An In-line, High Sensitivity, Non-contact Sensor for the Detection of Initiation of Sticking

  • James ThomasEmail author
  • Antonios Zavaliangos
Original Article



In this paper, the development and testing of a laser sensor to detect initiation of sticking are discussed.


The basic working principle of the device involves a laser source aimed at the punch tip, and a photosensor measuring the intensity of the reflected beam.


The initial results show that the laser sensor can detect the accumulation of material on a flat punch tip and has the potential to be used as a real-time monitoring device during tablet manufacturing operations.


This work demonstrated that the laser sensor can characterize initiation of sticking with high sensitivity without the need to interrupt the compaction process as typically done with other sticking characterization techniques.


Sticking Tablet defects Laser sensor 



The authors would like to thank GlaxoSmithKline for their financial support and access to instrumentation.


  1. 1.
    Swaminathan S, Ramey B, Hilden J, Wassgren C. Characterizing the powder punch-face adhesive interaction during the unloading phase of powder compaction. Powder Technol. 2017;315:410–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dubey A, Keyvan G, Hsia R, Saranteas K, Brone D, Misra T, et al. Analysis of pharmaceutical tablet coating uniformity by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). J Pharm Innov. 2011;6:77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Orun A, Smith G. Micro-structural analysis of tablet surface layers by intelligent laser speckle classification (ILSC) technique: an application in the study of both surface defects and subsurface granule structures. J Pharm Innov. 2017;12:296–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    McDermott TS, Farrenkopf J, Hlinak A, Neilly JP, Sauer D. A material sparing method for quantitatively measuring tablet sticking. Powder Technol. 2011;212:240–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roberts M, Ford JL, MacLeod GS, Fell JT, Smith GW, Rowe PH. Effects of surface roughness and chrome plating of punch tips on the sticking tendencies of model ibuprofen formulations. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2003;55:1223–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Roberts M, Ford JL, MacLeod GS, Fell JT, Smith GW, Rowe PH, et al. Effect of lubricant type and concentration on the punch tip adherence of model ibuprofen formulations. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2004;56:299–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alsirawan MB, Mohammad MA, Alkasmi B, Alhareth K, El-Hammadi M. Development and validation of a simple HPLC method for the determination of ibuprofen sticking onto punch faces. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2013;5:227–31.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Saniocki I, Sakmann A, Leopold CS. How suitable is the measurement of take-off forces for detection of sticking during direct compression of various ibuprofen tablet formulations? Pharm Dev Technol. 2013;18:257–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang Z, Shah UV, Olusanmi D, Narang AS, Hussain MA, Gamble JF, et al. Measuring the sticking of mefenamic acid powders on stainless steel surface. Int J Pharm. 2015;496:407–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sendall FEJ, Staniforth JN. A study of powder adhesion to metal surfaces during compression of effervescent pharmaceutical tablets. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1986;38:489–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mullarney MP, MacDonald BC, Hutchins A. Assessing tablet-sticking propensity by weighing accumulated powder on a removable punch tip. Pharm Technol. 2012;36:57–62.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Samiei L, Kelly K, Taylor L, Forbes B, Collins E, Rowland M. The influence of electrostatic properties on the punch sticking propensity of pharmaceutical blends. Powder Technol. 2017;305:509–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Paul S, Taylor LJ, Murphy B, Krzyzaniak J, Dawson N, Mullarney MP, et al. Mechanism and kinetics of punch sticking of pharmaceuticals. J Pharm Sci. 2017;106:151–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Paul S, Taylor LJ, Murphy B, Krzyzaniak JF, Dawson N, Mullarney MP, et al. Powder properties and compaction parameters that influence punch sticking propensity of pharmaceuticals. Int J Pharm. 2017;521:374–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mollereau G, Mazel V, Busignies V, Tchoreloff P, Mouveaux F, Rivière P. Image analysis quantification of sticking and picking events of pharmaceutical powders compressed on a rotary tablet press simulator. Pharm Res. 2013;30:2303–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tsosie H, Thomas J, Strong J, Zavaliangos A. Scanning electron microscope observations of powder sticking on punches during a limited number (N<5) of compactions of acetylsalicylic acid. Pharm Res. 2017;34:2012–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Waimer F, Krumme M, Danz P, Tenter U, Schmidt PC. A novel method for the detection of sticking of tablets. Pharm Dev Technol. 1999;4:359–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tablet Breaking Force <1217>. U S Pharmacopea Natl Formul USP37–NF32. United States Pharmacopea Convention; 2015. p. 1146–8.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fell JT, Newton JM. Determination of tablet strength by the diametral-compression test. J Pharm Sci. 1970;59:688–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rasenack N, Müller BW. Properties of ibuprofen crystallized under various conditions: a comparative study. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2002;28:1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rowe RC, Sheskey PJ, Quinn ME. Handbook of pharmaceutical excipients. 6th Revised edition. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Aoki S, Danjo K. Effect of tableting conditions on the sticking of tablet using ibuprofen. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1998;118:511–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Danjo K, Kojima S, Chen CY, Sunada H, Otsuka A. Effect of water content on sticking during compression. Chem Pharm Bull. 1997;45:706–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tousey MD. Sticking and picking: some causes and remedies. Tablets and Capsules. 2003.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drug Product Design and DevelopmentGlaxoSmithKlineCollegevilleUSA
  2. 2.Material Science and EngineeringDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations