Q&A with DALE NATOLI, Natoli Engineering Company, Inc.

Pharma Machines & Technology had the opportunity to speak with Dale Natoli, President of Natoli Engineering, to discuss the current pharmaceutical tablet compression manufacturing market in India

Pharma Machines & Technology: What are the major shifts you’ve observed in the Indian pharmaceutical industry in recent times?

Dale Natoli: As the Indian pharmaceutical market continues to grow, manufacturers struggle with lowering drug costs. Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers have learned from other regions and are more proactive in developing and implementing innovative manufacturing processes, utilizing better equipment, and adopting new quality control techniques

Has there been an increase in customized, automated solutions being sought by the Indian pharma industry?

Absolutely. The pharmaceutical industry is continuously striving for improved cost control through more efficient processes. The Indian pharma industry has recognized the importance of automation as a part of the solution for more efficient and consistent quality tablet manufacturing.

In your analysis, what is the current tablet manufacturing scenario in India?

Oral solid dose manufacturing in India has been exceptionally strong and has been on the rise for over a decade. Naturally, due to varying circumstances, the rate of OSD manufacturing growth has temporarily plateaued but is expected to regain momentum in the very near future.

How do you view the tablet tooling manufacturers/market in India?

The tablet compression tooling market in India provides suitable tools for locally manufactured tableting equipment. However, as the demand for higher quality and more consistent products has increased, there has been a shift to utilize more precise processing equipment. This has driven the pharma industry to source equipment and tooling from Western regions with more experience complying with government regulations.

What has been your experience and growth trajectory in India?

Our experience in India has been welcoming and very positive. We have been working diligently to support the Indian pharma industry with not only punches and dies but also readily available spare parts, timely deliveries, ancillary equipment, and exceptional services, including consulting  and complimentary training. As a result of our product and service offerings, we are forecasting that our presence in India will rival that of Indian tablet compression tooling manufacturers.

Were you late to enter the Indian pharma manufacturing market?

Or, was it the right time? Natoli has provided products and services to the Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing market for nearly two decades. To say if we were “late” or “right on time” cannot be determined solely by our presence in India. Our impact in India grew substantially as the pharma manufacturing industry made a conscious shift towards better quality products. Natoli presented an advantage to our customers by providing the experience, products, and knowledge necessary to support those demands.

What are your new offerings and projections for India?

To better support the tablet manufacturing industry, Natoli has added technical staff proficient in process troubleshooting, formulation assessment, and more. With the addition of these subject matter experts, Natoli offers additional training opportunities for those focused on R&D and analytical services.

For Natoli, how important are Indian operations?

 India is a vital region for Natoli; our ability to understand and fulfill the needs of our customers continues to be a catalyst for our growth within the region.

In your observation, what are the latest trends in tablet tooling globally?

The latest trend related to OSD manufacturing remains with multi-tip tooling. It’s surprising that only a small percentage of manufacturers have realized the benefits of multi-tip tooling. This specialty tooling not only increases production rates but also reduces required real estate, reduces labor time and efforts, and can eliminate the need for various support equipment, such as de-dusters, hardness testers, etc. Multi-tip tooling supports a reduction in operating costs for tablet manufacturing, and should be considered when evaluating cost-savings initiatives.

What new products and solutions are in the pipeline at Natoli?

Natoli will be unveiling new and innovative products during the fourth quarter of this year. One of our most highly anticipated products is designed to save time and money during tablet press setup. As tablet press operators know, this can be one of the most challenging and time-consuming stages of tablet production. We’re also piloting new tooling inspection programs designed to evaluate vital tooling dimensions not typically measured due to their complexity and the absence of capable equipment available on the market (until now).

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Tablet Compression Tooling Manufacturers, Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Market, Pharma Manufacturing Industry, Tablet Manufacturing Industry, Q&A with DALE NATOLI Natoli Engineering Company

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