Powder Technology, Vol.367, 456-463, 2020
Solving a sticking related tablet problem by multivariate statistics and computational tomographic analysis
This work identifies the cause of sticking of granules in an industrial process of tableting. Retrospective multivariate statistical analysis of industrial scale batches' records (PLS, properties and manufacturing conditions of granules and tablets) identified the air flow rate in both granulation and drying operations as the critical parameter impacting on sticking. Scaling down the manufacture of tablets to the laboratory scale has allowed the evaluation of the granules' behaviour, that have deformed and fragmented (main mechanism), while converting into tablets. Fragments of granules with high water content in their cores (>2.20%, confirmed by tomography) promoted the sticking of tablets to both dies and punches. In conclusion, the combination of a retrospective analysis of batch records, combined with complementary analysis in the laboratory enabled the identification of the cause of sticking with an increase on manufacture yield from ca 78% in many batches up to >98% for all batches. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.