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.
Getty/ Dominik Pabis
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
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.
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.
The author says…