall production and packaging of tablets is affordable and doesn’t necessarily require more storage space.
It is thus the reason that makes the cost of this particular drug quite reasonable.
· Designed for a Specific Area
Ideally, most of the pharmaceutical tablets are designed with an intention to release the active substance within the body system.
Now the good thing with tablets is that they can release such substances in a particular area within the gastrointestinal tract.
The significance of this is that it diminishes any possible side effects and enhance absorption within that specific area.
· Easy to Mask Unpleasant Taste
It is relatively easy to get rid of the nasty taste which some tablets often contain.
What happens, in this case, is that at times some ingredients for manufacturing the drugs tend to be bitter or generally have a bad taste.
So in this case, a patient might find it difficult or hard to always swallow such drugs even when under coercion.
However, this unpleasant taste is easy to mask in tablets thus improving the acceptability and palatability of the drugs among patients.
· Superior to Other Forms of Dosage
What you need to know is that tablet dosage is relatively stable than other types of dosage.
The chemical, microbiological and physical contents of the tablets are better than in most of the other forms of drugs.
The importance here is that you will be able to manage the treatment effectively using this type of dosage.
· Elegance – they are Generally Attractive
This might probably not sound like a direct benefit, but the truth is that tablets are seemingly attractive.
At times as human beings, we tend to perceive most of the things psychologically.
So when you see an appealing tablet, it becomes easy for you to administer them appropriately.
Also, the elegance also adds to the convenience in the sense that the design and appearance of such drugs enhance suitability.
They are easy to move around with so you can take them according to the prescription irrespective of where you are at that moment.
In general, though, use of pharmaceutical tablets presents a broad spectrum of benefits from the perspective of the administering treatment.
I would thus advocate for this kind of drug whenever it’s necessary as long as its manufacturing process involves all the relevant aspects.
And talking about the ideal tablet manufacturing process, it is what we want to look into in the next chapter;
Chapter 3: Step-by-step in Tablet Manufacturing Process
Here’s the truth:
For the longest time now, many tablet press machine manufacturers and inventors have been working towards inventing most suitable equipment.
The interest, in this case, has always been the need for developing an effective machine that would compress tablets uniformly and in bulk.
Since the demand for tablets drug products is also increasing at a higher rate, it also implies that the speed for production needs to rise.
Furthermore, their overall cost of production was also to be affordable.
And it is for such reasons that the invention of a tablet the press machine became alive.
SaintyCo Table Press Machine
In this section, we want to highlight a step by step process of a tablet manufacturing process.
The idea here is to understand how this machine works to give you a hint of how a tablet drug comes to be.
But first, let’s start with looking at some of the crucial observations which will make understanding of this process a little bit easier.
Logically, the manufacturing process goes through separate steps subject to different conditions.
Every step in this process is commonly known as a unit operation.
The individual unit operations herein include weighing, blending and tableting.
Nevertheless, the specific pathway for every unit operation also depends specificallyon what should be done to produce tablet out of the ingredients.
· Step 1: Dispensing of Ingredients
This step involves the accurate weighing of the ingredients that will make up the tablet formula.
Once it is done the dispensing occurs in accordance with the dose.
Dispensing is a critical step in tablet press manufacturing process.
Therefore, with regards to the formulation process, it should be undertaken under strict supervision.
If you fail to get this step right from the word go then the chances are high that you’ll undermine the efficiency of the process and quality of end product.
· Step 2: Sizing Ingredients
Sizing primary entails sorting the ingredients by the system.
You also have to know that in this case, formulation of the materials has to be in superbly separated arrangement.
If not then you have to make sure that you carry outsize reduction as a way of enhancing a better flow property and for easy mixing.
There are many equipment you can use for the mixing process.
For instance, you may consider a high shear mixer machine.
· Step 3: Powder Blending
This stage involves mixing of powdery ingredients using a suitable blender.
The essence here is to help in obtaining a standard and homogeneous powder mix.
Mixing of all the ingredients, drug substances, and other excipients occur in this stage in geometric dilution.
· Step 4: Granulation
At this stage, the particles of the homogenous powder mix are gathered together to form individual layers.
At the same time, these powder particles also form permanent aggregates which are vital as it renders them into a condition of flowing free.
Fluid bed granulation machine is popular for this process.
· Step 5: Drying and Dry Screening
You must understand that it’s essential to dry the screened wet granules for a specific time.
The drying process of the wet granules occurs in a fluid bed dryer or tray dry at a set temperature that does not exceed 550° C.
