Secondary packaging puts pharma protection first
Posted by Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor -- Packaging Digest, 11/5/2012 11:59:00 AM
Protecting fragile products from transport damages usually entails high costs. Many pharmaceutical products such as syringes, vials, carpules, small bottles and ampules or combinations of these fall into that category and require gentle handling. Different packaging materials and therefore several processing steps are necessary to meet the exacting packaging requirements of the industry.
Bosch Packaging Technology and German folding cartons manufacturer August Faller have developed an innovative packaging style completely based on carton board. The goal was to offer the pharmaceutical industry a sustainable secondary packaging system with the flexibility of handling various products and at the same time providing improved safety.
Chambered design for optimal protection
Eco/Save/Pack is the name of a carton tray with product-adapted inlays meeting different market demands. Due to its chambered design, the inlay provides optimal protection. Inside the package the product is literally floating. It can be locked in place by clips, which prevents shifting and mutual contact, whereas back-ups are needed to lock contents in a plastic tray. The reclosable, folded carton and the easy removal of the product from the inlay make the packaging easy to handle. Additionally, supplements such as patient information leaflets (PIL) in form of booklets, outserts or pre-folded inserts from a roll or sheet, can be inserted into the packaging. The single packaging material makes usage of a plastic tray obsolete. Consequently, no thermoforming machine is required.
Since its introduction at interpack 2011, Eco/Save/Pack has been further optimized and the number of applications has been increased. Eco/Save/Pack offers many advantages: Inlays and carton trays can be made by a single supplier and the implementation is fast and cost-effective. Hence, the pack style reduces processing steps and saves on investment. In many ways, the product solution proves to be cost-saving in the long term.
Since no thermoforming machine is necessary, the solution also reduces room costs. Not only is few staff needed for the production process, but expenditures for maintenance and service as well as energy consumption remain low. Using recyclable packaging materials also means less waste. For practitioners and patients, the package is easy to handle and to open. There is no risk of getting injured at sharp edges. Removing the product from the inlay is ergonomic, while the inlay is held securely in the reclosable carton tray.
Produced on proven technology
Eco/Save/Pack is produced on the horizontal cartoning machine CUT 120. Back in 2002, the machine made its first market appearance. Since then, it has continuously been optimized. The CUT 120 horizontal cartoning machine erects the tray carton, fills and then closes it. Depending on the project, single, multiple or combination packaging can be processed. The machine can also be easily retrofitted for new applications.
The cartoner can produce a variety of different applications and make subsequent application adaptations. This makes it suitable for contract manufacturers and packers. Due to its narrow construction, the machine has a unique transportation system for folding cartons offering a remarkably quick reproducible no-tool changeover. It consists of high-tensile plastic carrier lugs that smoothly carry the folding cartons rather than pushing them, thereby minimizing possible damage.
Moreover, the modular design of the machine equipment offers high flexibility for the combination of different feed and sealing versions. The transport carrier can be adjusted in all three carton dimensions (A, B and H) without changing parts. The cGMP-compliant machine design and the clearly arranged, easily accessible product area ensure best possible results. With its ergonomic user surface and a color touchscreen, the CUT 120 is extremely user-friendly. Output ranges from 80 to a maximum of 120 cartons per minute. The machine is operating at more than 200 production sites.
For all these reasons, the machine provides a flexible and future-proof solution for modern, economical and eco-friendly packaging. As a packaging system, Eco/Save/Pack can easily be produced with a technology that is already in the market. It is sustainable, saves on investment costs and makes a significant improvement in pharmaceutical product protection. Moreover, the product solution looks shapely and visually attractive. Vials and ampules are packed on one line, which increases pharmaceutical safety by avoiding cross contamination. Track-and-trace can be integrated into the line as a complete unit.