Tablets or pills that are used for medication are shaped or formed using a tablet press machine. This machine compresses the powder formulation that has the active ingredients, running it through the equipment to compact or shape it into tablets of a specific size or shape. The manufacturer sets specifications as to the amount of active drug that is required for each tablet while it is still in the powder form. While they are common for the pharmaceutical industry, the machines are also used in non-pharmaceutical settings, such as in the production of candy.

The tablet press works on a simple concept involving two punches and a gap or die, which holds the powder. There are different machines in the market, made by different manufacturers, and while they may differ in design, the basic function is the same. The powder is poured into the bottom punch of the device, it is compacted under high pressure to form the tablet, which is then pushed out, and the process is repeated. The speed of the production process will differ from one machine to another, with some machines producing thousands of tablets within a few minutes.

  • Types of tablet presses

While there are different types of tablet presses available, they fall under two main categories, the single-punch and the rotation models. The single-punch machines are used in small operations where small quantities of products are required. The machines can be either manual or electrical depending on the size and model.  Rotation presses, on the other hand, work in rotation and they have different punches that work simultaneously. They are used in high output manufacture and produce thousands of tablets every hour. The type of rotation press you buy will determine the speed and efficiency of the production.
Rows and rows of pills

  • Consistency of powder

The powder that is used in the manufacturing process has to be of a specific consistency to ensure that it does not break down under pressure. The formulation used in the powder is precise and requires the right ratio of ingredients to bind and fill the tablet. In many cases, a protective layer is added to the tablets after pressing. There are several types of layers including a sugary coating, which is added to make the pill or tablet more palatable. Another type of layer is a coating that is added to ensure that the acids in the body system do not breakdown the tablet when it is swallowed. A sustained release layer is also used to help in the timed release of active ingredients.

  • Custom made presses

In most cases, the tablet presses are custom made for use by different manufacturers or in different operations. The companies order the equipment to be used for specific products. The pharmaceutical industry produces millions of tablets each day and they need equipment that can handle the pressure and allow efficient operations.

In some cases, adjustments may be made in the die to ensure versatility when different pressure and specifications are required. While big pharmaceutical companies can afford to invest in equipment for the different drugs they manufacture, smaller firms opt to purchase equipment with adjustable parts. The custom presses allow manufacturers to produce tablets that are unique to the company in terms of shape, size and design.

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  • Increased output equipment

Modern technology has led to the manufacture of equipment that is capable of enhancing productivity and output. The equipment can produce good quality tablets, containing accurate dosages of specific active ingredients. The huge equipment that are highly specialized and computer operated produce millions of tablets each day.

Machines that have a larger number of punch positions ensure higher instantaneous output. The equipment ensures superior process control when producing good quality tablets. Features such as accurate weight control for the tablet through online monitoring, ensures that production is efficient at all times.

Manufacturers know that the equipment they invest in will determine their production capacity and the efficiency of the operations. As equipment manufacturers continue to use new technology to come up with new state-of-the-art machines, tablet manufacturers can continue to see an increase in their productions. If you are planning to invest in a tablet press, it is a good idea to find out what is available out there before you make any purchase decisions.