Next stop: Medical packaging innovation

Daphne Allen

September 19, 2016

3 Min Read
Next stop: Medical packaging innovation
Image source: iStock

Looking for some new ideas in medical device packaging? If so, please join us for a free tour at MD&M Minneapolis and MinnPack of some exhibitors developing emerging packaging technologies. On Thursday, September 22 at 1:00 pm, we’ll set off in a small group to visit these exhibitors:

  • Amcor Flexibles, Booth #1417

  • Computer Designs Custom Thermoforming, Booth #2644

  • Gel-Pak, Booth #1543

  • Nelipak Corp., Booth #2039

  • TEQ, Booth #1014

Here’s just a preview of what you’ll hear on the tour:

Amcor Flexibles (Booth #1417) will present two new packaging technologies, Fortis (an uncoated Tyvek header bag) and DCP (a dual-chamber pouch for moisture sensitive devices).

Jesse Blake, marketing director, medical, North America, explains that Fortis consists of a multi-layer nylon film that allows for aggressive downgauging. The “peel mechanism is built into the film, so coating is not necessary on the Tyvek,” he says. The system “breathes fast, so less Tyvek is required for sterilization.”

The DCP is a two-compartment foil pouch featuring a Tyvek vent between compartments that allows a desiccant sachet to be used on one side, but only peels on device compartment side, says Blake. A Tyvek header on top allows for EtO sterilization.

Computer Designs Custom Thermoforming (Booth #2644) has been working with Eastman Chemical’s Eastalite lately and has seen some opportunities. The team at Computer Designs began experimenting with Eastalite by forming 5-in.-deep trays. They ran the material “on existing tooling for a styrene part, and there wasn’t a lot difference in shrinkage,” Tom Tomasic, executive director, tells PMP News. “It cuts very clean.” (Please click here for the full story.)

To help engineers protect fragile medical components, Gel-Pak (Booth #1543) offers “biocompatible” boxes, trays, slides, and films that securely hold medical components in place during transport, processing, and storage.

Jennifer Dossee Nunes, Director of Marketing, says that “some engineers face the challenge of transporting fragile medical components. There is a concern both over yield loss as well as biocompatibility. Our products securely hold fragile devices in place using a proprietary elastomer that has been tested for biocompatibility. This elastomeric gel is coated onto the bottom of a plastic hinged box, tray, slide, or film. When devices are placed on the gel, they are held securely in place until they are removed using tweezers or automated pick & place equipment.” Gel-Pak’s products have been used to hold items such as medical coils, platinum marker bands, medical staples, medical electronics, etc., she says. 

Nelipak Healthcare Packaging (Booth #2039) has been working with new materials from resin companies such as Eastman Chemical (Eastalite/Triton) to better understand the opportunities these materials can provide to medical device companies, explains Seán Egan, Group Marketing Manager. Additionally, Nelipak continues to develop new packaging solutions using TPU combinations, he adds. During the tour, Nelipak will be discussing some of these new material trends, as well as how new materials work with heat sealers such as Nelipak’s NX-T1 machine. 

“In addition to protecting the device itself, these materials potentially offer sustainable packaging solutions with better handling qualities/cost implications,” Egan says.

Nelipak is also working on developments related to its heat sealers that will greatly enhance control over production runs and traceability over batch lots, he adds.

TEQ (Booth #1014) has recently acquired a company in the United Kingdom and Poland named Plastique. “They are a great thermoformer and have a division called Fibrepak that does thermoformed molded fibre,” explains Todd McDonald, director of sales and marketing. “We will be working to bring fibre packaging and our plastic thermoform packaging materials together in creative ways.”

TEQ will also be discussing TEQconnex and TEQethylene during the tour. “TEQethylene and TEQconnex are driving down the cost of a thermoform sterile barrier system,” he says.

Please join me on September 22 to see these emerging technologies firsthand. Meet me at Center Stage, Booth #1555, a few minutes before to pick up your headphones for our walking tour!

Register here for the show and use code PDigest16. While the tour is free for show attendees, the code does provide a 20% conference discount. 

This article was updated on September 16, 2016.

About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, materials, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 20 years. She has also presented on these topics in several webinars and conferences, most recently discussing design and engineering trends at IME West 2024 and leading an Industry ShopTalk discussion during the show on artificial intelligence.

Follow Daphne on X at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

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