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Tableting Terminology: Tablet Press Tooling

Welcome LFA's video on tableting terminology.

Understand the industry terminology will provide you a solid foundation in which you can build your knowledge of tablet presses and tooling.


Tooling consists of 3 parts, an upper punch, a lower punch and a die, these are used in all tablet presses. if you have a single station press you require one set. Whereas if you have a rotary press you require as much sets as there are stations.

The upper punch and lower punch look very similar however the punches do have differences, the upper punch has a shorter stem compared to the lower punch this is to allowed the lower punch to eject the tablet after it has been formed.

The Head

The heads of the punches are important for a number of reasons, they come into direct contact with the cams of your press and if damaged can make your tooling out of tolerance, they also affect something called "dwell time" which we will cover in another video.

The main components of the had are, the head diameter, the neck, the head flat, the outside head angle and radius and the under head angle.

A key can be fitted to your punches to avoid rotation during pressing which allows for precise alignment of your punch tip and die bore. All shaped and multi tipped punches need to be fitted with a key. Some tooling is fitted with a double keyway, this is to allow the tooling to be be rotated by 180 degrees and increase the working life.

Punch Tips

The stem of the punch is the tip of the punch to the full barrel. The barrel to to stem chamfer provides a smooth surface for the transition of the stem to the barrel radius, the tip straight, tip size and tip undercut/relief.

Cup Depth and Land

One of the most important parts of your punches is the cup depth, this will provide the appearance and configurations for your tablets face. As your punches wall or land wear down, it will decrease the cup depth and change the configuration of your tablet.

Tip Face

The tip face is where any logos or lettering will be, we often get asked by customers how much text they can fit or how big they can make their logos. This will depend on the size of the tip face and the shape of the tip face. If you'd like to know more, please get in contact.

Punch Lengths

The overall length, this measurement isn't as important as tooling working lengths. It's from the head to the highest part on the land. The working length of the punch is from the very top of the head flat to the lowest measurable area of the cup depth, this is the most important area when inspecting your tooling, it leads to consistent hardness, weight and thickness.


The flat surface on top of the die is called the face, the centre hole which the punch enters is called the die bore , around the edge of the die is the die groove. At the corner of the groove is the protection groove also known as the shoulder, the die chamfer or radius and the dies out of radius.
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