The Benefits Of Tablet Tooling Standardisation - Pharmaceutical Technology

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PharmTech Europe

The Benefits Of Tablet Tooling Standardisation
A global tablet tooling standard would offer many benefits for tablet manufacturers but has been slow to emerge. Currently, there are several standards available, but calls for a single, global solution should be endorsed.


Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Volume 23, Issue 3


Getty/ Dominik Pabis
Tooling standardisation in the tablet manufacturing industry is a topic that has concerned tabletting professionals for decades. I Holland, authors of the Eurostandard, the most widely adopted tooling standard globally, have been striving for some time to promote a consensus in this area.

Why was a standard needed?

Conception of the Eurostandard began in the 1970s when conversion from Imperial measurements (inches) to metric measurements (millimetres) first began to take effect, creating a recognised need to reduce variables in tooling specifications/standards set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

As European tablet press manufacturers started to gain ground in the 1980s against UK press manufacturer Manesty's former market domination, German DIN standards began to be applied to tablet tooling. DIN standards were designed for general engineering components, limits and fits, but the clearances created by this system are not always appropriate for tablet tooling. This is because the powder compaction process is very different to typical mechanical processes that benefit from contact lubrication using general engineering components. Therefore, this system did not address the issues that a dedicated tooling standard should have done.

In 1990, I Holland invited prominent tablet press and tooling manufacturers to come together to formulate a dedicated standard. Unfortunately, this received little or no interest from the other parties — possibly due to fears of losing a competitive advantage. Despite this, the first edition of the Eurostandard was developed and published in 1992. By the time the 2nd edition was released in 1996, the Eurostandard had been adopted as the accepted standard for the vast majority of tablet tooling markets outside North America.


The author says…
Simultaneously, during the midnineties a group of French pharmaceutical companies and tooling manufacturers contacted the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), to investigate the possibility of establishing a European standard for tablet tooling. This exercise culminated in the formulation of the internationally acknowledged ISO 18084.2005 (E) for punches and dies.


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