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Why Food Companies are Turning to HPP Packaging

High pressure processing (HPP) — also known as high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) or ultra-high pressure (UHP) processing — is quickly rising in popularity within the food packaging industry. How Does HPP Packaging Work? HPP subjects a food — liquid or solid — to pressure levels between 100 and 800 megapascal (MPa) and a temperature between 5°C (41°F) or below and 15°C (59°F) or above. Unlike homogenization, HPP achieves decompression by expanding the compressed food against a constraining liquid, thereby reducing the food’s temperature and bringing it toward its original value. Market Trends and Stats Food retailers and brand owners alike are increasingly turning to HPP packaging rather than retorting and aseptic packaging — a trend that is expected to continue. One report, “Global High-Pressure Processing Market: Trends Analysis & Forecasts to 2021,” published by Infinium, predicts that HPP packaging will make up $1.1 billion of the food packaging market within the next five years. Another study, “High-Pressure Processing Equipment Market – Global Trend and Forecast to 2022,” predicts an annual 11.26% growth rate. This study identified several key drivers of...


Posted in Food Packaging | Monday, April 10th, 2017 | 0 comments

HealthPack 2017 Recap:
Three Trends to Watch for in Healthcare Packaging

Earlier this month in Denver, Plastic Ingenuity got the chance to attend HealthPack 2017 — one of the country’s leading conferences for medical device packaging professionals, from directors and managers to packaging engineers and R&D team members. Alongside Gary Hawkins of Eastman Chemical Co., Plastic Ingenuity’s Medical Business Manager Jason Crosby presented an exciting case study at this year’s event: “How a New Packaging Material Improves Sterile Barrier Protection & More,” which covered the launch, validation, and adoption of a new copolyester packaging material that improves sterile barrier protection, safety, and sustainability while reducing total costs. Jason was also part of the “2016 IoPP AmeriStar Medical Device Package Winners” panel discussion, along with Plastic Ingenuity’s Senior Design Engineer Steve Studee and other industry experts. HealthPack 2017 Takeaways Several recurring themes emerged as the conference progressed, serving as the focus for various panels and presentations. Three, in particular, stuck out as important trends to watch for this year. Balancing Industry Compliance and Innovation Healthcare packaging — in particular, medical device packaging and pharmaceutical packaging — is subject to some of the...


Posted in Medical packaging | Thursday, March 30th, 2017 | 0 comments

Rigid Plastics for Medical Device Packaging: PET vs. APET vs. PETG vs. HIPS

In industries such as medical device packaging, where even the slightest oversight can be problematic for end users, it’s critical that products are designed with the highest possible structural integrity. From small blister packages and plastic lids to medical trays and clamshells, these protective materials must be sterile, FDA-approved, and impact-resistant to ensure end user safety. Why Package Your Medical Device in a Rigid Plastic? To ensure patient safety, medical device packages must meet a number of stringent requirements including: Tamper-evident Sterile Product-visibility Easy to open Rigid plastics — of which there are several subsets — fulfill each of these conditions, allowing for durable, reliable thermoformed solutions. Four of the most popular types of rigid plastics for medical device packaging are: PET APET PETG HIPS PET Thanks to its high-strength barrier and versatility, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most popular plastic choices for thermoforming. It can be molded into nearly any shape before being cooled to enhance durability. The resulting resistance to tampering and outside elements makes PET suitable for sensitive applications such as food containers, beverage bottles,...


Posted in Medical packaging | Monday, March 6th, 2017 | 0 comments

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Automating Your Packaging Systems

Automation Integration Explained Across industries, manufacturers are ramping up production operations to meet growing customer demand. As product output increases, packaging processes must also be streamlined for optimal efficiency. To keep up with these demands while remaining cost efficient, manufacturers are increasingly turning to automated systems integration. In the packaging industry, specifically, custom automation solutions encompass every step of the production process and supply chain. Much like the packages themselves, packaging automation equipment is never a “one size fits all” scenario. RELATED: How the Top Pharma Companies are Effectively Automating their Packaging Systems We’ve outlined some common mistakes to avoid when automating the packaging equipment at your brand’s facility. Common Packaging Automation Mistakes Not Matching the Needs of the Facility: Every facility has a unique combination of equipment, processes, and leadership styles; many operate entire proprietary systems. Therefore, it’s critical that an automation solution is designed with your specific facility in mind. To ensure you install an efficient, reliable automation system, packaging solution engineers should meet with all people involved in the project— from owners and management to operators and...


Posted in Custom Packaging | Monday, February 6th, 2017 | 0 comments

How Medical Device Packaging Protects Life-Saving Devices

Although the pharmaceutical and medical device packaging industry is varied and complex, it’s dominated by three main types of packaging: Medical work-in-progress (WIP) trays Pharmaceutical packing for prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) distribution Sterile barrier medical device packaging WIP trays allow pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to safely store and transport products en masse. Primarily used for storage or to move components from one manufacturing cell to another, WIP trays can also be used for final delivery of pharmaceuticals or medical devices such as syringe barrel trays or electrical components. Pharmaceutical packaging, on the other hand, encompasses any type of packaging that contains an OTC pharmaceutical product or drug or drug delivery device, such as a syringe. This packaging protects the product from damage and contamination during shipping and can be designed to aid the end user in actual delivery of the drug. Pharmaceutical packaging includes pill and syringe clamshells, pill and syringe blister packs, and liquid dosage cups. Many medical products — among them heart transplant kits, chemotherapy kits, and catheters — require specialized sterile barrier medical device packaging....


