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TABLETING


To minimise losses in the production of tablets, advancing and automating methods for measuring pharmaceutical compression tooling is crucial, says Mariusz Stachera


espite the technological development in the fi eld of process optimisation in the pharmaceutical industry, the


use of measurement practices to assess the wear of punches and dies is not yet widely used. Observations show that in some companies producing drugs and supplements, the evaluation of the wear of the compression tools is still based only on the optical examination of the working part of the tools – or, worse, no measurements are carried out, which may lead to increased discards or major failures. Punches and dies are one of the most important, and at the same time the most delicate, tools used in the production of tablets that work in an environment that always causes natural wear of these. T e measurements ensure


50 www.scientistlive.com


TIMPROVING D


ABLET PRODUCTION


the preservation of geometric, weight and information parameters (embossing/ score line) of the manufactured preparations, and thanks to them, it is possible to diagnose: • Natural wear of the punch, • Damage to the working part, • Damage to the shaft and head of the punch,


• Damage to the die hole resulting from natural wear (ringing) and mechanical damage


• Quality of embossing/score line


MANUAL MEASUREMENT CARRIES THE RISK OF ERRORS In most companies, the measurements are carried out manually using contact sensors, requiring the operator’s professional knowledge in the fi eld of metrology, experience in the industry


Measuring machine equipped with robot arm


and simply a good focus on the activities performed. T e manual measurement method can also introduce a series of errors both due to the measurement tools themselves and the transposition of the measured data to the measurement reports. T e total time to perform the expected measurements with the use of several points and measurement positions for one tool is also signifi cantly extended.


Embossing height measurement


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