That would be an attention-grabber, wouldn’t it? While we can’t confirm that rumor we can, with pleasure, announce a star-studded line-up of our own. This April, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, three stars will, for the first time ever in North America, share the same stage. For three days booth number 2505C will crackle with charged life and electricity, akin to Radio City Music Hall during a string of sold out shows with The Three Tenors.
A Rare Eclipse
Imagine what it would have been like if, decades ago, one would have gone to an exhibit hall filled with vendors selling stale, boring automobiles, all essentially churned out from the same mold. An engine, windshield and four wheels, with perhaps an 8-track stereo, or removable T-top installed in a half-hearted attempt to liven things up. Then, just as one was about to give up all hope of seeing something novel, something dynamic, they stumble upon a display where the star attraction is all but obliterated from view, hidden by members of a crowd craning their necks to get a glimpse of something clearly different.
Will the Real Stars Please Take the Stage
The tour bus rolls into NYC April 21 – 23, and off of it will step three siblings who have already started changing the way companies think about tablet presses. Their names – FE75, FE55 and FE35. The unmistakable message they transmit to their audiences – efficiency. Efficient cleaning characteristics, efficient production capabilities, and efficient use of space . Even the “clothes” they wear set them apart. Sporting FDA-approved, high-tech polymer shells, it prompts one to think back to when the Beatles landed at JFK on February 7, 1964, sparking change that would reverberate forever.
Tri.Easy represents the simplification of the three primary aspects of tablet press use – those of changeover, operation and maintenance. All three FE-series machines harness this concept to perfection, with Fette Compacting having taken real-world feedback, from real users, and implementing it into the final designs. Whether it’s the ease with which an operator can generate and recall product recipes, the intuitiveness behind the process of making tablets, or the sheer output that such compact machines are capable of, the FE series models represent a dramatic shift from the thought patterns dominating press design for decades.
The latest, and final member of the FE family, the FE75 is a double-sided unit capable of producing up to 1,600,000 tablets an hour (with an optional 115-station, FS12 segmented turret), while occupying only 2 square meters of space. With other turret options of 55-station “D,” and 75-station “B,” the FE75 can be configured so as to optimally balance versatility and maximum performance. It also allows the user up to three potential manufacturing modes:
- Mono-layer tablet manufacturing, with double-sided discharge. In this case the user actually more than doubles the output of a high-speed single-sided press, as the press will discharge finished tablets from each side, for every revolution turned
- Direct compression for difficult products. New controls architecture allows the user to incorporate all (or any combination of) the stations present on the machine to significantly increase the available dwell time (i.e. time under peak compression) for challenging formulations
- Double-layer tablet manufacturing, with single-sided discharge. High-speed bi-layer manufacturing is seamlessly integrated with a full suite of automated features including weight control for individual layers, high-sensitivity equipment for thin first layers, and ultra-precise, ultra-rapid first layer sampling
While the FE75 sports new features common to the entire series, it also boasts some new ones such as a pneumatically-adjustable scraper assembly, closed upper cams and a turret querying feature that matches a particular turret to a specific product recipe.
Perhaps the most versatile member of the FE family, the FE55 completely dissolves preconceived notions of how many tablets can be produced by a single-sided press. With its optional 87-station FS12 turret, the FE55 begins to approach output figures previously attainable with only double-sided machines. And with a full suite of automated double-layer features, it proves its worth not only for such a wide variety of different tablets, but also for medium and medium-large batches requiring rapid changeovers.
The FE55 has three operating modes of its own, which include:
- Classic mono-layer use, using pre- and main compression
- Mono-layer use for direct compression and difficult to compress formulas (by adding an optional third compression station, the user benefits from what essentially becomes “initial” pre-compression, “primary” pre-compression and main compression, thereby doubling the amount of available dwell time)
- Double-layer use, utilizing the optional third compression station and having it act as the tamping station for the first layer
Certainly the most compact of the three FE models, the FE35 uses a three-pillar design in the compression zone. Eliminating the front right column offers the user absolutely unobstructed access to the machine’s interior and the lower frame section is specifically designed to effectively absorb and mitigate the constant vibration of running at high manufacturing speeds and compression forces. The press also makes use of other standout series features, such as a segmented turret, filling cone, new compression stations and corner-mounted discharge assembly.
The FE35 upholds the philosophy of maximum output in minimal space, with segmented turret options of 51 (FS12), 33 (B) or 27 (D) stations. A brand-new feature unique to the FE35 is a plug-and-play vacuum extraction assembly. Offering pinpoint control and removal of excess dust, the new assembly is removed and re-installed by twisting one Delrin collar, and can only be installed one way.
The machine’s standout feature, however, is the fact that the turret on the FE35 can be completely removed from the press in 15 minutes! Requiring the removal of only ten components, none of which necessitate the use of any tools, the FE35’s turret extraction process is second to none. The press therefore lends itself, like no other, to short and medium batch sizes and to continuous manufacturing lines.
Backstage Pass Not Required
We do hope to see you at booth 2505C in New York this April. We invite you to stop by, speak with our technical personnel, and enjoy a first-hand, stage-level look at the complete FE series. Informative presentations will be offered regularly over the course of the exhibition, and descriptive product information will be readily available. It may not be a reunion of famous rock bands, but the buzz these presses generate will have you feeling like you have, indeed, just left a concert hall.
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