- Standard Process belongs to the leading nutritional supplement manufacturers in the USA.
- Besides tablets, perls and powders a large amount of the ingredients that originate from biological cultivation, is produced as capsules.
- After the launch of the capsule filling machine FEC40 in April 2016, Fette Compacting installs the first prototype at Standard Process.
The demand for nutritional supplements is growing all around the world. For 2017, a turnover in this sector of more than 200 billion U.S. dollars* is expected, and the market continues to develop vigorously. The challenges to manufacturers therefore increase: to keep up with the trend, they must expand their production capacity while preserving resources, without sacrificing efficiency and flexibility. Standard Process, one of the leading nutritional supplement manufacturers in the U.S. reacted to the rising demand, and invested in an FEC40 capsule filling machine.
The company was founded in 1929, and is based north of Chicago in the state of Wisconsin, where it produces capsules, tablets, perles and powders. The company’s founder, Dr. Royal Lee, defined the company philosophy as being aimed at offering foods in such a way that they retained their natural power and effectiveness. A large portion of the ingredients processed by the company originate from biological cultivation on the company’s own farm of about 500 hectares. The approximately 90 products in tablet form, and 50 capsule preparations, are exclusively marketed through doctors, health practitioners and chiropractors.
* Transparency Market Research, 2012, Nutraceuticals Product Market: Global Size, Segment and Country Analysis & Forecasts (2007-2017)
Changing environmental influences in cultivation, growth and harvesting bring with them variations in parameters such as the moisture content or density of raw materials for production. These varying properties present real challenges to the total process chain: to achieve constant quality in the finished, packaged end products, Standard Process must make use of equipment that can be flexible and adapt to the changing characteristics at every stage of processing.
Standard Process is relying on the new capsule filling machine from Fette Compacting to achieve consistent, efficient encapsulation. The FEC40 is installed with two filling punch stations, and will process gelatine and HPMC (hydroxpropyl methylcellulose) capsules of 0 and 00 formats. Depending on the type of product, it can yield a full capacity of 400,000 capsules per hour at 140 cycles per minute. If, as a result of its flow properties, a product cannot be run at maximum speed, the servo-technology of the FEC40 can decouple the process times, and therefore nevertheless increase the number of cycles per minute – and the consistency of the filling weights.
Thanks to the high yield and the fast changeover times, Scott Anderson, Director of Operations at Standard Process, intends to use the FEC40 as a „workhorse” in capsule production, to take over production batches from other machines. „Whenever a product can be handled by the FEC40, that’s exactly what I will do.”
The possibility of cooperating for a field test of the machine was discussed by both parties at the world launch of the FEC40 at the spring trade fair Interphex in New York City. Filling trials using three products from Standard Process in the Competence Center in Schwarzenbek were completed successfully in June.
The fast format changeover of the FEC40 made a convincing impression, along with the easy, intuitive operation, cleaning and servicing – not to forget the flexibility when setting process parameters. With its output of 400,000 capsules per hour, the machine significantly expands to production capacity at Standard Process, without additional investment in infrastructure.
The FEC40 is the first machine by Fette Compacting: the duplex concept enables two complete capsule filling processes on an unchanged floor space. The fully removable filling punch stations are a unique feature of the FEC40. This patented changeover method reduces refitting and servicing times to a minimum. Even when process equipment is connected, the four window flaps can be opened, ensuring 360° access. The process compartment of the FEC40 contains no cables or hoses, and is separated from the drive compartment.
The company’s experience in tableting is the reason why Standard Process decided in favor of the FEC40: Standard Process has been using the high-performance FE75 rotary press from Fette Compacting since 2014. With the FE75, the FS manufacturer has already had positive experiences with the installation of a prototype, the FE75 also having been the first machine of its kind in the U.S.
„The good cooperation with the Fette Compacting team during the installation and setup of the FE75 was reassuring as we looked forward to commissioning the FEC40 at our facility,” stressed Andrew Holtz, Maintenance Manager at Standard Process. „Professionals are at work at Fette Compacting, and they will help us advance in the field of capsule filling.” The field test of the FEC40 will start at Standard Process at the beginning of 2017.
Scott Anderson, as Director of Operations for Standard Process, leads the overall strategic direction of the manufacturing, distribution, supply chain and engineering functions as well as a 1,000 acre farming operation for the company. Based in Palmyra, Wisconsin, Standard Process is one of the leading companies in food nutrient solutions. In the interview with What's Next? Anderson explains the role of capsules in the nutrition industry and what challenges come to manufacturers.