Address: Wetterstrasse 33-37, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)2330 2081/3
Fax: +49(0)2330 / 4392

A.R.C.O.-Chemie GmbH

A.R.C.O.-Chemie is a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) that specializes in the production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical soft gelatin capsules under the brand ARCO Encapsulated Care. Its expertise in this field makes complex capsule compositions possible while maintaining high quality at full-scale production levels.

ARCO® is a family-owned company that places great emphasis on its responsibilities towards customers, suppliers, employees and society. Its mission is to support and care for people`s health.

Products and Services

For close to 60 years, ARCO® has been a contract partner for the production of soft gels for delivery of drugs, dietetic products and nutritional supplements.

ARCO has remained focused on third party manufacturing of soft gelatin capsules for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications, which includes all processes from sourcing of raw materials to packaging of finished product.

Soft gel formulations are highly effective in enabling the encapsulation of oil products, suspensions, pastes as well as highly effective active ingredients.

Capsule shape, size and color are almost infinitely variable and capable of being tailored to precise customer requirements.

ARCO-manufactured soft gels are used in many applications, including cardiovascular function, mobility, energy, digestion, mental health, maternity and pediatrics.

The soft gel capsules also offer excellent advantages for application in the therapeutic and pharmacologic sectors that are gaining in popularity.

ARCO® Supreme

ARCO® has used the specialist knowledge gathered over the past half century to create a range of Supreme branded products that combine high quality formulations based on branded ingredients, closely supported by scientific evidence and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) statements to provide clear market advantages.

Technologies and Capabilities

ARCO has been an innovative company since the beginnings, being one of the first to use the Rotary Die process for capsule manufacture. Its current capabilities are based on three main areas of technical expertise.

Galenic Development

ARCO continuously invests in research to develop optimised formulations for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical softgels. Its development of Galenic formulations has been decisive in allowing it to offer higher quality and more attractive products, with consequent patient benefits and enhanced regulatory compliance.

ARCO scientists help sponsors optimize the composition of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds, including advice on the selection of raw materials, to help find the ideal formulation.

A range of final product compositions, pre-developed by ARCO, is available on request. These proven formulations can drastically reduce time to market.

ARCO can provide technical advice on scaling up and validation, along with formulation and process development, including the proving of trial and registration batches. The company can also assist with follow-up stability testing, needed for renewal of drug approval as well as microbiological analysis of the finished product.


ARCO® uses advanced technologies to allow cGMP manufacturing of soft gel capsules, including computerized production management.

A central control desk manages electronic control of the different encapsulation machines in which contra-rotating die rollers punch the two capsule parts out of gelatin ribbons and seal them. Simultaneously, the filling is injected via a segment between the shell elements with high dosage accuracy.

Mechanized assembly lines transport the filled capsules to a computer-controlled pre-drying tunnel where the neutral oil is removed in several cleaning phases. Cleaned capsules are put on special trolleys to specially designed drying rooms.

After drying the capsules are automatically sorted in batches according to size and shape before final cleaning takes place. To ensure absolute hygiene, finished capsules are individually sorted by special machines, which reject any capsules that do not meet the ARCO® quality standard.


ARCO’s full service package includes packaging, which also takes place under cGMP regime. Fully automated packaging lines allow the sealing and confectioning of the capsules, ready for sale. Different tools are available that permit selection of best blister size and number of capsules per blister. Filling into DUMA tins or labeled bottles is also available.

Additional semi-automatic packaging facilities can optimize packaging to specific customer requirements.


ARCO has always been a family owned company. It was originally founded in January 1958 by Cornelius and Lieselothe Souverein as Reintorff Chemie, based in Hagen-Dahl in Germany’s Ruhr region, to take advantage of the then pioneering Rotary Die process.

Shortly afterwards, Mrs. Souverein sold her shares to Mr. Arthur Loose and to Schulte Herbrüggen, later registered as Zirkulin Werke GmbH. At the same time, the company was renamed ARCO® Chemie, derived from the first names of the principal partners.

When Cornelius Souverein died in 1961, his holding was acquired by Zirkulin Werke GmbH, making ARCO® its 100 percent owned subsidiary.

In 1984, former general manager Hella Appl sold the Zirkulin Werke GmbH as well as the subsidiary ARCO® to ROHA Arzneimittel GmbH & Co KG. However, long time production manager Georgios Zacharopoulos led a management buyout and moved A.R.C.O. - Chemie, now 30-strong, to Herdecke, south of Dortmund.

Over the following years ARCO underwent considerable modernization, gaining its first WHO-GMP approval in 1986, and with two periods of plant expansion between 1989 and 1991 and again in 1997-1999.

Standards and Compliance

Since the late 1990s, the ARCO production plant has been continuously modernized to meet current GMP and other regulatory standards.

The ARCO quality assurance system is based on latest EU Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards and is fully cGMP compliant. All processes are designed to conform to Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards.

Copies of GMP and HACCP certification can be supplied on request.

Continuous modernization and investment in quality management aim to ensure ARCO always meets the latest QM guidelines.

ARCO also supports regulatory compliance by making key manufacturing documents such as Master Batch Records and Master Files instantly accessible to the customer.


To learn more about Company products and services and how they can assist your business, please contact the supplier directly.

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