This article originally appeared in Pharma’s Almanac.
By Adam Covitt, Vice President, Federal Equipment Company
At Federal Equipment Company, we understand the dilemma that organizations face when selecting an equipment supplier. After over 60 years supplying not just the pharmaceutical, but also the chemical, plastics, packaging, utility and food processing industries with equipment, we have added services and partnerships to enhance our offerings and capabilities. Clients that partner with us access more than just reliable equipment suppliers; we offer an opportunity for our customers to take advantage of comprehensive turnkey solutions.
Considering all Variables in Outsourcing
One of the most critical decisions for a pharmaceutical company is the choice to outsource operations, which leads to determining the optimal supplier with which to partner. For those lacking in-house capability, there is often little choice but to work with an external contract manufacturing organization (CMO) that can meet production needs effectively and efficiently. However, when choosing an organization, a company must prioritize risk minimization and choose a dependable supplier with a strong track record. The CMO will be relied on for production — which means that the company’s market reputation is in the hands of its supplier. In addition, any delay in manufacturing could result in failure to deliver drugs on time. Although there are many different operations that can be outsourced, the core of all production is the equipment. A facility is only as strong as the equipment that it runs, and production is only as effective as the equipment operators.
Relying on a Third Party for a Strategic Acquisition
Working with a used equipment dealer like Federal Equipment Company offers customers more options for finding the equipment needed to furnish their facility, at a reduced price. Our extensive inventory is key to supporting our clients, and we provide guidance, counsel and resources for them to make strategic equipment acquisitions easier. We understand the factors that go into equipment selection, as we witness them firsthand every day. Working with a third-party organization such as Federal Equipment Company can bring relief to organizations that are operating under tight timelines and budgets, with a major equipment purchase looming. We are able to source equipment and recommend the best machinery at the lowest price and within the shortest time frame possible. Our deep inventory allows us to offer whatever equipment is necessary to keep production up and running, which is paramount for organizations looking to scale up or replace outdated or broken machinery. We offer a turnkey solution from the start by sourcing a range of equipment that can meet specific production line requirements.
Cutting Timelines and Reducing Costs with Used Equipment
Used equipment is a tremendous money-saver. This has become increasingly important as budgets are further constrained by a host of factors, including rapid innovation or capacity demands. These innovations in the industry have the potential to render equipment obsolete in certain facilities but still crucial in others. We offer redeployment programs for companies like Pfizer and BASF, allowing them to redeploy assets internally or sell to our broad customer base. As the industry develops, the availability of secondhand equipment has increased. As a result, our inventory has steadily grown more robust. This immediate accessibility of equipment cuts down on the timeline for everything from procurement to installation.
The timeline related to equipment implementation is another bottleneck. Delivery does not mark the end of the process when it comes to equipment acquisition. With used equipment, a machine has already proven it can meet its target, whereas new equipment has to be tested. With used equipment, purchase lead times are reduced, as it is already determined (with the help of a supplier like Federal Equipment Company) that the used machines procured are in correct working order. We also have machines available within an average of about a week following payment; this is a significant benefit compared with the traditional waiting period of six weeks to 24 months, during which time nearly anything can happen — unbelievably, this delay has become an industry norm.
Companies that stock their facilities with used equipment save an average of 55–70% on cost — this additional capital is crucial for other areas and can be spent in a number of ways that can increase returns. A viable option would be to purchase additional equipment using this freed-up budget, revamping operations and keeping all expenditures relatively low while generating more profits.
Although Federal Equipment Company does not install equipment directly, we have strong relationships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third-party vendors, and we are able to recommend a number of organizations with proven results that do. One of the most common ways that equipment breaks is through improper handling during shipping. Having shipped thousands of items over many decades, our team is well-equipped to ensure that equipment is packaged correctly and makes it to your facility in the condition it left our warehouse.
Comprehensive Training and Guidance
When your equipment performs at its best, we have effectively reached our goal. To that end, we have partnered with Michael Tousey, CEO and Director of Techceuticals, the leader in solid dosage training and troubleshooting. Techceuticals has offered a training program for tablet and capsule manufacturing and packaging companies since 1989. The training that operators receive from Techceuticals not only equips them for routine operation of their machinery, it empowers them to operate, clean and maintain all equipment for as long as it is needed in production. As downtime and gaps in operations are directly related to efficiency and cost, untrained or misinformed operators present a risk to outputs that no company can afford to take on.
Operators must not only be trained on machinery but on all production variables so that each product batch is made under optimal conditions; ultimately, quality drives operations, not quantity. Techceuticals focuses on the “why” of learning how to handle machinery, and it is this approach to equipment training that makes our program so successful; there is no such thing as mimicking a task, as situations can arise throughout production that may not necessarily resemble each other. Instead, Techceuticals arms operators with the means to troubleshoot on their own by teaching them the ins and outs of their machines. This approach has proven successful throughout training, as operators must demonstrate that they are able to perform a procedure before tackling a task on their own. It is this hands-on learning that is a key differentiator for us, and one that makes us a comprehensive turnkey solution provider.
One of the most popular Techceuticals training programs is “The Manufacturing Process,” which emphasizes understanding solid dose operations and is appropriate for all skill levels. Topics covered include formulation, blending, milling, granulation, drying, final blending, tableting, tablet press tooling, coating and encapsulation. The manner in which training is conducted is also dependent on the client; classes can occur at the Techceuticals training lab, located within one of our warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio, or at a client site.
Partnering with Federal Equipment Company is the equivalent of opting for a comprehensive turnkey solution when it comes to equipment sourcing, servicing and training.
Opting for a Turnkey Solution Provider
Our commitment to customer service is so entrenched in who we are as a brand that partnering with Federal Equipment Company is the equivalent of opting for a comprehensive turnkey solution when it comes to equipment sourcing, servicing and training. Our goal is to maximize production so that all of our partners run their machinery at optimal capacity, correctly and efficiently. There is nothing greater than having total peace of mind and trust in your equipment partner. Working with Federal Equipment Company can bring confidence to any organization, as there is nothing more empowering than knowing your partner has you covered when it comes to all areas of your machinery.
October 26, 2018