The manual pill press machine is usually a single type of pill press that is portable enough to be carried and easily transported. The manual pill press types can be found on sale on websites such as e-bay for cheap prices. They also come with pill press manuals to help the user operate the machine efficiently and safely. The single punch pill press machine is the simplest method for manufacturing tablets and it employs a die and pair of punches. The compression force is exerted the upper punch only, while the lower punch remains motionless. The process is similar to the action of hammering or a stamping process.

Components

The hand-held manual tablet press is composed of the same components you would find in industrious type machines. The following is the list and explanations of the components:

  • Hopper – This part is where the powder mixes prior to being fed into the compression region. Hoppers can be manually fed or mechanised for automatic feeding.
  • Die cavity – this region is where the compression of the powder into pills or tablets happens. The die determines the diameter, the thickness and shape of the resulting pill.
  • Punches – this punch is composed of an upper and lower section and they both come together to compress the powder into pills of various shapes.
  • Cam truck – this part consists of small and large wheels that guide the position and the movement of the punches.
  • Tablet adjuster – this section is used to adjust the volume and the weight of the powder to be compressed.
  • Ejection adjuster – this section is involved in the removal of the pill from the die cavity after being compressed.

Increasing efficiency

When selecting the pill pressing equipment, it is necessary to keep in mind the key performance attributes that will improve the efficiency of the process. The following are some of the few characteristics:

  • Reducing the production cost
  • Ensuring consistent does content
  • Product stability that ensures the pill retains its structure and chemical composition until the time it is ready to be ingested
  • Ease of administration and swallowing

To ensure the best operation of the machine, a design analysis is imperative prior to procurement or manufacture. The first area to be considered is the tooling design of the pill press machine. Compaction is a critical process of pill making because it determines the physical and chemical properties of the pill. Compaction can be optimized by simply standardizing the tools using European or American specifications. The second step is by evaluating the components of the machine, especially the parts responsible for the following:

  • Compression – to evaluate this feature, plastic deformation, elastic deformation or brittle fracture must be considered.
  • Powder consolidation – this affects the final properties of the tablet since it involves chemical bonding. Evaluation must focus on inter-molecular and mechanical forces, and liquid-surface theory.  
  • Decompression – this process can be evaluated by considering the rate at which the punches remove the compression force.
  • Ejection – the force necessary to remove the pill from the die wall needs to be considered. Usually the force required is in the range of 200N to 800N depending on the type of material being processed.
  • Scraping – this process can be evaluated by looking at the energy required for the scraping off process.

Filling

The TDP-0 tablet pill press is a manually operated pill press that is capable of pressing round tablets with 12mm diameter and 6mm thickness without the need for any electrical powering. It uses steel punches that compress the powder granules into tablets. The operation is simple and can be used in pharmaceutical labs and for those who have a do-it-myself attitude can purchase it for home use. The tdp-0 pill press machines also come equipped with a manual for safe usage. Tdp-0 pill press machines are commonly found in hospitals, labs, universities, and research institutes concerned with pharmaceuticals and food industries.

The complete manuals come with schematics and pill press diagrams that illustrate the parts and troubleshooting tips.  In addition the internet has many manual pill press videos that show the operation of the machine. The process of making the tablet can be broken down into the following stages:

  1. Filling – this stage involves the powder being fed into the hopper either manually or automatically into the feeding funnel.
  2. Tablet adjusting – this stage involves the volume of the tablet being adjusted to the required amount.
  3. Compression – in this stage the cam truck guides the lower and upper punches to come together and compress the powder into a tablet.
  4. Ejection – this stage is concerned with the removal of the compressed tablet. This is achieved by the retraction of the upper punch and the rising of the lower punch.

The basic troubleshooting of the pill pressing equipment will help reduce downtime and maintenance costs. Some of the tasks involved include:

  • Adjusting material flow to control the feeding of the powder
  • Automated human machine interface allows for easy and safe operation
  • Adjusting rotation speed
  • Aligning all mating surfaces to reduce possible compression faults