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TABLETING 61


FIXING a STICKY SITUATION O


Randy Jung reveals how investing in a new tablet press helped solve production issues for a cosmetics company


ne of the USA’s leading tableting experts recently completed a


successful factory acceptance test (FAT) with an international top-tier cosmetics company. Te customer specialises in producing, marketing and selling handmade cosmetics through more than 700 retail stores in over 44 countries worldwide. It also has a line of tableted products in the oral care segment. Ramping up production of these oral care products worldwide, the company was using two existing tablet presses but expansion and creation of a new line of products left it with manufacturing issues.


Initial evaluation Initially, tooling options were tried to alleviate tableting issues. It became clear that simple tooling changes would be insufficient in meeting the increasing needs of the customer. Natoli’s technical experts evaluated the customer’s best-case scenario and configured a solution for its unique formulation to increase production, improve


tablet quality and reduce cost. Familiarity in working with the customer was key to Natoli’s success in creating a solution that met the customer’s needs.


Evaluating customer needs – compressibility issues To begin the process, product formulation samples were received for testing. As part of the customer’s brand and commitment to using all- natural ingredients, it educated the Natoli team about how formulations were prepared entirely by hand.


Te team then learned about the amount of R&D completed by the customer, and committed resources to helping improve its oral care product line. During the assessment, the compressibility of nine different products was completed using the Hausner Ratio (see Table 1). Tese assessments found that all nine of the products fell in the poor to extremely poor ranges.


Press optimisation Knowing that customisation would provide the best final product and fewer


manufacturing issues, the NP-400 tablet press was selected as the press of choice to optimise manufacture of the customer’s tablets. To optimise the NP-400, a compression study was completed using Natoli’s RD-10A single station R&D press. During the compression analysis, a baseline was calculated for production scale- up. Noticing a considerable number


of customer- supplied sample tablets showed signs of capping, sticking and weight


inconsistencies, attempts were made to recreate the issues. For full understanding, it was necessary to find the effects of different main and pre-compression forces on tablet quality and hardness.


Natoli Engineering’s NP-400 tablet press


Table 1. Compressibility index using Hausner Ratio


Multi-tip tooling used during development www.scientistlive.com


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