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​What is the difference between the TDP 1.5, TDP 5 and the TDP 6s?

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This is a frequently asked question on the TDP range. This range of single station pill press includes the TDP 1.5, TDP 5 and TDP 6s. The machines are very similar and the main distinction between them is the pressure that is exerted during tablet making.

The TDP 1.5 delivers 1.5kn of force or 1.5 tons (1500kg or 3300Lb) when it produces its tablet. The TDP 5 delivers 5kn or 5 tons (5000kg or 11000Lb) and the TDP 6s delivers 6kn or 6 tons (6000kg or 13200Lb) when it produces its tablet.

In practice the TDP 1.5 Tablet Press can only produce a good tablet up to 9mm (0.354in) in diameter, or possibly up to 10mm (0.393in) if the powder is suitable. The tablets produced at this size can often be soft or crumbly and so do not meet a professional standard. The TDP 1.5 is adequate, however, and works well for making 6-7mm (0.236-0.275in) tablets.

The TDP 5 Tablet Press exerts much more force and can produce good tablets up to 12-15mm (0.472- 0.590in) in diameter. The tablets that are produced on a TDP 5 are of a much higher standard than those from the TDP 1.5. They are much harder and, as long as the mix is correct, they will have a sleek and shiny appearance. As a rule the TDP 5 will cover the requirements of most users. If a high throughput is required, a rotary press will be necessary but in terms of tabletting pressure, the TDP 5 is good for producing almost all sports supplements, vitamins and minerals, homeopathic medicines and herbs and extracts.

The TDP 6s exerts 6kn or 6 tons of force. This is only really needed when dealing with particularly difficult products. The TDP 6 does,however, have another advantage over the TDP 1.5 and TDP 5 in that the tabletting pressure is adjusted vertically. This allows the TDP 6s pill press to hold shaped tooling very easily. While the TDP 1.5 and 5 are able to hold shaped dies they perform better with round dies as the pressure is adjusted by rotating the upper drift pin assembly.

The TDP 1.5 and the TDP 6s Tablet presses also have the advantage of protective guarding. This casing sits around the drive belt on both models and also covers the fly wheel on the 6s model.

Another significant difference between the 3 different single station pill presses is the weight. The 1.5 is 45kg (100lb), the 5 is 125kg (275lb) and the TDP 6s is 150kg (330lb). We would always recommend that your tablet press is secured to the floor using the mounting holes in the base. If however you only have a small operating space and will need to move it around then in practice the TDP 1.5 is the only desktop press that can “easily” be moved. Even with the 1.5 we would recommend that at least two people move the press. When it comes to the TDP 5 and 6 a forklift or lifting hoist is recommended if the press needs to be moved. If this is not feasible, then 3 strong people may be able to move the machine at least a short distances.

One of the main contributions to the weight difference between the three tablet machines is the electric motors. The TDP1.5 has a 0.55kW 4 pole motor while the TDP 5 and 6s have a 0.75kW 4 pole motor. The motors on the TDP5 and 6s therefore have more power but are heavier than that on the TDP1.5. All of the motors on TDP Tablet Presses are available in 240 or 110 volts versions.

Another difference is the amount of tablets that each of the units is able to produce per hour. The TDP 1.5 and 5 each have a production rate of 5400 tablets per hour. The TDP 6 Tablet Press achieves its extra pressure through gearing which reduces the production rate to 2500 tablets per hour.

So what press is right for you?

If you only need to make very small round tablets or you need to move the press frequently, the TDP 1.5 should be adequate. The higher price an d versatility of the TDP 5 will provide better value in the long run. If you need to make tablets that are larger than 8mm a TDP 5 or 6s machine will be required. The extra cost of the 6s is generally not justified, however, unless you really do need to press some difficult products. The only other situation when we would recommend investing in the TDP 6s is if you have to press irregular shaped tablets. For these reasons the TDP 5 is by far the most popular press sold by LFA.