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. The company has been in business since 1929 and offers more than 300 different supplements today. In an interview with What's Next? Anderson explains the role of capsules in the nutrition industry and what challenges come to manufacturers.
Mr Anderson, how important are capsules now and in the future? Which innovations do you see that can only be implemented as capsules?
We manufacture dietary supplements, not medicine, but capsules are a very important part of our product offering. Capsules have allowed us to bring many products to market that are very difficult or impractical to tablet. It has also allowed us to bring products to market without the use of a binder to which the consumer may be averse.
What advantages are linked to capsules from the perspective of the patient?
Many of our customers find capsules to be much more palatable due to reduced odors and taste compared to uncoated tablets. Many also find it easier to swallow a capsule. They also have the option of opening a capsule and pouring the contents into their food, drink or shake mix.
What trends are you currently observing stimulating the capsule production?
Many consumers are now demanding more "natural" or "organic" products. As consumers become better educated on all of the ingredients contained within products, which includes the binders and excipients, capsules may become a better choice. This trend is growing as more vegetarian and organic capsules become available in the market place.
How does the usage of capsules differentiate in the nutrition market as opposed to the pharmaceutical market?
The products (drugs versus dietary supplements) and regulatory requirements differ greatly, but both industries want to get the highest quality product to their consumers in a safe, ethical and cost effective manner.
What are the special requirements for the production of capsules in relation to the pharmaceutical, technical, and economic aspects?
In my business, we run a large number of products on the same machine. I do not have the scale to dedicate a machine to each product. Therefore the machine must be able to handle a range of filling needs. Often the natural format of our products makes them difficult manufacture due to variability in density. We must be able to adapt our machines to deal with these challenges
What are your technical demands in the production? What criteria do you take into consideration when deciding on investing?
First and foremost I need a machine that is reliable, efficient and able to accurately hit the desired fill weights. I also very much value a company that stands behind their product with world class service and technical support. There's no ROI on a world class machine that has mediocre support from the manufacturer. This support includes help with optimizing difficult products, as well as providing operator and maintenance training. My vendor must be my partner.
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