Types and Classification of Tablet Press
Tablet presses or tableting machines are special equipment designed to compress powder or pellets into compact solids. These compact solids are called tables or pills.
With the advancement in technologies, every table press machine manufacturer is trying to design:
- Highly efficient
- Energy saving
By considering all these, there is a possibility of having a tablet compression machine that meets specific customers’ needs. Even with the existing innovations and technologies, we classify tableting machines into two main categories:
- Single station tablet press
- Multi-station tablet press
Exploring Different Types of Tablet Compression Machines
Let’s explore these types of tablet compression machines in detail:
1. Single Station Table Press Machine
A single-passing tablet press is also called a single-punch tableting machine or an eccentric tablet press. It is one of the most basic and simple machines.
In most cases, these tablet manufacturing machines come in manual options. Of course, semi-automatic tablet press machines are available, especially with modern designs.
Looking at these machines, you will find that they have limited tooling stations. A tableting machine may have one or two tooling stations.
Advantages of Eccentric Tablet Compression Machine
There are many reasons why eccentric table presses are still popular in the market today:
- Simple design that is easy to operate
- A few parts and components
- Small size hence suitable for benchtop operations
- Best for small-scale tablet or pill production
Parts of Single Punch Tableting Machine
For a successful pill press process, several parts coordinate to deliver sufficient force that compresses powder or pellets into tablets. Although these parts may vary depending on the tableting machine, common parts include:
|Parts of Single Punch Tablet Press
|Functions of the Parts
|· Made from food-grade stainless steel
· It is the container where you will prepare powder or pellets for tablet compression.
|· Dies and punches form the main tooling systems.
· It is the tooling systems that determine the final shapes and sizes of the tablets. Depending on the tooling shape and design, you can make round, oval, or concave tablets.
· Upper and lower punches compress material in the die cavity to form your desired tablets
|· Guides punching systems during the tablet compression process
|· The tablet adjuster regulates the amount of powder flowing into the tooling system ready for the compression process.
· The ejector adjuster removes compressed tablets from the die cavity.
How Single Station Tablet Press Machine Works
The working principle of a single-station tablet press is straightforward. It involves 4 key processes:
- Putting the powder in the hopper
- Filling material in the tooling system
- Compression process
- Pill or tablet ejection
Probably, you are wondering what happens in every stage – let’s find out:
Step 1: Putting Material in the Hopper
After preparing your material with the right composition, pour itinto your hopper. Remember, the hopper must meet hygienic and safety standards.
Step 2: Filling Material in Tooling System
Material from the hopper will flow to the single station tablet press die and punch system. As the cam system moves the upper punch, material flows into the die cavity.
Next, the bottom punch system will move upwards to ensure the exact quantity of material fills your machine’s die cavity. This ensures only the recommended material volume fills the die cavity for the next step. It is also an important quality control mechanism.
Step 3: Compression Process
Using the die and punch mechanism, the upper punch applies a predetermined force on material already in the die cavity. As a result, it compresses material to make tablets or pills.
Step 4: Pill or Tablet Ejection
The upper campushes the upper punch system upwards. At the same time, lower punch systems move upwards thereby ejecting the compressed tablet from the die system.
From here, you can take the tablets through other processes.
As you can see, single-press tableting machines are slow. At times, the process can be tiresome since the operator handles most operations.
Recommended Applications of Single Punch Tableting Machine
Single-punch tableting machines are suitable for small-scale production. They are examples of pharmaceutical machines suitable for clinical trials or R&D production processes.
If you are making tablets for home use or just a few samples, then this is the perfect tablet production machine for you.
These machines are perfect for making effervescent tablets, and chewable tablets among other tablet formulations.
2. Multi-Station Tableting Machine
Unlike single-press tablet press machines, multi-station tablet compression has several tooling systems for making pills or tablets.
These machines feature a unique design, with most tableting machines having a tooling system. For this reason, you can also refer to this equipment as a rotary tablet press machine.
Advantages of Rotary Tablet Compression Machine
There are many reasons why you should consider rotary tablet press machines:
- Guarantee high production capacity
- Offer a perfect solution for the continuous tablet compression process
- Features a fully automated system that reduces labor costs, possible tablet contamination, and consistent production
Parts of Multi-Station Tablet Compression Machine
Since most multi-station table compression machines are fully automated, they have other auxiliary parts. However, the basic structure is that of the single-punch tablet press.