Once the drying is over, the dried granules are screened through the suitable mesh screen of course depending on the size.
You can use a fluid bed dryer, or any other drying mechanism that is suitable for this process.
· Step 6: Tablet Compression
This is also a critical step which primarily involves compressing the granules to acquire a particular desired shape.
Some of the common shapes that are often a result of compression stage include:
- Flat or any unique shape
It is also at this stage where engraving on the tablets occurs to give it an identifying symbol or a code number. Of course, this is only attainable when using a tablet press.
ü Step 7: Coating
The coating is somewhat the last step in the manufacturing process of tablets and takes place at a tablet coater of the equipment.
Incidentally, a coating of tablets is necessary as it helps to mask the unpleasant taste or odor of some drug ingredients.
In other cases, the coatingis incorporated in this process as a way of making the drug to have an aesthetic appeal of uncoated tablets.
It can also be helpful when it comes to modification or regulating the release of a drug substance from tablets.
Coating of tablets is attained by enclosing the core tablet or granules using a wide range of recommended coating solutions.
Here is a summary of all the seven steps in tablet manufacturing process:
Tablet manufacturing process – Photo courtesy: Pharma Tips
These are some of the critical steps which define the manufacturing process of tablets.
The diagram above gives an overview of how the process takes place.
Nevertheless, you should also understand that you can skip some of the steps.
Of course, this depends on the particular manufacturing process you’re using for tablet formulation.
Chapter 4: Types of Tablet Compression Machines
At this point, I know you’re getting the idea of how this machine looks like, and how it works.
Probably, the next thing running through your mind is how to get it so that you may use for various tablet manufacturing processes.
Well, the enthusiasm is understandable.
But before you do, it would be important to understand some elements regarding types of this equipment.
When you get to the market or when you decide to shop for this equipment you’ll be surprised at how many they are.
Of course for a beginner, the confusion which comes with choosing the most suitable one for your needs can be overwhelming.
They differ in design, size, and many other configurations.
And that is the reason you need to understand the types of this machine correctly before making your selection.
The truth is:
Currently, the classification of tablet press machine comes in two major types. Undoubtedly, the models differ in a wide range of ways.
For that reason, we want to explore the two classifications of this equipment to provide a better idea of a suitable one during selection.
So let’s straightly head to this subject;
4.1. Single Station Tablet Press Machine
This is arguably the simplest type of a tablet press machine you can ever find.
You may also refer to it as an eccentric press or a single punch.
Single station tablet machines come in different designs, sizes as well as configurations.
You’ll realize that some units under this category use an electric motor.
On the hand, you’ll operate some of the machines manually.
Single Punch Tablet Press
Typically, this type of equipment often features a single tooling station with a die and pairs of upper and lower punches.
However, the compression force that this machine uses is as a result of the upper punch only.
So all this time the lower punch tends to remain stationary.
What all these suggest is that the working principle seems to be comparable to that of the hammering motion.
It is thus the reason why you may call it a single punch press given that it is only the upper punches that move during compression.
We will discuss more about this equipment in the later sections as we tackle its working principle.
For now, though, let’s look at some of its pros and cons;
• Advantages and Disadvantage of Single Station Tablet Press
Below are some of the main advantages of single station table press machine:
- As you can see, this machine operates in a simple way that you can ever imagine.
And of course, that is a significant advantage because it is not every day that you’ll find a type of machine that is simple and easy to use.
Ideally, you don’t even need to pursue further training merely for operating this machine.
- It uses high pressure. This is advantageous because it allows it to reduce the weight variants in tablets.
- This machine also allows you to manufacture tablets with different forms of odd and unique shapes. It’s beneficial since it gives you the freedom to produce customized tablets.
- It is ordinarily strong owing to the fact that the materials for its construction are hardy. Furthermore, it also covers a small space hence you can use it even when the workspace is limited.
- This equipment operates in a relatively silent mode. It is not easy to realize that it is running since it doesn’t produce the irritating noise hence helping you to do other tasks conveniently.
- It is also advantageous when it comes to manufacturing small quantity, specifically in research and development.
Of course, at times you only need to produce a small batch that you probably want to use for carrying out some tests.
So this machine comes in handy in such cases hence enabling you to save on resources.
- You will also find it easy to control material loading process when using this machine. Such that every other aspect revolving around the loading process will be seamless.
On the other hand, a notable disadvantage of this machine is that it is expectedly slower.
Apparently, this is as a result of the fact that it only uses a single puncher.
