The UK-based tooling maker has teamed up with researchers at the University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy on TSAR – Tabletting Science Anti-stick Research – a two-year project that aims to develop a way of predicting which formulations have the best tableting characteristics.
IHolland spokesman Alex Bunting told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that customer demand was the primary motivation for the project, explaining that: “As a tooling producer our evidence is somewhat anecdotal but in repeated conversations with customers sticking is the main issue for which our assistance is sought.
“TSAR is a scientific study of why the coatings work. What we would normally do is to test a selection of anti-stick coatings in a trial, which can be a long process and requires outlay in time and purchase of trial tooling.
“The aim of TSAR is to allow us to match the correct coating solution from the predictive tool developed during the TSAR project. This should drastically reduce costs in both time and money."
Pros and cons
If successful the project may have a negative impact on IHolland’s business in the short term – particularly on the amount of development work it does – however, the firm’s services business is likely to reap longer term benfits according to Bunting.
“Potentially, we will not sell as many trial sets of coated tools. However, it has always been IHolland’s philosophy that we work in partnership with our customers to meet and overcome challenges.
“We aren’t focussed on just selling a set of tools, we are entering into this process in order to provide the best possible customer service and thereby grow our business through maintaining customer loyalty with a reputation for excellence and innovation.”
The TSAR research builds on previously work in the area of tablet sticking – which focused on using AFM – and according to IHolland is a ‘significant further investment,’ although no financial details were provided.
The launch of the project also follows just a few months after IHolland held a technical seminar on common tableting and tooling problems – including sticking – during the inauguration of its technical support centre in Fort Myers, Florida in the US.