Tablet Presses: A (Very) Basic Guide


Here at Federal Equipment Company, when we talk about tablets, we are not referring to handheld electronic devices.  We are talking about solid dose pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, vitamins and supplements and a wide array of chemical and household products including batteries and detergents.  Here are some of the basics on how tablets are made.

Tablets are formed on a tablet press by compressing blended powders, or granulation, within a die.  The granulation flows into the feeder systems from feed hoppers on top of the press.  The feeder system delivers the granulation to the press turret where it enters into the compression cycle.  During the compression cycle, the dies are over-filled with granulation.  The volume of the granulation in the dies is adjusted to establish proper tablet weights.  Cams compress the granulation within the die by driving upper and lower punch tools into the die which give the tablet its shape.  Then the tablet is ejected from the press with a scraping mechanism.

Key factors for making quality tablets:

  • Machine Quality
  • Machine set-up
  • Operator experience and training
  • Quality of the granulation
  • Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity

The basic parameters of the tablet press include:

  • Number of Tool Stations
  • Depth of Fill
  • Maximum Tablet Diameter
  • Maximum Support Pressure (tons or kilos)
  • Speed (tablets per minute or rpm)
  • Number of Compression Rolls
  • Feeder Type (open or paddle)

Tablet parameters include:

  • Weight
  • Thickness
  • Hardness
  • Shape
  • Friability
  • Appearance such as color and markings
  • Content Uniformity

Typical applications for tablets:

  • Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications
  • Vitamins, Nutraceuticals, & Herbal Supplements
  • Powdered Metals
  • Ceramics
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals (for example, chlorine pucks for swimming pools)
  • Household products (for example, dish and laundry detergents)

Popular Tablet Press Manufacturers:

There is a huge inventory of tablet presses from these manufacturers and many others and an array of other tablet manufacturing and finishing equipment under tableting equipment at


About the author

Matt Hicks

Chief Operating Officer & Counsel, Federal Equipment Company

Matt Hicks, Chief Operating Officer at Federal Equipment Company, is a pharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience helping companies get the most value and utility out of their manufacturing and process equipment assets.

By Matt Hicks

Recent Posts