It is also difficult to clean and can consume quite a significant amount of time to get it perfectly clean.
4.2. Multi-station Tablet Press/Rotary Tablet Press
This is the second category of a tablet press machine.
A rotary tablet press is a mechanical equipment with numerous tooling stations that rotate to compress granules into similar size, shape, and weight.
We refer to it as a rotary tablet press which results from the idea that it has a rotating tableting assembly.
Ideally, it is this specific assembly which holds both lower and upper punches as well as the dies.
A multi-station tablet press
The essence of inventing this particular machine was to primarily increase the volume of tablets during production.
Ultimately, this would also impact on the overall cost of production since it reduces it significantly.
This equipment produces a compaction force on the fill material which both the lower and upper punches exert.
The result here is that the exertion leaves the powder mixture or granules for compression in the middle.
Two main aspects determine the capacity of a rotary tablet press machine;
i. A number of stations on the press
ii. Rotation speed of the turrent
Later in this guide, I will describe the working principle of this machine to enable you to understand how it functions.
For not though, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages that it has;
· Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-station Table press
Now, these are some of the main advantages of rotary table press machine:
- This machine increases high production output which is vital because it plays an essential role in cutting down the operating and labor costs.
- You can regulate the weight and hardness of this machine independently thus increasing its operational convenience.
- It works seamlessly such that a moving feeder can automatically manage a powder-filled component without difficulty.
- The rotary press is relatively faster with an output ranging from 9000 to 234000 tablets per hour.
This is a clear indication that it saves a considerable amount of time, especially when in need of producing a largenumber of tablets.
- This machine also reduces waste of valuable formulation since it does not feed them in non-specific tablets.
- The rotary press also features automated systems, which is necessary as it reduces most human activities. It thus leads to accuracy and consistency in the tableting process.
- One significant disadvantage of this type of tablet press unit is that is somewhat expensive to acquire. But the truth is that the price is worth the efficiency you get from it.
- The other advantage worth noting is that it requires a little bit of some knowledge given that it features several automated systems.
- The high rate of possible pollution is the other disadvantageous reason for this machine. Ordinarily, the lubrication systems of this machine use liquid lubricant.
At times, such lubricants may cause a sealing effect which won’t necessarily be ideal with the tablets hence causing contamination.
- Also, it won’t necessarily be ideal for producing small batches hence making it somehow unsuitable for small-scale production or R&D projects.
With that in mind, let’s move a step further to discuss the main parts and functions of tablet press machine.
Chapter 5: Tablet Compression Machine Parts and Functions
So far we’ve seen the two major categories of tablet press machines.
The truth, however, is that a rotary press machine has a relatively complicated design than a single punch tablet machine.
Nonetheless, these two sets of machines feature more or less similar parts and other vital components.
In this section, therefore, we want to look at some of the key and unique parts of a tablet compression machine.
Parts of a tablet press machine
I will also discuss briefly what roles the specific parts play in the overall manufacturing of tablet output.
You may also refer to it as a feeding hopper.
It is generally a component where granules or powder mixtures are poured into just before compression or tableting.
The location of the hopper is close to the feed shoe as a way of allowing the granules to move in for compression.
Note: Please refer to figure 7 above.
Filling of the feeding hopper is possible using manual means or by using mechanical equipment in consequent tableting.
Filling of the hopper is also dependent on the design of this component.
2. Feed peddle
This part links the feeding hopper and the dies.
Mostly it plays a considerable role especially during high-speed rotations since it forces ingredients into the dies for formulation.
3. Cam Truck
This part is responsible for guiding the movement and position of both the upper and the lower punches.
The essence here is to make sure that it offers accurate movement of the punches.
Parts of Tablet Press Machine – Photo Courtesy: Pharma Approach
The cam trucks come in two sets, upper and lower.
So the lower cam truck leads, the lower punch to make sure the die is overfilled.
4. Die Cavity
It is a hollow where compression of powder granules into tablets occurs.
The die cavity determines the number of elements in the entire process.
Some of these aspects include tablet’s diameter, size and to a certain extent the thickness of the tablet.
Punches ordinarily come in two sets hence covering the upper and lower sides of the machine.
The role of the punches is to press the material within the die cavity to produce a desirable tablet regarding shape, size and other aspects.
6. Tablet Adjuster
This component is necessary for adjusting the volume of the powder that needs to be compressed.
It is also essential for determining the weight of the tablet given that it regulates the amount of powder material you expect to compress.
