Seven Steps to Solving Tabletting and Tooling Problems---Step 6: Measure and Step 7: Store

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The final article of this series will look at the last two steps of the PharmaCare seven-step process?Lubricate and Store.

The final article of this series will look at the last two steps of the PharmaCare seven-step process—Lubricate and Store. These last two steps conclude the process that will help to extend tooling life by preventing tablet manufacturing problems and tablet tooling failures.

Lubrication is important to protect, preserve, and aid smooth operation of the tooling. A range of oils and greases can be recommended for different applications such as preservatives or for lubrication purposes. A non-toxic, FDA-compliant oil or grease is recommended for this step, and a product that offers machine component protection and lubrication performance with a wide temperature range to ensure it can be used in all machines. This step should be followed by Step 7, Store, the final step in the PharmaCare process.

Step 7: STORE

Tooling storage and transportation should be specifically designed to maximize security and safe handling to minimize damage and deterioration. There are different means of safely and securely storing tablet tooling. These range from custom built storage cabinets to storage containers. Whichever system is adopted, it is important that the tooling is separated to avoid contact and so that the tooling condition will not deteriorate during storage. Due to the nature and weight of tablet tooling, storage should also ensure safe handling for operators and this means that tools are handled as little as possible.


Application of the seven-step process will have a direct impact on the reduction of many common tablet and tooling problems, resulting in a better quality end product (i.e., the tablet), and can provide direct cost saving for the tablet manufacturer.


The PharmaCare seven-step process is a logical, planned, and professional approach to tooling maintenance, measuring, and storage. The process was developed by I Holland, following years of research and experience in tablet tooling manufacture. Each of the seven steps: Clean, Assess, Repair, Measure, Polish, Lubricate & Store has been designed to help users extract the maximum life from tablet tooling. It provides a consistent approach to tooling maintenance and aids production at all times by sitting seamlessly alongside your tablet production processes. Having a coordinated tooling SOP ensures punches and dies are ready for production, with the assurance that they are clean, un-damaged, and within specification.

Andy Dumelow is PharmaCare manager at I Holland.