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Innovation leads to successful package redesign

Article-Innovation leads to successful package redesign

Jordan Montgomery, technical fellow, and Todd Wetter, packaging engineering manager, both with Medtronic CRDM, shared recent package redesign projects at HealthPack 2010. Montgomery participated in the development of a new package for the next-generation Reveal ICM (Insertable Cardiac Monitor) that can ease preimplant mapping, while Wetter provided an overview of a redesigned Stylet Kit Package, which won an Ameristar award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

The previous ICM was packaged in a double sterile barrier tray. A paperboard template with seven electrodes accompanied the ICM for doctors to use to find an ideal position for the ICM. The process was cumbersome and time consuming, so Medtronic sought a way to improve mapping while keeping the device in its sterile package.

    Montgomery and his team devised an SBS lid with Tyvek 1073B to replace the inner and outer tray. Using hot-melt adhesive coating from Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging, the lid features a long Tyvek tail with a flexible conductive vinyl circuit laminated to the inside-facing lidstock. The circuit runs through the seal so it can be used by doctors for the mapping procedure; Oliver-Tolas’s adhesive is zone-coated over the circuit to maintain the sterile barrier. The Tyvek tail is then scored and folded over to protect the circuit. An image of the device is printed on the Tyvek lid. Medtronic was able to utilize existing heat sealing equipment as well as its gaskets; only the sealing nest needed modification. Montgomery’s team verified the design by using worst-case handling tests that simulated bending and twisting and then verified device function. Thanks to the new package design, users have reported fewer episodes of undersensing and better signal quality.

    The Stylet Kit project entailed redesigning kit packages for stylets that support the company’s pacing systems. Two sealed trays were originally used for the stylets, but hospitals, nurses, and even sales reps were disgusted by the size of the package, which took up considerable storage space, Wetter told the audience. And with more than 200 stylet versions, most with its own packaging configuration, Medtronic identified the need to update the design. The team set out to reduce package size, find an alternative to PVC, reduce material and supply-chain costs, and design for manufacturing.

    The solution was a sterile pouch housed inside a DVD case. Stylets were set into coils, sealed in pouches, sterilized in-house, and then placed into the cases with reformatted user-friendly labeling. Advanced Web supplied tamper-evident labels that sealed the cases shut, eliminating the need for shrink wrap.

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