7. Ejection adjuster
The role of this is to facilitate the discharge of the tablet from the die cavity after compression is over.
8. Capacity Control
As the name suggests, this part helps to adjust the punch truck of the lower side during filling stage.
The significance of this is that it makes sure the quantity of material stays within the acceptable range before compression.
9. Compressing Unit
This unit is responsible for facilitating compression within this machine.
Ideally, the compression unit assists in recompression stage.
Tablet compression unit
At this stage, the material gets the initial compression which helps to eliminate excess air that is probably held within the die cavity.
It also allows the main rollers to apply the compression force in the effort of forming tablets at the main compression stage.
10. Take off Blades
This component basically deflects the tablets back to the discharge chute thus making it easy for them to move to the collection containers.
11. Ejection Cam
The role of this part is to assist in discharging the tablets from the die cavity by guiding the lower punch in the upward direction.
12. Control Panel
Control panel primarily consists of the elements that allow you to regulate different aspects revolving around manufacturing process.
Section of the control panel
The control panel often features a wide range of systems that help to determine the efficiency of the machine during material processing.
It thus plays a considerable role in the overall quality of the final product since it is what you use to control the various process parameters.
13. Safety Features
These are components that this machine incorporates as a way of safeguarding the user and device.
They are vital in preventing accidents during material processing and also protecting the machine from possible damage.
Most of the safety features that the tablet press machine features are somehow automated.
Therefore you’ll only need to press particular buttons primarily from the control panel to mitigate or contain any possible threat.
As you can see, these are some of the fundamental parts and components that play essential roles in a tablet press machine.
Of course, we have other many parts of this machine that we have not discussed here.
It doesn’t also imply that they are insignificant parts of less critical for that matter.
It’s only that we can’t necessarily discuss all of them in this guide.
However, as you continue using the machine, you’ll definitely get familiar with them.
Well, now apparently you know some of the key components of this machine.
The next question that I’m sure could be lingering in your mind is:
What is the working principle of a tablet press machine?
And that leads us to the next section of this guide.
Chapter 6: Working Principle of Tablet Compression Machine
Arguably, the most important thing about this section is that you already understand the various essential parts and components of this machine.
Formation of tablets is as a result of compression of granules using a compressing machine.
In the recent times, several innovations have been on the forefront to come up with most suitable tablet press machines.
Tablet compression process
In fact, most of the recent improvements on most of these machines have been focusing on bettering production rates.
Fortunately, as we speak right now, there is a tablet press machine that can produce up to 500,000 tablets per hour.
Now, this is amazing and considering bulk production; it becomes relatively cheaper and effective.
Like I mentioned earlier, the tablet press machine comes in two main categories.
Of course, both of them have different working principles albeit they all produce tablets.
In general, the hydraulic pressure is the fundamental principle behind a tablet press machine.
And there is a static fluid inside the machine that transmits the force without reducing it a bit.
Here is what happens:
Sould any form of external pressure be exerted, it transmit it through the static fluid equally to different directions.
This also allows it to supply the force as necessary.
So let’s look at how each of them functions and get a pertinent idea;
6.1. How a Single Station Tablet Press Works
This machine forms a tablet in one of the easiest ways than you can ever imagine.
Like any other tablet pressing machine, here also tablet formation is as a result of the combinedpressing action of a die and double punches.
Quite a significant number of movements tend to occur concurrently in this particular machine.
And for that reason, you ought to understand that tablet compression is a process that takes place in stages.
Let me explain to you all these stages for better understanding;
Working of a tablet press machine
This first procedure involves transferring of powder mixtures into the ideal position for tablet compression.
At this point, withdrawal of upper punch from the die by the upper cam takes place.
The blending of the final product at this point then occurs and ensuring that it attains uniformity.
In the meantime, the bottom punch remains low in the die hence allowing powder mixture to fall in via the hole and fill the die.
Then the bottom punch moves up so that it can adjust to the weight of the powder mixture. After that, it raises and releases the powder.
Apparently, this adjustment is necessary since it is the only practical way the machine can compress the granules to make tablets.
This stage essentially involves undertaking a metering procedure by removing excessive granules from the tablet press machine.
Herein, you’ll be able to attain the exact weight or volume of the powder mixture that you need to compress into tablets.
Have it mind that the height of the lower punch in the die is what necessarily controls the exact weight of granulation through the dosage cam.
What happens next?
The lower punch raises to a suitable level within the die to provide the precise weight of powder mixture inside the punch-die cavity.
At this point, the excess granulation is then eliminated from the surface of the die table.
