Poor tooling condition can cause many tableting problems, but these problems can be minimized or eliminated by adopting a simple, seven-step tool-care process. We can adopt a seven-step process resolves tableting problems, which is a logical, planned, and professional approach to tooling maintenance and storage. The seven steps are summarized as follows:
◆Clean: The compressing chamber should timely clearance. Rotary tablet press after working hours, tableting interior will be full of fine powder of materials, the powder adheres to these tiny punch, punch hole and the hole in the mold, it will cause the plug punch, punch rotation is not flexible, noise, even weighing instability and other mechanical failures, such as broken punch, broke feeder and so on. Therefore when tooling is removed from the tablet press, it should be thoroughly cleaned and dried to remove any oil or product residue, especially from difficult-to-reach areas. So, in a rotary tablet press working process should be regularly cleared compression chamber, suggest at least once per shift.
◆Assess: Periodic inspection and maintenance the work pieces which easy to wear. Guide rail, roller, tablet press punch dies and other wear parts should be checked or lubrication and maintenance, preventive maintenance of equipment. The assessment will also give clues to problems with the tablet press or tooling itself and indicate if any tooling maintenance is required.
◆Repair: As regard to the punch and dies, light surface wear, corrosion, and damage on tooling can be repaired and polished to a usable condition. Worn tips can result in poor tablet manufacturing, which can lead to picking and sticking. Repair should be carried out by well-trained and experienced maintenance technicians to ensure that the tooling is not taken out of tolerance limits.
◆Measure: Measuring is essential after repair to ensure that crucial tooling dimensions have been maintained within an acceptable working tolerance. The equipment for measuring can range from simple hand-held micrometers, vernier callipers, and height gauges to semiautomatic, computerized, digital-gauging systems. Measuring should be carried out at regular intervals, even if repair has not been necessary, to check for natural wear during the compaction process. The essential measurement is the critical working length of the punch as this controls tablet thickness, weight, and dosage.
◆Polish: Controlled, light polishing on a frequent basis will ensure that the tools are maintained to a smooth finish, helping to maximize tooling life and reduce problems such as sticking and capping.
◆Lubricate: Lubrication is important to protect, preserve, and aid smooth operation of the tooling. A range of oils and greases can be recommended for different applications. Sometimes, the adhering materials are hard to remove, we could try to dip the punch tip in warm water for a few minutes, then wipe and dry it in case of rust.