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TABLETING


Fig. 1. Small-scale rotary tablet press


PRESSING ISSUES T


Robert Sedlock explains the value of tablet press instrumentation


he solid dosage development and manufacturing process is a combination of art and science. With modern instrumentation and sophisticated software systems, the science is prevailing. Here, we discuss tablet press instrumentation and how researchers can shorten development times and proactively identify scale-up and manufacturing issues. An instrumented tablet press is comprised of many components that are summarised below. Although the focus of this article is to describe the benefi ts of an instrumented tablet press, it is important to understand that a quality system is critical. Garbage in is garbage out. T e data acquisition and analysis software of an R&D tablet press displays incorrect results just as attractively as it displays correct data.


FORCE TRANSDUCER A well-designed force transducer responds only to the force that is being measured, so the placement and design of the transducer are critical. For example, a pre- or main compression transducer is designed to


46 www.scientistlive.com


measure the force that is being applied from the tool punch head to the compression roller. T e roll pin that is supporting the roller can be manufactured with strain gauges. T e material of the roll pin or spring element (the area where the strain gauge is applied) is also essential and is dependent on the expected force range. T e force range on the main compression event is typically much higher than the force range expected for pre- compression. T e elastic modulus, or the slope of its strain rate curve, is an important element of the spring. T e elastic modulus will be much lower for a pre- compression transducer. T e transducers response should be sensitive and linear throughout its range and show minimal hysteresis, good thermal stability, and an acceptable return to zero when the load is removed.


Fig. 2. Single-station tablet press


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