8 Tips for Maintaining Punches and Dies

Punches and dies are the most quick-wear parts in the process of making pills and tablets. Frequent replacement of punch tooling can be quite a large expenses that can not be neglected. Actually, a careful maintenance is visibly helpful to keep them in good conditions and effectively prolong their service life.

In regard to the full procedure of tablet tooling maintaining process, we summarized and called it as “7-step maintenance”-Clean, assess, repair, measure, polish, lubricate, and store. Nevertheless, this paper will focus on some tips, from technical aspect and practical experience, to better keep them at service in a reasonable period.

There are three vulnerable stages of tablet tooling we should pay attention to, before installing, being installed, and being uninstalled.


  1.  In addition, do not use new punches with wore dies or new dies with wore punches. If have to, please regularly assess and test the weight variation of the pills.Before installing, we should dedust and wipe the punches and dies, especially the surface of punch tips. Any granule on the surface will increase the fiction, which is detrimental for both punch&dies and machinery components.
  2. When being installed, pay more attention to the alignment of punches and dies. Any deviation will cause rapid wear and damage of the tooling.
  1. The set screw plays a significant role in protecting punch tooling as well as tablet press machine. Untighten or worn set screws will possibly cause dislocation of middle die.
  2. After uninstalling, remember to clean the tooling. Use a flanneletteto wipe off residual materials, clinging to some abrasion paste is helpful for polishing.

(Note: do not polish them with wire brush, or the tip surface will be scratched.)

Sometimes, the adhering materials are hard to remove, we could try to dip the punch tip in warm water for a few minutes, then wipe and dry it in case of rust.


  1. After cleaning, we should have an assessment of the attrition rate. Sometimes, visual observation will help a lot, but for precision assessment and repair work, we need some gauge tools or machines.
  2. About the slight wear on punches and die, like scratching, burrs, we could get ridof such problems by polishing with a tools. But for the severe wear that can not be repaired or has caused tablet problems, we should replace the whole station punch tooling.
  3. All the punches and dies should be lubricated before storing in case of corrosion and rust. Pay more attention to the sanitary requirements. Keep clean of the working and storing environment, especially in the process of making pharmaceutical pills and edible tablets.
  4. Regular cleaning of suspensory punch tooling that has been preserved more than 2 months is necessary. Check whether rust or corrosion occurs. If it does, we must make rust-proof treatment again.


(Note: For those tooling that will not be used within a long time, immerse them into oil to keep away from dust and rust.)

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