Let me put it a layman’s language:
The metering stage is similar to what happens when you measure flour to bake a cake.
Often you’ll use a measuring cup and overfill the flour into it then later use a knife to remove the excess flour.
Eventually, you’ll remain with the exact amount of flour in the measuring cup.
This is the stage where the machine ideally forms the tablet.
Compression primarily involves combining the upper and lower punches under intense pressure within the die to create a tablet.
So what happens is that the punches get into the compressing stage allowing both punches to move between two pressure rolls.
It is these pressure rolls that in turn force the punches to come together and resulting in the formation of tablets.
At this point establishing the thickness and hardness of the tablet is essential and it’s the distance between the punches that determines the same.
What’s the bottom line here?
When the distance between the two punches is closer, it means that you’ll realize formation of thin and hard tablets.
On the other hand, a further distance between the punches leads to the formation of softer and thicker tablets.
It is the optimum roll distance of a product that determines an ideal balance of hardness and thickness of the tablet.
When adjusting such perimeters, you ought to ensure that the weight of tablet remains constant.
And this is the last stage in the working principle of a tablet press machine.
It ordinarily entails removal of tablets from the lower punch station.
What actually happens at this stage is that the upper punch extends from the die cavity and then rises beyond the turret table.
On the other hand, the lower punch rises in the die after which it pushes the tablets in the upward direction to the top surface of the die table.
This force also pushes the tablet outside the die cavity.
Then the take-off scraper forces the tablet off the die table which is somewhat away from the compressing equipment into the collection container.
The cycle of this process then repeats for the next batch until you complete the quantity that you require.
Please note this:
Adjusting this machine at times is inevitable.
The interest, in this case, is to determine a setting that suits:
- Specific type of tablet
- Capacity of the material
- Compression, etc.
In most cases, you’ll find out that such adjustments usually take place as the machine operates manually.
This way, it becomes easy to check on the size, appearance, and mechanical strength of the tablets.
Once you’re satisfied with the quality of the tablet, you can then lock the mechanical adjustments into place and automate the machine for production.
If you want to maintain high quality standards during production, ensure that you check the settings regularly.
This is even more important especially when you’re producing a large number of tablets.
6.2. Rotary Tablet Compression Machine Working Principle
As I had mentioned earlier in this guide, the rotary tablet machine has become the most prevalent and broadly used machine in the pharmaceutical industry.
Just like a single station tablet press machine forms tablets in different stages is the same way that rotary tablet compression machine works.
Working principle of rotary tablet press machine
What I mean here is that the working principle of both of these tablet press machines is accomplished after undergoing particular stages.
Let’s now focus and find out every bit of stage of how a rotary tablet machine works;
1. Powder Filling
It is the first stage of this process which involves feeding the tablet press machine with materials or ingredients.
Essentially, it means that you need to pour your powder inside the hopper from where it shall flow to the tooling system awaiting compression.
At this point, you need to realize that different tablet machines have different shapes and sizes of the hopper.
Technical drawing of a tablet press machine
So the amount of powder you put in the hopper at every given point depends on its size as well as the shaper.
2. Powder Metering
This stage entails filling and compression of the powder in the cavity precisely.
In this case, the machine has a system or removing excess powder that would cause unnecessary inconsistencies during processing.
At this point, you must make sure that your machine can accurately fill the die cavities.
Some of the elements revolving around this include the weight and volume of powder that you want the device to compress into tablets.
As these happen, the lower cam of the turret shifts upwards to a preset level.
The result is the scraping off any excess powder from the surface of the die.
3. Tablet Compression
Ideally, the size of the turret that a particular rotary tablet press machine uses is what determines the production capacity.
In fact, this type of machine-derived the name “rotary tablet press” from the idea that it contains a rotating turret.
Tablet compression tooling system
So you’ll find that both punches exert a preset amount of pressure which compresses the tablets to form right size and depth.
Typically, at this stage, it goes through two sub-stages, which are:
- Main compression stages.
The role of the primary compressor in this instance is to exert more pressure which enables the tablet to attain desirable thickness and hardness.
And this is as a result of pressure from the punches which emanates from a series of pressure rolls.
Have it mind that this process is continuous and the turrets keep on moving rotationally.
A complete revolution of the compression roll produces an exact quantity of tablets as the number of punch tools on the turret.
4. Tablet Discharge
This is a stage where the upper cams pull the top punches back to their original position.
And at the same time, the lower cams rise.
What follows is that the lower punch pushes the processed tablets away from the die cavity.
