Developments in Tooling Inspections and Technology - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Developments in Tooling Inspections and Technology
Inspecting punches and dies can be time-consuming and costly for tablet manufacturers. Advances in technology, however, have greatly improved in-process inspections. The author examines improvements in equipment and computer software for in-process tool inspections.

Pharmaceutical Technology


Improvements in tooling management and inspection have been long overdue, and advances in technology bring the tool room into the 21st century. What was once a costly and time-consuming process that often involved storing paper in a file has become an efficient procedure for capturing valuable tooling data that can be used to improve tablet quality. The once-difficult task of analyzing working lengths, the most critical punch dimension, is now incorporated into the inspection process. An entire database of tooling data can be created and maintained with little effort and used to provide information, tool forecasting, and historical analysis. Automated and noncontact inspection systems reduce the risk of punch-tip damage from handling or scratches during the inspection process. Magnified images that highlight tool conditions can be circulated for improved troubleshooting. At last, tool-control functions are using technology to help the tablet manufacturer produce better quality tablets more efficiently.

Robert Caruso is the software support manager at Natoli Engineering, 28 Research Park Circle, St. Charles, MO 63304, tel. 636.926.8900, fax 636.926.8910,


1. Tableting Specification Manual, L. Young Ed. (American Pharmacists Association, Washington, DC, 7th edition, 2006).

2. Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Technology, Thermal Analysis of Drugs and Drug Products to Unit Processes in Pharmacy: Fundamentals (Vol. 15), J. Swarbrick and J. Boylan, Eds. (Marcel Dekker, New York, 1997).


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