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Manufacture Dosage Forms, Small Molecules, Technology and Equipment, Formulation

Born to Be Manufactured

sponsored by Elizabeth Companies

The manufacturability of an oral solid dose tablet can sometimes be an afterthought, given that most formulation conversations revolve around therapeutic efficacy (dose requirements and tablet format, such as conventional or bilayer tablet), the patient (swallowability and ease of use), and marketing (brand awareness and differentiation). But to make consistently good tablets, early design choices are often more meaningful than choosing good tooling and machinery. Different tablet designs require different engineering considerations and there are many factors that dictate how well a formulation will run in a given tablet press, and if the design a company has in mind for their product is actually practical from a manufacturing perspective. Certain designs used with the wrong punch, for example, create stresses that lead punches to wear out quickly, or result in tablet defects. Choosing in incompatible steel to the formulation compound being compressed can lead to abrasion of tool faces and die walls.

Tablets come in a very wide range of geometrical formations. There will always be a certain amount of weight that is needed in the tablet and from there you must consider the tablet’s length, width, band thickness and cup depth. If the length and width are chosen incorrectly and the tablet ends up too small, the thickness has to grow to accommodate the necessary weight. This is actually one of the most common mistakes we see; as the tablet thickness grows, manufacturers often run into compression issues, as well as high ejection forces, capping and friability problems. Another common mistake is for companies to produce a small-sized tablet successfully, only to find it is then too small to add desired logos or other identifying text on the tablet surface.

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About the Authors

Jim Calvin

Jim Calvin is General Manager of Elizabeth-Hata International.


Andy Lapinsky

Andy Lapinsky is the manager of engineering and CNC programming at Elizabeth.

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