Essentra’s solution works on any equipment built for mechanically forming the aluminum-based laminate blister packaging film.
Essentra has developed the capability to print on cold-form blister material. “Our ability to securely print on this material allows our clients to print patient-critical information on an element of the blister pack that is not damaged or compromised during use,” reports Ian Lemon, Essentra’s global category manager for healthcare & personal care. “The potential benefits for users to assist compliance or to avoid medicines being taken in error are clear.”
Essentra is using flexography to print the aluminum-based laminate blister packaging film. “We are in a position to provide this print service across a number of cold-form material specifications,” says Lemon. “The principal specification that we can supply is the one most commonly deployed in the pharmaceutical industry: Polyamide (25 microns)/Alu (45 micron)/PVC (60 micron).”
Lemon adds that “an ink chemistry appropriate for the intended use in pharmaceutical packaging applications has been developed and is used to deliver strong anchorage to the laminate.”
Plain laminate is bought from a range of accredited suppliers, and printing is performed in a cleanroom environment “delivering the high levels of hygiene assurance required by customers,” he says. “We can also provide customers a packaging solution that maintains these cleanroom hygiene standards through the distribution chain and to the point of use.”
Printing is completed on the laminate reel before forming, he explains. “Forming of the material is completed by our clients in their blistering lines. No adjustments are required at our customer, and they can form in exactly the same way that they do with plain material. Our solution works on any equipment built for mechanically forming the laminate.”
Essentra will print and deliver the cold-form material according to customer requirements. “We partner with our customers to ensure that their defined communication objectives are met,” says Lemon. “At present, the majority of executions are to brand the company or drug that will be accommodated within the cold form. We are however, working in partnership with customers to develop solutions where added value functionality, to improve patient communication or to develop brand authentication capability, can be delivered.”
When asked what challenges pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers face, Lemon says that “our clients need the assurance of consistent quality, functionality, and compliance with regulatory obligations. Our certified manufacturing systems, based on a standard designed for the manufacture of packaging materials intended for pharmaceutical and medicinal products, facilitates production to deliver to the consistent standards required by our clients.”