From there, the scraper then gets rid of the tablet from the tablet press machine through the discharge chute.
In other words, this is primarily the end of a single complete cycle of the tablet compression equipment.
Incidentally, the working principle of tablet compressing machine seems to be the same irrespective of the type that you prefer.
And even if there are variations, they tend to be minimal which often happens regarding adjusting various settings of the machine.
At times you may refer to a rotary machine as a multi-station tablet press machine.
Of course, it’s because it contains a wide range of tooling stations.
Well, now that you have known how both categories of tablet press machines work, it would be ideal also to find out how design and shapes of the same.
And that is what we want to discuss in the next section;
Chapter 7: Tablet Compression Machine Tooling System
Let me tell you the truth;
A tooling system is one of the most fundamental aspects of any tablet press machine.
In many instances, this component plays a significant role in determining the efficiency and quality of a final tablet product.
So basically, a tooling system consists of dies and punches which are vital in establishing the size, shape, and nature of a tablet.
Dies and Punches
Ordinarily, several factors also determine the type of tooling system that a particular machine uses.
Some of these factors include:
- Type of material
- Design process
- Recommended standards
- Specialized treatments
Now, let’s explore some of the design and shapes of the punches and dies which are ideally what make up the tooling system;
7.1. Design and Shapes of Punches & Dies
As I have told you before, the tooling systems come in different aspects.
You will find that in many instances, different tablet press machines use various punches and dies with different shapes and designs.
Some of the conventional designs and shapes of these components that you will find in the market include the following;
· Oval shapes Dies & Punches
This is one of the popular sets you’ll see in many tablet compressing machines.
It is essential as it assists in creating oval or eclipse-shape tablets.
In most cases, the oval shape die and punch sets are often applicable in a wide range of pharmaceutical industries.
The good thing with this particular design of the punch and die is that you can get it easily in many sizes, concavity, and engraved break line.
The oval punch die set allows you to manufacture some tablets including, concave/deep, concave with bevel edges, flat faced and flat with bevel edges.
· Round Shape Punch and Die sets
This set ordinarily allows you to create tablets that have a round shape just as the name suggests.
This design of tooling system is more common in veterinary and pharmaceutical industries.
They are equally available in different sizes, concavity as well as engraved break line.
Using this type of punch and die sets enable you to manufacture various kinds of tablets for your market.
Some of them include; ball shape, concave with edges, shallow concave, standardconcave, flat-faced, flat with bevel edges and deep concave among others.
· Irregular Shape Punch & Die sets
This particular design is specific when it comes to manufacturing of tables that have different types of shapes.
Different types of dies and punches for tablet press
For instance, you’ll find some tablets with shapes resembling animals, fruits, vehicle or part of human body among others.
In most cases, this kind of punch and die set is common in various applications revolving around the confectionery industries.
They’re beneficial since they are durable, enhance continuous production and also provide an ideal cost to output ratio.
Irregular shape punch & die can produce oval, round, oblong and any other unique shape.
Moreover, it can provide flat, convex, logos and beveled engravings.
· Capsule Shape Punch & Die sets
This design is particular as it helps to manufacture capsule-shaped tablets.
Of course, this means that they are common in pharmaceutical industries, but you may as well find them in confectionery industries.
Using this type of tooling system design allows you to manufacture deep concave, flat-faced, flat with bevel edges, concave with an edge and standard concaves.
· Geometric shape Punch and Die Sets
As the name suggests, this design enables you to manufacture tablets which resemble various geometric shapes.
Some of them include square, triangle, benzene, rhombus, trapezium and rectangle among others.
You will find that this type of design is popular in various applications in pharmaceutical, confectionery, metallurgy, industrial powder, and chemical, etc.
7.2. Tablet Compression Punch and Die Tooling Standards
All over the world, the machines for producing a wide range of elements have to meet specific regulatory standards.
These standards, of course, vary from country to country.
However, the essence is to ensure that the equipment conforms to the safety and quality specifications.
Primarily, the reason for instituting these standards in the industry was to offer a structure that protects companies dealing in tooling investments.
At the same time, such standards would also help to maintain the already established processes and policies.
Typically, we have two major tooling standards guiding the industry, EU and TSM.
TSM vs. EU tooling design
These configurations are more or less similar but cannot be interchanged.
Let’s find out what they entail briefly;
· Euro Standard (EU) for Tablet Press Tool Design
The European EU standards are widely used outside the United States.
Also known as Euronorm, these particular standard tool configurations are not necessarily governed or published by any specific association.
