success across a range of dosing styles.
A NEW PARADIGM FOR CAPSULE-FILLING EFFICIENCIES:
SPEED, YIELD, & DOWNTIME
With the right recipe of formulation, equipment, and capsule, the cost
of producing products can be cut by increasing production speed, improving yield, and reducing downtime. These three drivers of cost are
often connected and generating an improvement in one may very well
lead to a secondary benefit in the others.
Increasing speed – The faster something can be produced on a
machine, the less it costs. The manufacturing cost of a product is less
when more products can be manufactured with the same equipment
and people as before – to include amortization of cost of utilities and
fixed costs like rent and insurance.
Improving Yield – The fill material in the capsule accounts for most
of the cost associated with an encapsulated product, not the empty
capsule. Savings generated from yield improvements are due to fewer
losses to starting materials and the time and energy saved in producing
fewer filled capsule that cannot be sold. Even a small improvement in
yield can generate considerable savings. Yield improvements have been
the most widespread aim of capsule-filling operations.
Reducing Downtime – The longer production is stopped to clean a
machine or get it to work properly, the more it costs to make a product.
Dramatic improvements in downtime can be realized through appropri-
ate early-stage fit of formulation, capsule, and capsule-filling equipment
– and ongoing preventive maintenance of the capsule-filling equipment.
All three areas of potential improvement can generate savings. In a
2013 review of more than 29 customer case studies in which Capsugel
Technical Service Engineers worked to improve capsule-filling efficiencies, savings in the three areas were quantified, as follows:
> Increased speed – Average speed increase of 36% per hour
> Increased yield – Average increase of 6%
> Reduced downtime – Average reduction of 128 minutes in an 8-hour
shift, for an average downtime improvement of 73%.
When viewing the savings of all three areas, the 29 companies saved
a combined aggregate about $2.8M through improvements in productivity – or $96,718 on average. With an average capsule spend of $128,843,
this represents a 75% recovery of the cost for the capsules simply by
implementing the improvements. We calculate that these 29 customers
could save an additional combined aggregate savings of more than $2N
if and when they implement a host of other improvements that have
STORIES OF CAPSULE-FILLING IMPROVEMENTS &
Following are some examples of specific solutions to unique situations assisted by Capsugel’s Technical Service Engineers.
Case Study A: The $972K Impact of Reducing Waste and
Problem: Excessive issues with poorly joined capsules were experienced after fill and closing due to the nature of the product and the
setup of the filling machine. The company had to reduce the speed of
the machine by 10,000 capsules per hour to reduce the level of poorly
joined caspules to 2.2%
Solution: Capsugel reviewed the machine and recommended adjust-
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