Dietary Supplement Market Helps Drive Growth At Ruspak
Published: April 4th, 2012
Ruspak (www.ruspak.com) has completed a $1 million upgrade at its Lyons, NY, facility and added a third Bartelt horizontal form-fill-seal pouching machine to handle business growth.
Cleanroom suites are enhanced with reinforced fiber-glass wall panels, and epoxy-coated concrete floors. The contract packager currently has 10 suites, including a documented class 100,000 cleanroom, with the ability to add three or four more, says Tim Brickle, president.
“We have also added auxiliary equipment like fork lifts and powered hand trucks. Our business is up 25% from last year,” Brickle says.
FDA’s rule of 2007 requiring cGMP for dietary supplement manufacturers has driven customers to the contract packager.
“The dietary supplement and herbal markets represent the largest increase in our business. As they have been forced to establish cGMP, in many cases they do not want to invest in the equipment and structures for establishing compliance,” Brickle says.
These companies will often favor sustainable solutions as brand reinforcing. Ruspak helped a customer downsize packaging for a powder supplement by 40%. The new packaging provided a more earth-friendly design that reduced package costs. The customer achieved savings from less use of film and shrink wrap, and smaller chip boxes and shippers.
The downsizing was accomplished without a significant reduction in line speed, as the same volume of powder was filled in a smaller pouch.
“If you are filling the smaller pouch too fast, you can lose product or have product coating the seal area. They were expecting a 20% reduction in operating speed. We designed and engineered a solution that limits the speed loss to 3 to 5%. We are now producing 600,000 to one million of these pouches a month,” Brickle says.
For packaging the launch of very large herbal energy supplement tablets, Ruspak designed a line for an initial order of 300,000 per month. The order grew to 450,000 and is increasing to one million. The hydroscopic 1135-mg chewable tablets are packaged one tab to a pouch, 30 pouches in a carton.
Ruspak often juggles production schedules to accommodate the new business.
“As a contract packager we have to be flexible. We can jump on new business because of the relationships we have with our established customers who are willing to work with us. We can often interrupt a current project for a few days or weeks to take on a new project,” he says.
When a manufacturer of a major dietary product last year lost their production source, Ruspak was dropped in as a second source with another packager to get production up and running. The solid dose product is bottled, shrink-sealed, and cartoned with lot and expiry printed on the bottle and carton. Cartons are shrink-banded in groups of six before being packed in a shipper.
“We got the go ahead on Monday, began running on Thursday, and worked through the weekend. We worked around the clock for eight weeks to help them make a successful launch,” he says.