Let’s explore the key components of multi-station tablet compression machines:
|Parts of Multi-station Tablet Compression Machine
|Function of Different Parts
|· It is made from food-grade stainless steel
· The container holds powder or material for the tablet compression process
|· Allows material to flow from the hopper to the tooling system
· Feed peddles force material into the die system during high-speed tablet compression processes
|· Cam tracks guide upper and lower punches during the tableting process. They track the precise movement of punches.
· When filling the die cavities, the lower cam tracks control the movement of the lower punch to ensure the die cavity is filled to the right capacity. It works hand in hand with the capacity control.
· Ejection cam removes the compressed pills or tablets from the die system
|· They help move the tablets to the discharge chute.
|· Consists of punches and dies
· The dies determine the shape and thickness of the tablets
· Most manufacturers follow the Euro Standard tooling systems or Tablet Specification Manual (TSM). Where most tooling systems come as either “B” or “D” type.
· The “B” tooling system has a punch barrel with 0.75-inch (19mm) diameter. Where the die diameter is 1.1875 inches or 30.16mm. You can also choose the “BB” option whose diameter is 0.945 inches or 24mm.
· “D” tooling system barrel has a 1-inch or 25.4mm diameter. While the dies have a diameter of 1.5 inches or 38.10mm.
· Depending on the tooling systems, they can exert different force magnitudes for the compression process. That is, a “B” can exert 6.5 tons while a “D” exerts 10 tons.
Note: These are not the only parts in rotary tablet press machines. There are other mechanical, pneumatic, and electrical systems. However, our focus here is on the key parts that help in tablet compression processes.
Working Principle Rotary Tablet Press
As mentioned earlier, a multi-station tableting machine is popular for its continuous operation. Through this, you can achieve as high as over 50,000 tablets per hour, or more.
But, how does this tablet-making machine work:
Filling Powder in the Hopper
You will start the process by filling the hopper with the right material. This can be powder or pellets.
Powder Compression Process to form Pills or Tablets
From the hopper, the powder will flow into the tooling system – that is, the punches and dies systems. As powder flows into the die and punch systems, there are cams and rollers. Both the cam and roller systems facilitate the movement of the punch and dies.
First, in the tooling system, the lower cam pushes lower punches to the bottom section of the die. This allows the powder to fill die systems to the required quantity.
Second, after filling, the lower punch begins to move upwards. Consequently, removing excess material with the help of a swipe blade.
In most cases, rotary tablet press machines have two stages during powder compression to make tablets:
- Pre-compression – It is the first stage in the tablet compression process. The machine slightly compresses powder to remove any possible air that may be trapped in the die cavity. It is an important quality control measure to ensure your tablets don’t have air space.
- Main compression – Using rollers, and punches apply sufficient force to fully compact powder to form tablets.
With multi-station tablet press, this is a continuous process. It results in fully compressed materials that form pills or tablets.
After compression, your tableting machine will withdraw the upper punch. At the same time, the lower punch moves in the upward direction.
This action ejects tablets from the die system. The ejector pushes tablets to the discharge chute and the cycle continues.
Recommended Applications of Multi-station Tablet Press Machines
These tablet compression machines are suitable for large-scale production. For instance, after doing all the clinical trials and approvals, you can deploy a pharmaceutical tablet press machine for mass production.
For this reason, you will find rotary table press machines in:
- Drug manufacturing companies e.g. pharmaceutical industry
- Chemical production companies
- Pill production factories
Key Differences between Single Punch and Rotary Tablet Compression Machines
Although the idea behind the making process remains the same, these tableting machines have some distinct differences. Let’s summarize these differences in the table below:
|Single Punch Tablet Compression Machine
|Rotary Tablet Compression Machine
|· Most machines available are manually operated
|· Available mainly as fully automatic machines
|· They mainly use single-sided compression in tablet production
|· Use double-sided in tablet compression
|· No dwell time
|· Allow for dwell time due to the punch head which is flat
Depending on your production needs, you can choose a single-station tableting machine for your small-scale production or a rotary table press for large-scale production.
At SaintyCo, we have a range of tablet compression machine models, depending on your unique requirements and specifications – contact us now.