Tablet compression operations involve the use of a high-speed mechanical press to compress powder or granulated ingredients into tablets. The tablets may be of various shapes, sizes, and colors, depending on the intended use.
The process of tablet compression can be broken down into four main stages:
1. Feeding: The first stage is to feed the raw material into the hopper of the tablet press. The hopper may be equipped with a vibrating feeder to ensure a steady flow of material into the press.
2. Compression: The second stage is the actual compression of the raw material into tablets. The powder or granulated ingredients are compressed under high pressure, usually between 5 and 50 kN/cm². The compression is done by a punch and die system where the punch is lowered onto the die and the powder is compressed. Sometimes, multi-layer tablets are made using different dies.
3. Ejection: After the compression, the tablet is ejected from the die cavity by the punch. Usually, the punch and die will be coated with a lubricant to prevent the tablet from sticking and to maintain the longevity of the machinery.
4. Quality control: After the ejection process, the quality of the tablets needs to be assessed. This may include checking for characteristics such as thickness, weight, hardness, and friability. Any tablets that do not meet the required standards are rejected and recycled back into the hopper for re-processing. If the problem persists, the batch may need to be scrapped.
Tablet compression operations can be done in a variety of ways, including dry granulation, wet granulation, and direct compression. The choice of method will depend on the properties of the raw materials and the desired characteristics of the finished tablets.