Solid Dose Production Is Bulk Density DependentSource: Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Perhaps the most popular method for producing solid dosages is tablet manufacturing. After investing sometimes millions of dollars on a drug formulation, cost savings are looked for in manufacturing the product. To realize these cost savings, an inexpensive gravity feed system is typically used to flow the dry powder formulation into a mold. The product is then pressed into tablets at very high speeds, packaged and sold. While this is a cost-effective method of producing solid dose tablets, there is one parameter that can affect the process. To ensure correct production criteria are met, the bulk density of the formulation needs to be accurately defined.
Importance of Bulk Density
Once the dry powder formulation has been developed, its bulk density is measured and defined for the production phase. Tablet forming equipment is calibrated to apply a specific pressure to a tablet mold based on this bulk density calculation. If the bulk density of the formulation changes, production problems immediately occur. Factors that can affect the bulk density of a product are an incorrect batch mixture, particle segregation, humidity and moisture. Typical cost to a production house due to lost product, equipment maintenance and downtime can be on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and a bulk density change in the product being produced is a main contributor.