· Tablet Specification Manual (TSM) Tool Design
This is an American standard tooling configuration used in the international market.
It is specifically the sole reference on US manufacturing standards for tablets and tablet tooling.
It is only the TSM tooling specifications that are the acceptable published standards for tablet compression industry.
But you see these two major tooling specifications are vital and tend to only vary in a small way which includes the following;
First, you’ll find that the TSM punch head configurations contain an angled top profile compared to the head profile of EU which is doomed.
Again, the TSM punch inside head angle for “B” punches is 37° versus the EU’s which is 30°.
What’s more is that the general thickness of the head seems to be greater in both “B” and “D” configurations for TSM contrary to EU spec.
Also, the overall punch length of the TSM is shorter than that of EU by a mere 0.01 inches.
In a nutshell, you should evaluate the tablet press machine to choose the right tooling system.
Chapter 8: Technical Specifications of Tablet Compression Machine
One thing I’m sure of is that you’re reading this guide mainly to get better knowledge and understanding of an ideal tablet press machine.
Additionally, you also want to know how best to acquire an ultimate tablet compress machine that will guarantee you suitable performance.
Well, so far we’ve seen some of the essential aspects that would enable you to go ahead and make a fitting choice.
However, there is one fundamental element that you must also be aware of if at all you want a consistent, accurate and secure machine.
Understanding the critical specifications of this type of machine is leeway to achieving best selection results.
So in this case, I want us to look at some of them.
I will also discuss every aspect to make you understand what I am talking about.
Hopefully, you’ll get an idea of what they imply and the impact they have on the machine.
· Model of the Tablet Compression Machine
You fundamentally ought to know the type of model or series of the particular tablet press machine you’re purchasing.
Understandably, the selection at times could be challenging.
And this is where going for popular models like SaintyCo becomes significant.
Knowing the model or series of the particular machine is essential as it allows you to figure out production capacity, type of tablet and compression process.
SaintyCo tablet press machines
Primarily, whenever you’re shopping for this equipment, the question that should be running in your mind is what makes type 1 better than type 2.
It is thus a necessity to ensure that you clearly define your specific tablet production requirements before choosing a machine model.
· Turret Specifications
Turrets are among the fundamental components that determine the efficiency and quality of the final tablet product.
This component is what supports the entire tablet press system as well as other parts.
As you know, the turret consists of dies and punches.
So when looking into turrets, you need to consider the type of material that used for manufacturing it.
Tablet press turret
Ideally, the most suitable materials for this component include:
- Stainless steel
- Tool steel
- Special graded cast iron.
The nature of the task that this component does requires it to be somewhat sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
What you’ll find out about the most compressing machines is that they feature an induction motor.
And the motor is often connected to the turret system through gears or timing belt.
At the same time, you also need to determine the right size and shape of the tablet you’re producing conveniently.
And it is the reason you should look into the tooling system in general.
You should have it in mind that the tooling system is dependent on the features of tablets you intend to compress.
So you have to be keen, assess and identify all the aspects of the turret to ensure that you get nothing short of the best quality.
· Automation and Control System
One of the reasons there are improvements on the modern tablet press machines is essentially to integrate technology.
Section of the control panel
Technically, it is of the vital essence to use a tablet compressing machine that incorporates modern technology in all aspects.
And that is the reason you have to consider the kind of automation and control system of the specific machine.
Some of the manufacturers of these machines adopt different types of automation and control systems.
However, it would be advantageous to go for one that allows you to customize the control system to meet your specifications.
Furthermore, you also need to ensure that the machine comes with user-friendly software.
A suitably automated tablet press machine helps to safeguard both the device and the users while optimizing operation and quality.
So it’s imperative if all the buttons and other elements within the control panel are clear and compelling.
· Overall Construction
The overall design and construction of a tablet press machine are also outstanding when it comes to aspects to look into.
Ideally, this machine needs to feature a sturdy construction by all standards.
It is what enables it to support a higher production capacity.
Also, it should be a cGMP compliant tablet press machine.
So when making this decision, you need to ensure that the machine has few parts which come into direct contact with the product.
When you go for robustconstruction,you’re guaranteedof better machine’s efficiency and reliability.
Also, the sturdy construction enhances the stability of this particular machine.
Chapter 9: SaintyCo Tablet Press Machine Manufacturing Line
Now you know all the relevant information that makes it possible for you to make better and informed decisions regarding tablet press machines.
