Multi-tip punches increase the number of tablets produced per turret rotation, which increases production rates of existing presses. Steve Osborn, product design manager at tablet tooling manufacturer I Holland, spoke to Pharmaceutical Technology Europe about the key considerations for successful implementation of multi-tip tooling in tableting operations.
Multi-tips have transformed the production of tablets into a process that allows manufacturers to deliver them quickly, efficiently, and at a lower production cost. For example, a customer wanted to increase their tablet output without investing in additional tablet presses.
In this case, the tablet press was a Korsch PH800, 77 Station Press, which used single punches and had a maximum tablet output of approximately 831,000 tablet per hour. After some investigation, we found that the machine was only running at 80% of its maximum speed and the output was actually 665,000 tablets per hour.
To increase tablet output, we suggested the use of multi-tips. Trials were conducted using multi-two tooling (a tool with two tips). During this test period, tablet output was increased to more than 1 million tablets per hour, with the press running at a speed of 60% capacity. The result was a 66% increase in productivity.
Following this trial, we saw a further potential for increased productivity and supplied multithree tooling to be tested. This resulted in an output of nearly 1.5 million tablets per hour, an increase of 125% improvement on the original figure. Not only was the output up, but production was also reduced from 14.5 to 8.5 hours. The simple process of adding multi-tips to existing machines can have a huge impact on production through increased output and reduced production time, without the expense of investing in new machinery.