About Tablet Compression And Tablet Cooling
Most pills we take these days are molded tablets because the have the advantage of disintegrating quickly when exposed to moisture. These molded tablets are actually compressed powder mixtures.
Tablet formulations are generally designed and tested using a tablet compaction simulator. This is computer-controlled device that can measure the punch positions, punch pressures, friction forces, die wall pressures and even the internal temperature of the tablet while it is being compressed.
These simulators only require a very small quantity of a mixture so multiple experiments can be run without wasting too much of the active ingredients in the product to find the optimal formulation of the drug.
Tablet presses or tableting machines come in a variety of models from inexpensive table top models that make one pill at a time to large, computerized industrial models that produce millions of tablets per using very high pressures. Tablet presses are essential for pharmaceutical anunutraceutical manufacturers.
Many, if not most tablets today are coated prior to being pressed. Coatings are made of polymer and polysaccharide. Coatings also help create a smooth surface and tablet finish so they are easier to swallow. The coating masks unpleasant odors and allows the manufacturer to stamp on an indentifying mark on the tablet which is often required by regulatory agencies.
When the coating applied, the drying of the coating takes place by drawing heated air through the tablet bed from a fan. The temperature, humidity, dew point, air circulation and air pressure must be monitored for the given space to make certain the coating does not peel, crack or become pitted, contaminated, twinned, or discolored. This process of cooling is necessary to produce consistency in the coatings from pill to pill.