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Technical Articles

Natoli Engineering’s experts have contributed their knowledge and expertise to the industry’s leading publications for decades. Here are several in-depth and insightful articles about the manufacturing process, tooling, formulation, and training. Be sure to visit our how-to video gallery to watch tutorials on how to set up presses, polish punches, and more. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thank you!

REPLACEMENT PARTS TABLET PRESS

Keeping a tablet press operating at peak performance with as little down-time as possible is a goal for any tablet manufacturer and keeping maintenance costs reasonable is equally important. Although parts sourced through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or authorized OEM dealer may sound appealing, consider several factors before paying a premium for OEM replacement parts for a tablet press. The following are important considerations when deciding whether to use OEM or non-OEM parts:

REPLACEMENT PARTS TABLET PRESS​

ORAL DRUG DELIVERY

Good flowability is a key factor for numerous powder processes, with the consistency of the flow directly related to the final product quality. However, when a powder flows, the frictional contact between the particles creates electrostatic charges via the triboelectric effect. This charge build up induces an increase in the strength of the electrostatic cohesive interactions that contribute to the global cohesiveness of the powder and therefore a decrease in its flowability properties.

ORAL DRUG DELIVERY

NEGATIVE POROSITY PAPER

A parameterization of compaction simulator generated dynamic compression profile with a few grams of powder
provides important information about the material deformation and compact elasticity. The Heckel equation is
by far the most popular choice among pharmaceutical scientists for such parametrization.

NEGATIVE POROSITY PAPER

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Clean punches and dies are essential to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of your tooling investment, as well as the quality of your product. Ultrasonic cleaning has long been considered the most effective, nondestructive way to clean tools – from medical instruments to tablet tooling. The Tableting Specification Manual (TSM) states, ‘An ultrasonic bath is ideal for cleaning tooling.’

ULTRASONIC CLEANING​

understanding punch tip wear

Wear to the edges of punch tips is a commonly overlooked aspect of many tooling inspection procedures. Tip wear is typical and can be influenced by many different sources, including poor tablet and tool design, granulation characteristics, improper steel selection for the application, and improper press set-up. It is quite typical for inspection technicians to pay attention to the punch cup face. 

UNDERSTANDING PUNCH TIP WEAR​

prevention and repair of J-hook

Anyone who has experienced capping or lamination during tablet production knows the frustration that comes from trying to diagnose the issue. In this whitepaper, we discuss a possible cause and several solutions.

PREVENTION AND REPAIR OF J-HOOK​

buffing and automated polishing

Wear to the edges of punch tips is a commonly overlooked aspect of many tooling inspection procedures. Tip wear is typical and can be influenced by many different sources, including poor tablet and tool design, granulation characteristics, improper steel selection for the application, and improper press set-up. It is quite typical for inspection technicians to pay attention to the punch cup face. 

BUFFING AND AUTOMATED POLISHING​

7 STEPS TO CLEANING PRESS EFFECTIVELY

Proper cleaning and maintenance of a press is one of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure it operates with optimum performance. To help stop unnecessary wear and untimely press failure, a thorough cleaning guide for tablet press systems is recommended. If not already using the methods discussed below, implementation should begin immediately.

7 STEPS TO CLEANING PRESS EFFECTIVELY​

7 INSPECTION POINTS

Inspecting tooling and press components for wear or defects could be the most important step in improving tablet quality. Certain inspection points are easy to overlook yet can cause significant tablet quality issues and limit tool life. Spend a little time checking the following items for wear or defects to quickly increase tablet quality and reduce tooling cost.

7 INSPECTION POINTS​

cOMPRESSION-DECOMPRESSION MODULUS

The compression profiles parameterization generated with a few
grams of pharmaceutical materials using the compaction simulator serves as an important baseline information for the timely
development of robust tablet formulations. 
of the formulation component. 

COMPRESSION-DECOMPRESSION MODULUS​

Cannabis Science and Technology

The compression profiles parameterization generated with a few
grams of pharmaceutical materials using the compaction simulator serves as an important baseline information for the timely
development of robust tablet formulations. 

CANNABIS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY​

Capping Index Pharm Research Article

A pharmaceutical compact is manufactured with an axial
compression of a radially confned powder blend or granules
in a rigid die. Material properties and process parameters are
two main components of tablet manufacturing which dictate
the unique features of successful or failed compacts.

CAPPING INDEX PHARM RESEARCH ARTICLE​

tHE RIGHT GRANULATION METHOD

A tableting of the blended powder formulation with or without granulation is an important
cog of a tablet manufacturing chain. This decision dictates a transformation of the blended powder
formulation into a robust tablet. 

THE RIGHT GRANULATION METHOD​

CDM - AN ALTERNATIVE/
COMPLEMENTARY APPROACH TO HECKEL ANALYSIS

Currently Heckel method has gained wider application to parameterize compression profiles to evaluate the macroscopic compression
properties of the pharmaceutical materials.