Nonetheless, it could still be challenging to acquire the best one, especially if you’re a first-timer.
So to be fair on you, since I’ve given you many ideas of how to purchase this equipment, the least I’d do is to recommend some units you may consider.
Incidentally, all the best deals concerning tablet press machines are from SaintyCo.
This company has a broad line of these pharmaceutical machines to choose from making it possible for you to attain the best fitting one for you.
SaintyCo machines feature hi-tech systems and design innovations, and you can get both single punch and rotary machines in multifold.
So let’s have a brief overlook of some of these types of SaintyCo tablet press machines that you would necessarily wish to consider;
This unit offers reliability, flexibility, and sturdiness.
It is user-friendly and easy to assemble and disassemble.
It features a state-of-the-art control system, optimized feed system, and automated lubrication systems.
Smart S rotary tablet press machine
Its design also complies with cGMP specifications and provides a production capacity of up to 300,000 tabs per hour.
This unit is a new generation tab press equipment that offers ultra-high speed and featuring automated interchangeable turret designs.
Smart Plus Tablet Press Equipment
Safety and operational system of this equipment are top notches which is vital in enhancing accuracy and efficiency.
It offers a production capacity of up to 700, 000 tabs per hours, remote control option and a fully integrated HMI.
This is also a high-speed tab press machine that features an EC punch and dies tooling system.
It has a redesigned tablet compression area that is separate from other electrical and mechanical parts.
This machine provides a quick part changeover, modular design, few components that are in contact with the product.
PrimaPress Rotary Tablet Press
The relatively high speed with a production capacity of up to 118, 000 tabs per hour.
It guarantees optimal hygienic design, excellent performance, and tool-less format change.
This unit features a modular design, Siemens PLC and HMI systems which offer flexibility for improving production efficiency.
AdvantaPress Rotary Tablet Machine
All the critical components of this machine including tooling system, turret, and rotating arms are isolated from the service area.
It provides an output of up to 280, 000 tabs per hour, less operational noise, automatic lubrication system, andcGMP compliant design.
This is among the SaintyCo’s new hybrid press tablets machines for faster and bulk production.
Its double-transmission allows it to have a high loading capacity enabling it to attain efficiency and accuracy.
AdvantaPress Plus Double-Slide Tablet Press Machine
It offers a production capacity of up to 630, 000 tabs per hour, cGMP compliant and comes with both mono-layer and bi-layer.
This SaintyCo tab press machine is most suitable for a wide range of pharmaceutical applications.
MagnaPress Tablet Punching Machine
It is designed in a way that guarantees optimum tablet production while minimizing wearing, which in turn enhances consistency and smooth operation.
This equipment provides a production capacity of up to 680,000 tablets per hour in excellence performance, with the quick part changeover.
This unit from SaintyCo is specifically designed to cater for small batch production in pharmaceutical applications.
It is available in two distinct models OneTab A and OneTab B.
This equipment has a single set of die and punch which presses the tablets to form desired shapes and engravings.
OneTab Single Punch Tablet Press
It features some safety features which enhance your security and that of the machine.
Also, it offers a production capacity of approximately 3600 tabs per hour, cGMP compliant, pressure display and adjustable tablet thickness.
This machine compresses the irregular and round tablets using custom letters or logos.
It is also designed to cater for small-scale production in pharmaceutical and R&D applications.
MiniTab Laboratory Tablet Press
This equipment is fully automated allowing for accurate turret control, tablet thickness and plunger depth among others.
It also features exceptional safety elements like overload protection and a mechanical buffer unit.
The unit is cGMP compliant, comes with a data batch printing, digital display, and production capacity of up to 43,400 tabs per hour.
· ProTab Tablet Making Machine
It is one of the highly automated and user-friendly tab machines from SaintyCo that features a modular design.
ProTab Tablet Making Machine
It features a versatile feeding mechanism hence guaranteeing reliability and consistency.
It also enhances accuracy and constant compression process as a result of frequency converter circuit.
Your safety when using this machine is guaranteed as it has interlocked lower and upper guards.
Throughout this guide, I am sure you have learnt all the basic and advanced features of table compression machines.
From basic parts, design, working principle to specification, amongst others.
And more importantly, I have listed 9 different brands of tableting machines.
I believe with this information, you can buy a tablet compression machine for your specific needs.
Now, I’d wish to hear from you too:
Which brand of tablet press machine are you using?
What’s your experience with these machines?
Talk to us today – At SaintyCo, we offer free consultation on tablet press machines and other pharmaceutical equipment.