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Why press 1 when you can press 8 for the same price

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26 July 2016 No comments

The multi-tip tooling equipment is not new in the market; in fact, it has been used for more than a century now. At the start of the compression industry, single station tablets are fitted with multi-tip tooling to help increase the production and at the same time lower labor cost, energy, maintenance and space. The introduction of the high speed tablet press resulted in the loss of popularity of the single station pill press and multi-tip tools. The introduction of the rotary tablet press resulted in the use of multi-tip tooling in the food/confectionary and pharmaceutical industries.

Configuration

The multi-tip is made up of two configurations (a) assembly and (b) solid. In choosing a configuration, ones should consider the tablet size, tips per punch as well as the tool type. Aside from these, it is also important to consider the maintenance and operational procedures of the equipment. Tooling vendors can help one decide which of the configuration works best for one’s needs. Guidelines are also available from the vendors that one can also check.

The assembly part consists of (a) cap, (b) punch body and (c) individual punch tips. One of the benefits of an assembly is that the punch tips are removable. If the punch tip is damaged, one can easily replace the punch. This is not the case with solid configuration as broken tips for this equipment would lead to replacement of the entire tooling equipment, which is expensive.

To clean and sanitize the assembly, it is important to disassemble all the parts from the body part. It is important to double check when re-assembling as corrosion, nicked parts or debris can cause the punch tips to be misaligned and may damage the press.

The solid multi-tip configuration is another type that is becoming quite popular. The machine is a single piece and does not need to be assembled or disassembled especially during cleaning. That said, it only allows fewer punch tips for different tablet sizes.

In investing in a multi-tip tooling, it is important to verify the tablet press has turret punch and that the die sockets are in good condition with no wear or tear. Worn dies or guides can cause misalignment and lead to wearing of the tip as well as excessive head and cam wear. To double check, one can use a turret inspection kit, which is readily available from tooling vendors. Regularly inspect the turret for any signs of wear and tear that would help you determine if replacement is needed.

Validation punches are important as these help with the equipment rejection systems. They work just like any regular punches except for some differences. The punch ensures the operation by producing several tablets of different weight, hardness and thickness.

Although some companies are now starting to switch to multi-tip tooling equipment while other companies are reticent, investigating the ejection forces, product flow and compression among others.

Multi-tip tools however have a greater advantage. A single tip tool for example can produce an approximate 8000 tablets/minute versus a nine-tip tool with production of 76000 tablets/minute. This is an approximate 800% increase in production for the company.

If you want to learn more about multi-tip tooling equipment or want to know if your product is a candidate, contact your tooling vendor today.