Tablet Press Next-Generation Mid-Range Tablet Press

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Korsch’s new X 3 Tablet Press incorporates production capabilities and versatility that were traditionally limited to large-scale production machines.

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The official market launch of Korsch's X 3 Tablet Press is in September.
The official market launch of Korsch's X 3 Tablet Press is in September.
(Source: Korsch)

State-of-the-art-tableting technology meets the midrange segment at last. The days of having to compromise are over. Korsch is introducing a groundbreaking mid-range tablet press by incorporating innovative features previously available only on large production machines. The new X 3 Tablet Press is a single-sided rotary press that redefines this market segment, with flexible technology and a new approach to architectural and ergonomic design.

Suitable for product development, scale-up, clinical production, mid-range production and continuous manufacturing, the Tablet Press is available in two models. According to the company, the X 3 SFP is a dedicated single-layer press capable of 266.400 tablets/hour, while the X 3 MFP offers flexible single-layer (266.400/hour) and bi-layer (133.200 /hour) production capability.

Among other innovations, the Tablet Press incorporates a flexible manufacturing experience atypical for its size, with an integrated electrical cabinet, torque drive, fully sealed design, and unsurpassed accessibility for cleaning, changeovers and maintenance. Installation options include a conventional in-room layout, through-the-wall mounting, and a portable equipment platform. The Tablet Press offers a range of product containment configurations, including OEB 3, as well as OEB 4/5 with full wash-in-place and high-containment execution.

Maximises Flexibility, Efficiency and Output

Of note, the Tablet Press’ exchangeable turret technology allows for an extremely fast transition between products, and the ability to produce a tablet of any size and shape, states the firm. A mixed turret, with B and D punch bores, permits the ability to conduct product development with reduced tools and to change tooling formats without requiring a turret exchange. The Tablet Press can be fully instrumented for the measurement of pre-compression, main compression and ejection forces; for even more detailed analysis, an optional, integrated data acquisition system offers full characterisation of the force-time waveform, and documentation of scale-up parameters.

For mid-range manufacturing, the Tablet Press offers a long filling length and a large, variable-speed power feeder for precision die filling at extremely high speeds. For changeovers, superior compression zone access, smooth surfaces, and minimal fast change parts yield an expedited process for maximised machine uptime. This combination of high-speed and fast-change translates to unprecedented efficiency for the mid-range market segment, adds the company.

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The unique machine structure allowing the elimination of corner columns, combined with large windows, provide excellent visibility and unlimited access to the compression zone for streamlined changeover and turret exchange. At the rear of the machine, a multi-function column with two separate compartments houses the electrical components and the main dust extraction connection, while the water-cooled chiller serves both the torque drive and heat exchanger. The result is a fully sealed machine with no heat transfer to the compression zone of the press, or to the compression room. This closed design also eliminates potential contamination in the machine base or electrical cabinet, and further expedites the changeover process, opines the firm.

The Tablet Press also minimises both noise and vibration. A carrier plate supporting the dual column for pre- and main compression is mounted on pneumatic dampers – a patented design that fully isolates vibration from the head piece and machine base. The result is significantly reduced operating noise (< 80 dB) and elimination of vibration transmission, mentions the company. The dual compression column is fixed on the carrier plate and features a swiveling lower compression roller design to facilitate expedited cleaning and turret exchange.

Fit for a Pharma 4.0 Future

The machine control system is based on Siemens’ Simotion system and makes use of a smart-touch HMI with extensive onboard operation and maintenance assistance, delivering an intuitive operator experience. The operator gains access to all process data and documentation as well as to comprehensive help documents during ongoing operation. Korsch Pharma View, a holographic operational assistant, based on Microsoft Holo Lens augmented reality technology, can also be used on the Tablet Press. The Augmented Reality glasses beam holograms and additional information into the user’s actual visual axis, enabling guided, hands-free setup, operation and maintenance support. The remote service via video call permits secure, streamlined troubleshooting that saves time, reduces costs, and improves overall efficiency, opines the company.

The company’s tablet presses are designed to dovetail with the smart factory concept and the new Table Press is no exception, adds the firm. Smart sensor technology with an IO-Link for data pre-processing enables a new level of centralised data collecting process and of machine parameters storage. Electronic type plates also log the type, configuration and calibration of each component. All data can be transferred via a proprietary secure cloud solution or Korsch-Pharma Insights. A sophisticated analysis of performance indicators can then help to localise immediate (OEE) optimisation potential, to increase machine availability and output, to reduce energy consumption and to coordinate maintenance intervals better. Central formulation management, batch report archiving, and predictive maintenance functions are just initial examples of the smart use of data to ensure that production is always efficient and transparent and to keep total operating costs low, concludes the company.

The official market launch of the X 3 Tablet Press is in September.