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Change is a about quality.

Improving technology means flexibility. DOMINA governs forces.

Interview with

Federica Giatti

Compression Technologist at IMA Active

create Written by: Federica Giatti
todayPublished on: 20 Jan 2021
scheduleReading time:

Overseeing the process is the key to my job: a new blend to be compressed always makes for a new challenge with hidden issues to be faced step by step. Mixing self-knowledge and equipment versatility guarantees results.

This brings me to consider: what can really affect the tablet manufacturing process or better yet which solutions can be used to handle the process better?                            

If we follow the path of making a tablet from a powder, we start with the loading of the powder inside the press itself.  We must first focus our attention on the feeding units. DOMINA provides different solutions while ensuring the product requirements are always followed. On one hand standard feeder for flowable product, on the other dedicated unit for challenging blend. Third paddle die feeder and elongated feeder are concrete answers in case of poor flowable products.

Once the proper die feeder configurations are chosen, paddles then play a crucial role. We can compare them to a striker in a soccer match and the scoring of a goal remembering always that without a great defender, the feeder, it is not so easy. Paddle shape and design helps in improving and controlling the flow of the blend inside the dies but each paddle and its relative position play a different role inside the tablet press. For this reason, DOMINA can control independently the speed and also the rhythm of the rotation of each paddle inside the feeder. The operator can choose from 5 to 170 rpm clockwise or anticlockwise in line with the product specifications.

At this point the blend is loaded inside the dies which then opens a wide range of possibilities: the first thing is to guarantee weight uniformity. The blend is certainly affected by the feeder’s choices but also the loading and dosage can play a crucial role. DOMINA also takes into consideration this type of situation through its total flexibility in choosing the loading cam and consequently the dosage required without any mechanical adjustment which would slow down the set-up time for a new product.

During the manufacturing of the tablet, the powder is loaded inside the dies at a depth defined by the fill-cam and back-dosage according to the dosage chamber which is defined according to the tablet required weight. However, the penetration of the patent pended endless-fill-cam can be chosen directly on the HMI with high precision: if it is required the millimeters needed can be played with to better load the dies, according to the product requirements. In other words, refilling can be adapted, adding more refilling for product with flowability issues or less refilling when the back-dosage is not recommended.

This high level of flexibility allows to control the process: tablets have to be a high-quality level in terms of uniform weight rather than in terms of visual defect. Capping and lamination are examples and occur generally because of air being trapped during the loading and back-dosage as well as the blend inside the dies. DOMINA provides solutions with the possibility to have a compression cam or a third additional roller that can be useful when using direct compression without the granulation step.

Following the path, we are close to having a compact and defect-free tablet and now it is the moment to introduce the goalkeeper: single sampling is possible with DOMINA. This means that I can match each tablet weight with the correct compression force applied to each single pocket. Linking means control and process stability and it is the final validation that DOMINA governs the forces.

Federica Giatti

Compression technologist at IMA Active.

Graduated in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology cum laude, she specialized in solid dose processes from the beginning of her career with an experimental thesis about coating.

She improved her knowledge working in a pharmaceutical company, where she was part of the production team dealing with oral solid dose forms and DPI: in this occasion both primary and secondary packaging were the core of the experience.

At the present, she is expert in tableting process feasibility, troubleshooting and customer assistance. She manages even pharmaceutical than extra-pharmaceutical powders in order to assess best compression process features, setting correct mechanical configurations and analyzing critical parameters. She follows customer productions with an experienced eye on tablet defects improvement and contributes in defining dedicated solutions for the machinability of new products.