Manufacturing Overview For Soft Gel Capsules

We humans take pills for everything: from general aches and pains to holistic health benefits to weight loss and muscle gain. With the advent of dietary supplements and dual-action formulas, the soft gel capsule has overtaken the traditional tablet to be the more popular choice in our pharmacies right now, as even the oral medication game has trends and dips. A large part of the capsule market that the tablet has not been able to recreate is the soft gel style of supplements and medication. For anyone unfamiliar with hard or soft capsules, they are the ones with the soft outer shell that make it easier to swallow, at least in my mother’s opinion when I was a child refusing to take my medicine. But that’s a story for another time.

Why Soft Gel Capsules

So what exactly makes them so popular these days? Soft gels are gelatin-coated capsules that provide a better method of digestion compared to other capsules or tablets. The soft gels are broken down by your body much faster than other oral medications and therefore release their supplements into the bloodstream quicker. They also have next to no taste  and come in a greater range of options. As we’ll find out, they’re also surprisingly customizable. With the benefits of soft gel capsules come more specialized needs for manufacturing. Continue reading to learn about the most important factors to keep in mind when looking for the best manufacturing process.

For many companies looking to outsource their soft gel manufacturing, read on for a guide as to what to consider when finding the right supplier.

The Best Equipment For Soft Gel Capsule Manufacturing

An obvious one really, but there is a little more to think about than just the fanciest, most powerful equipment. Soft gel manufacturers will need to have the best equipment in place to effectively manage their output line. The absolute bare minimum machinery you are looking for is a soft gel machine and a drying line. Without these you’re going to end up with a sub-par product that will quickly be found out in the market. You should do your research into the top-line soft gel machines and drying systems so that you have the knowledge to help you choose the right manufacturer. Make sure the machines have come from trusted and tested providers so the product is as consistent as possible.

Another question to ask manufacturers is the speed at which they run their machines and how productive they are. While faster may seem better, keep in mind that there will need to be human operators working with these machines, and if they are working too fast there lies more room for defective capsules that can eat into your inventory. This is where that little bit of thinking comes in from earlier. The highest quality of machine is nothing without the staff that can keep up with it and get it to its full potential. Every business owner – or anyone who has ever worked in any job – should know that employees grow a company. Anywhere you enquire about for your manufacturing needs should have a well looked-after team. I shouldn’t need to explain the importance of a focused mind when operating industrial equipment…

The Gelatin Formula For Perfect Results

The gelatin is the component that gives soft gel capsules their unique perks. It comes with its own challenge which is why you see capsules at a higher price point than tablets. The benefits are high; they can house most types of solid form, easier to swallow and digest, and can also accommodate liquid form. Each step in creating the gelatin comes with its own need for high-tech equipment and precision timing. Having to produce a delicate formula across multiple stages takes time to perfect. Poorly processed shells or a gelatin recipe that suffers from too much or not enough molecular integrity leads to the capsule collapsing, leaking, being declared defective and starting over again. None of which is good for manufacturers or suppliers that rely on them. You need to make sure quality control checks are ongoing throughout for things like temperature and weight to really perfect the gel – and the facility should be equipped to help with this.

In line with this, a softgel manufacturer should have the recipe for perfect gelatin, that is not too sticky yet not brittle and fragile. Not only do they need to have the best gelatin, but manufacturers also need to know how to treat it throughout the capsule-making process, to optimize their workflow and reduce defective units. There are a number of precision processes that go into capsule manufacturing that need to be extremely accurate to produce a consistent end product. You should make sure you choose a competent supplier that has a proven record of low defections.

Does The Soft Gel Manufacturer Go The Extra Mile For Results?

An underutilized factor when thinking about a manufacturing process is what extra implements does a supplier have to get every drop of performance out of their facilities. This covers a range of options. Rather than merely checking the basics are all there, ask yourself whether a manufacturer has any extra machinery that enhances their production, such as an in-line dryer or polishing station for a premium presentation. As briefly mentioned above there should be accurate temperature controls in place and laboratories for checking molecular makeup and quality testing. While extra facilities are great they have to be teamed with purpose. Ask about every piece of equipment and what makes it relevant to the manufacturing process. You might just learn a thing or two as well, which is never a bad thing, especially in business.

If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity of being shown around a manufacturing facility see that the staff operating the machines are fully trained to recognize faults and keep up with the machinery’s optimum efficiency. As I have expertly linked this article together point to point you should already have thought about the impact of your staff on your business identity. Older systems can still be effective but if a company has gone the extra mile to install cutting edge equipment it inspires confidence. If the employees are similarly trained to the top in their job they will be motivated and enjoy working, the company will run smoother with fewer errors and missteps, and you/the consumer will be content in the knowledge that a trustworthy manufacturer is churning out your product flawlessly.

Production Operation Assessment And Efficiency

The worlds of technology and science are constantly evolving and there are new ways of manufacturing and testing being developed every day. You should always be on the lookout for improvements to formulas and equipment that can increase quality and efficiency, and every part of the production process should be assessed regularly to find new ways of boosting capacity and output for the most refined and cost-effective methods. It is an outstanding field of development in the world of supplements and a very exciting one to be on top of the curve. You should never stand in place and feel you’ve cracked the code of capsule production because there will always be someone right behind you working on the next big thing to change the norm.

As your company grows new opportunities will open up, whether you are manufacturing these products or selling them to the public, and keeping up with the newest inventions and hi-tech batch testing you can stay on the front line of your industry. There is nothing that excites customers and companies alike more than a brand-new piece of the puzzle that takes supplement development to new levels. Just look at how the game has evolved since health and dietary nutrition has become accepted into people’s daily lives. There was a time when boiling down all the nutritional benefits of certain foods was considered futuristic nonsense, yet here we are in 2020, with the ability to cure ailments and maintain health using a tiny capsule swallowed in one.

Final Thoughts

As with many industries that we take for granted there is a lot more going on behind the scenes of soft gel manufacturing than we might think. You may not imagine a team of scientists with microscopes checking out the molecular formulas of capsules or a fantastically exact slew of processes going into making a seemingly simple soft gelatin shell that we take for granted. There are many important factors at play in the creation of our supplements and medications that need to be quality controlled and standard-compliant to make sure we get everything we need from them and nothing unneeded, or worse, unwanted.

The soft gel capsule has enough benefits to warrant special treatment. The manufacturing process can be tricky but with the right facilities, equipment, and staff you will reap the benefits of an efficient and productive line. Low defection rates and highly skilled operators are things to look out for when checking out soft gel manufacturers. Gelatin is still regarded as the best in the game for capsules despite the alternative artificial creations being brought to the market recently.

 

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