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Results of Lubrication Issue – Punch and Die Tooling

Results of Lubrication Issue - Punch and Die Tooling

Mike Tousey with Techceuticals discusses the importance of lubrication in powder. A lack of lubrication can cause the issues in this video.

Hi this is Mike Tousey here with the Tech Tip of the day. I just recently received a set of tooling from a client that said they don’t understand what happened in their operation. I thought I’d take a moment just to run through this. The report was that the lower punch head had extreme wear but the rest of the tool really didn’t show any problems and it didn’t have any problems with the tablet at all. So it is an interesting challenge here. The upper punch, head flat, the head of the tool, the inside bevel, neck, barrel, tip all have very little wear look in great condition, almost look brand new. The lower punch, so you got the upper and the lower, the lower here, the upper here, and the lower punch looks very much the same as the upper with regard to the tip, the cup, the tip, the barrel, the neck. The inside bevels got a touch of wear slight indication that something was tight. But then when we flip this punch around, we can see some pretty extreme wear on the head the outside bevel of the lower punch.

So what happened? Let’s take a look also at the dye. If we take a look the dye, and we take a look at the dye bore, we can see a little bit of compression or what I would call a wear ring, a compression ring, where its probably a little difficult for you to see in the camera, or for me to hold the dye correctly for you. It’s starting to show that there was a pretty good amount of radio force, so that’s an indication of higher ejection forces. What causes higher ejection forces? Often times we may have a material that flows great, that compresses really well, but the fact that it can’t get out of the dye properly or there is a lot of radio outward force within the dye, that the tablet actually as it comes out it really expands and sometimes it can even comes back apart. This particular customer’s tablet came off great, but we could not call this successful because there’s extreme damage to the lower punch head flap, and that’s simply because the amount of lubricant within the granulation. How it was blended in, we don’t know. If it got added, we don’t know. But we do know that there is a really strong indication here of extreme wear and this will not be related to this machine, or the cams, or this tooling, it’s all related directly to the amount of force it takes to get that tablet out of the dye. Some of our industries were trying to go, customers were trying to go excipiant free, which means that they are taking some of the lubricant out of the powder. This is a very common result when you take the lube out of the powder.

The purpose of a lubricant within the powder is in fact to help the tablet slide out of the dye. Without that a lot of machines actually will cease up and lock up and my guess is if I had been there, if were all there and watch this run, we would have heard this problem. That during the ejection the movement of pushing the tablet up and out of the dye during that stroke force, you actually can hear when granulation is real dry, it actually squeaks or squeals as the tablet is being pushed out. I suspect we would have heard that, it’s quite common, when powders are not blended correctly, when the lubricant is not blended correctly in, or there is the absence of the lubricant. So this is not success. Even though the tablet was good, weight, hardness, thickness, everything was great about the tablet, when you tear up the tooling and probably damage the ejection cam that is not considered success. So you need to go back to the drawing board a little bit, look at the issues, look at how we blended it in, make sure we are using a lubricant. So that’s tech tip of the day, love to have your feedback, thanks very much, this is Mike Tousey.