CDM – AN ALTERNATIVE/COMPLEMENTARY APPROACH TO HECKEL ANALYSIS

Impact of Punch Cup Depth on USP Profiles

USP <1062> Tablet Compression Characterization, first published in 2017, offers universal guidelines on how to achieve robust tableting. It provides guidelines for standardized compression test procedures. • Tablet capping is the most prominent tablet defect that can occur during tablet manufacturing. 

IMPACT OF PUNCH CUP DEPTH ON USP PROFILES​

tablet tooling tech

Article published in Euro Lab

Many options are available for punches and dies to help compress difficult drug products. One commonly overlooked punch modification, the extended head flat, increases the diameter of the flat area atop the punch head. Typically, this option doesn’t require any modifications to the press.

TABLET TOOLING TECH​

go with the flow

Cover article published in European Pharmaceutical Magazine

A perfect active pharmaceutical ingredient is one that performs well from R&D through tablet production. However, in real-world situations challenges are inevitable. Here, Jonathan Gaik, director, Natoli Scientific, looks at the critical issue of powder flow and how solving issues before production can reduce product performance issues later down the line.

GO WITH THE FLOW​

time for change

Cover article published in European Pharmaceutical Magazine

One of the challenges tablet manufacturers have faced for many years is the amount of time and high costs associated with pushing a solid dose product through the R&D process. A critical step in any tablet development process is determining the compressibility of the formulation, which means..

TIME FOR CHANGE​

MAXIMIZE THE RETURN ON YOUR TOOLING INVESTMENT WITH PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

Excessively worn or improperly maintained tooling
can be a tremendous liability to a production team
because it will require frequent replacement, and the tablets…

MAXIMIZE THE RETURN ON YOUR TOOLING INVESTMENT WITH PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE​

a critical step

Cover article published in EPM – European Pharmaceutical Magazine

Tablet manufacturing poses many challenges but is still the preferred pharmaceutical dosage form. Compressing a block of particles into a single compact is a science that must be understood to ensure a successful manufacturing process.

A CRITICAL STEP​

sticky situation?

Cover article published in EPM – European Pharmaceutical Magazine

Dr. Charles Kettler, director Natoli Scientific, analyzes common sticking and picking issues in tablet manufacturing and how a little homework can go a long way in avoiding potential issues before they arise. Tablet sticking and…

STICKY SITUATION?​

tabletability, compaCtibility, and compressibility: what's the difference?

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

To patients and consumers, tablets are a simple and convenient dosage form. But the science behind compressing a block of particles or granules into a …

TABLETABILITY, COMPATIBILITY, AND COMPRESSIBILITY: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?​

PRESS MANUFACTURERS WEIGH IN ON MULTI-LAYER TABLETTING’S ADVANTAGES, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND FUTURE

Multi-layer tabletting is getting increasing attention from a variety of industries. While general tablet manufacturing principles are unchanged, there is..

PRESS MANUFACTURERS WEIGH IN ON MULTI-LAYER TABLETTING’S ADVANTAGES, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND FUTURE​

PRESSING ISSUES: NATOLI, THE LEADING TABLET COMPRESSION TOOLING MANUFACTURER, OUTLINES THE OPENING OF ITS INSTITUTE AT LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY

Tooling, tablet compression accessory, and services provider Natoli Engineering Company has opened an oral solid dosage (OSD) research and development institute to advance the field of industrial pharmacy education and technology. 

PRESSING ISSUES: NATOLI, THE LEADING TABLET COMPRESSION TOOLING MANUFACTURER, OUTLINES THE OPENING OF ITS INSTITUTE AT LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY​

taking shape

Article published on IPTOnline – Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology – Issue 50

Designing a tablet requires careful consideration of its shape as small adjustments to the size or profile can have a direct impact on both the production process and customer acceptance – resulting in success or failure. Shape affects many aspects of tablet production. We are often asked, “Why that tablet…

TAKING SHAPE​

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF PUNCH LENGTH AND CUP DEPTH

Article reprinted from Tablets & Capsules on www.tabletscapsules.com

Manufacturing tablets to a uniform hardness, weight, and thickness requires tablet press punches of consistent length. This article describes punch length, how to measure it correctly, and how…

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF PUNCH LENGTH AND CUP DEPTH​

A TOOLING VENDOR’S ADVICE ON AVOIDING COMMON PROBLEMS

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

Looks aren’t everything, but first impressions count. That’s why it’s important to consider the appearance of the product that you plan to tablet. In fact, tablet design and appearance plays such a vital role in consumer acceptance that selecting the tablet’s size, shape…

A TOOLING VENDOR’S ADVICE ON AVOIDING COMMON PROBLEMS​

MULTILAYER TABLETS: A PIECE OF CAKE?

