Flexible Packaging

First US Clean Room for 9-Layer Blown Film Production Unveiled

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Berry Global’s ISO 7 class commercial clean room supports the growing healthcare market and coincides with a new film for medical devices.

Globally, medical flexible packaging valued at $15.8 billion in 2020 is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2021 to 2028, according to a Grand View Research report published April 2021.

That’s a robust market into which Berry Global Group announced August 3 the installation and startup of a commercial-scale, fully enclosed ISO 7 class clean room from extrusion to packaging that houses a proprietary, nine-layer blown film production line. That’s claimed as a first in the United States and is also Berry Global’s first sterile blown film line, PlasticsToday learned.

“The addition provides customers with optimal product safety for the specific needs of healthcare and pharmaceutical applications,” says Curt Begle, president of Berry’s Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division. “This enhanced capability, paired with our unmatched supply reliability, means customers can benefit from a dependable supply of films for the most sensitive of applications, allowing customers to avoid recalls and potential waste due to package contaminants.”

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Sensitive applications include sterile intravenous solution bags, pharmaceutical packaging, medical equipment manufacturing, and microchip packaging.

Installed within Berry’s Dalton, GA, facility, and operational in January, the 6,500-sq-ft clean room provides a controlled environment, complete with FDA-approved lubricants and contact surfaces, and a 100% inspection system for real-time, quality-assurance defect detection. It reduces foreign particulates by up to 99.9% compared to a conventional production environment. Berry’s expertise in material science, combining multiple layers for optimal product performance, and reliability for the most delicate applications, will benefit customers. In addition, the blown film line can be monitored remotely, upholding the integrity of the clean room.

PlasticsToday is told the line’s capacity is 8-million pounds annually.

Optym Pure film debuts.

In combination with the clean room, Berry added a new product, Optym Pure, to a portfolio of high-performing films for medical-device packaging. As an extension of its Optym film, Optym Pure represents ultra-clean packaging films for demanding applications. With Optym PURE, customers will benefit from Berry’s proprietary nine-layer forming web, which balances high-value and cost-effective materials for maintained performance at a competitive price.

As well, the company downgauged Optym Pure by 25% compared to current structures. The new film pairs with Berry’s advanced sealant technology for a wider seal window.

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