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Powder compression refers to the reduction in volume of a powder through the application of a force. This force via compression activity, then increases the proximity of particle surfaces, resulting to the formation of bonds between particles, thus, providing powder coherence: a compact is formed.

This unit operation is critical in the manufacture of tablets, as these dosage forms are prepared by forcing the raw materials – active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients - with each other. A porous, solid specimen of defined geometry is then produced.

Compression takes place in a die by the action of two punches, the lower and the upper, by which the compressive force is applied.

Production time and cost are also two driving aspects in the pharmaceutical industry, and it is always critical to prepare a manufacturing method that will decrease the two while increasing assurance of quality, safety, and efficiency. An obvious way to achieve this is to minimize the number of operations involved in the pre-treatment of the powder mixture before tableting. By using the direct compression method, only two operations are necessary: powder mixing and tableting.

Advantages of direct compression:

  • Reduced production cost
  • Enhanced product stability (heat and water are not involved in the process)
  • Faster tablet disintegration and drug dissolution time

Different Direct Compression Techniques:

  • Direct compression with induced die feeders
    - Uses special feed device which enhances the flowability of powders: from the hopper into the die cavity of the tablet press. The die feeder reduces presence of air in the powder blend which makes the fill powder denser, thus, easily compacted.
  • Direct compression with induced dry binders
    - Binders used here must have cohesive or compressibility properties to form a final drug product with the hardness and friability compliant with formulation standards.
  • Direct compression excipients
    - This technique uses compression fillers or binders that are inert and can be added into the formulation mix so a final drug product (i.e. tablets) will exhibit satisfactory characteristics of hardness, disintegration, and dissolution.

Esco Pharma’s experienced team of designers and engineers can help in designing a completely integrated manufacturing equipment: from the granulation, drying, milling, blending, and even compression process of pharmaceutical manufacturing. All of this to ensure the protection of operators, product, and the environment from possible cross-contamination or unwanted occupational exposure.


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