Article published in Pharmaceutical Technology

Solid dosage forms are the most popular method of drug delivery, and no doubt many of you spend your days toiling over troublesome tablets. Although tablets are widely established throughout the pharma industry, this doesn’t mean it is an unmoving area.

MULTILAYER TABLETS: A PIECE OF CAKE?​

TABLET COMPRESSION TOOLING – LAND OR NO LAND?

Article written by Bill Turner, Tooling and Tablet Technical Manager at Natoli Engineering

Land on a tablet design is a much‐debated topic. Tablet land is the narrow, horizontal surface perpendicular to the tablet’s periphery, which creates a junction between the tablet’s periphery and cup. 

TABLET COMPRESSION TOOLING – LAND OR NO LAND?​

THE ART OF TABLET COMPRESSION

Article published on IPTOnline – Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology

These days, tablet compression can be regarded as more of an art than a science. IPT Editor Pam Barnacal interviews Dale Natoli, Vice President of Natoli Engineering Company, Inc, about the many factors that must be kept in mind to ensure the fast, consistent…

THE ART OF TABLET COMPRESSION​

SPLIT DECISIONS: DOES TABLET SCORING PUT PATIENTS AT RISK?

Article published with Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

FDA provides more direction as questions arise about dosage consistency. Tablet scoring has long been used by oral solid dosage manufacturers—originally as a means to prevent tablet stress fractures, but recently as more of a cosmetic feature. Bisects…

SPLIT DECISIONS: DOES TABLET SCORING PUT PATIENTS AT RISK?​

MULTI-TIP TOOLING: A GUIDE

Article published on www.ondrugdelivery.com

In this piece, Dale Natoli, Vice President, Natoli Engineering Company, Inc., provides a brief overview of multi-tip tooling for tablet presses and provides some guidelines for selecting the most appropriate equipment.

 

MULTI-TIP TOOLING: A GUIDE​

PROGRESSION IN TABLET COMPRESSION

Article published in Industrial Pharmacy, Issue 32, based on interview published earlier in Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology

The most common problem encountered in tablet manufacture would have to be granulation adhering to the tool face, commonly known as “sticking.”

PROGRESSION IN TABLET COMPRESSION​

pills, pills, pills...

Article published in Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Solid dosage forms have been used for hundreds of years, and the fact that they are still the most widespread and popular method of drug delivery today says a lot about their efficacy and acceptance.

PILLS, PILLS, PILLS…​

TABLET-STICKING SOLUTIONS SCREENING METHODS AND PREDICTIVE MODELS ADDRESS TENACIOUS TABLET-STICKING PROBLEMS.

Tablet sticking, in which material adheres to the surface of a tablet-punch face, is an ongoing and costly problem in pharmaceutical manufacturing…

TABLET-STICKING SOLUTIONS SCREENING METHODS AND PREDICTIVE MODELS ADDRESS TENACIOUS TABLET-STICKING PROBLEMS.​

steel yourself

Article published in Innovations in Pharmaceutical Processing

Cost efficiencies and improved quality can be achieved by making simple changes to the tablet manufacturing process. By collaborating with a specialist vendor and taking into account appropriate steel type, companies can overcome any tooling issues they face. 

STEEL YOURSELF​

UNDERSTANDING MAXIMUM COMPRESSION FORCE

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

As the number and variety of ancillary products for tablet presses continues to grow, manufacturers of tablet presses and tooling continue to advance the science of tablet compression. This article discusses how computer modeling helps 

UNDERSTANDING MAXIMUM COMPRESSION FORCE​

CUP DEPTH AND TABLET CONSISTENCY

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

Cup depth is the distance between the very tip of the punch and the lowest measurable point of the cup cavity. To establish proper tool inspection protocols and wear limits, you need to know about this dimension and how it affects the tablet.

CUP DEPTH AND TABLET CONSISTENCY​

TOOLING DESIGN – HOW TOOLING OPTIONS CAN BENEFIT DIFFERENT TYPES OF PHARMACEUTICAL FORMULATIONS DURING TABLET COMPRESSION

It can be a labor of love to get a tablet to market. With time and monetary investments made throughout the process from research to development and scale-up, one of the most challenging steps…

TOOLING DESIGN – HOW TOOLING OPTIONS CAN BENEFIT DIFFERENT TYPES OF PHARMACEUTICAL FORMULATIONS DURING TABLET COMPRESSION​

WHERE AND HOW TO MEASURE PUNCHES AND DIES

Article published in Tablets & Capsules

This article clarifies how to measure punches and dies and describes how worn dies can impair production of high-quality tablets. When it comes to inspecting new and in-process tablet tools, most people focus on punches.

WHERE AND HOW TO MEASURE PUNCHES AND DIES​

TABLET SCORING: NOMENCLATURE, LABELING, AND DATA FOR EVALUATION

Guidance for Industry by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) March 2013 CMC

 

TABLET SCORING: NOMENCLATURE, LABELING, AND DATA FOR EVALUATION​

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