Posted in Medical packaging | Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 | 0 comments

PETG for Crystal Clear, Impact-Resistant Packaging

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) are two similar acronyms representing two very distinct materials. Both of these substances comprise plastics commonly used in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, but their differences in chemical compositions — that is, the addition of glycol — gives PETG more favorable characteristics for highly sensitive packaging applications. PETG’s Unique Properties During the heating stage of manufacturing, the presence of glycol helps to prevent the visible hazing, warping, and crystallization effects that typically arise with standard PET. This added resistance to brittleness means that PETG has a slightly softer surface, making it more pliable and highly impact resistant, although it does present a higher risk for damage from scratches and UV light. Common Applications for PETG Despite these small setbacks, PETG’s properties make it superior for high-intensity production phases, as well as a wide range of applications. It is resistant to heat sealing, thermoforming, and ETO and gamma sterilization — processes under which standard PET would normally crystallize. Not only that but once it’s time to actually package the products, the transparent PETG beautifully showcases...


Posted in Custom Packaging | Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | 0 comments

How to Become an In-House Thermoformer Expert

While a classroom education can offer great package design industry insights, a hands-on internship can provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in careers as their company’s in-house thermoforming expert. We wanted to share some key ideas and considerations for these aspiring thermoformer experts. What Makes a Good Thermoformed Part? There are many important considerations for custom thermoforming, but the key to all of them is quality. From material selection and distribution to implementing cleanroom technology and heat sealing tooling, to ensuring a high speed to market, quality should be the focus at every touchpoint. The Basics Thermoforming lines consist of three types: Sheet feed – heavy gauge Roll feed – thin gauge Inline thermoforming – thin gauge pellet to part Of the three, inline thermoforming is the best practice for high-quality plastic packaging. The two different mold types – male and female – differ in shape and the way in which the material sinks into the mold. With male molds, hot plastic shrinks to the mold and the bottom is the strongest part of the tray – a critical feature...


Posted in Custom Packaging | Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 | 0 comments

How Award-Winning Packaging Educates Consumers

PI Creates Explanatory Packaging, Wins Ameristar Award At Plastic Ingenuity (PI), we have a strong commitment to innovation, customer service, design, and manufacturing. After celebrating Ameristar Awards in 2015 for both GlaxoSmithKline medical device packaging and Sargento food packaging, we’re thrilled to announce another victory for 2016: the “Best in Show” Ameristar Award for our instructional packaging design for the Philips Respironics Amara™ View Mask. Innovation Study: The Amara™ View Mask by Philips Respironics The Amara™ View Mask CPAP is an unusual product: the unique, minimal contact oral/nasal mask design was created to cradle under a sleep apnea patient’s nose, protecting the nose bridge from irritation and red marks. Most other CPAP masks fit over the nose, making this product unique from other models throughout the entire industry — and unfortunately, very confusing to patients. Users were quick to wear it like a standard mask, fitted over the nose, defeating the purpose of the whole design. Our PI team’s solution was simple: show the consumer exactly where the mask is oriented by building a thermoformed plastic nose right into the...


Posted in Custom Packaging | Friday, June 3rd, 2016 | 0 comments

Do You Use Long Catheter Trays?

Plastic Ingenuity redesigned the packaging for the implantable device in a percutaneous catheter delivery system. This thermoformed long catheter tray is larger than the standard catheter tray, with an advanced design that features roll-fed production, an additional perforated hinge, a snap feature, as well as eliminating the need for multiple die cuts. Much of what makes these custom plastic trays so advanced is their size. At 47.36″ x 7.72″ x 2.16″, a tray of this size typically needs to be sheet fed into the thermoforming machine and then trimmed in a CNC router or clicker press. This long catheter tray is instead roll-fed into the thermoforming machine, expediting the process by up to five times and at two-thirds the price. Advanced Design and Security In addition to the enhanced size and difference in production, the long catheter tray features numerous design advances. The most obvious is the additional perforated snap hinge to secure the catheter into place in the center. Previous packaging featured only one hinge on each end, with three sets of die cuts and wires securing the product...


Posted in Medical packaging | Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 | 0 comments

Extending Shelf Life with HPP Packaging

What Exactly is HPP? HPP is a specialized cold pasteurization technique wherein sealed food products are exposed to an immensely high hydrostatic pressure (pressure transmitted through water) that kills all traces of bacteria, mold, yeast, or any other common food contaminants. The process can take just a few seconds or last a few minutes, depending on the type of food product. HPP is environmentally friendly and safe. And unlike thermal and chemical treatment options, all nutritional values and flavors are preserved throughout the process. It is no surprise then that food processors and retailers have been using HPP packaging for over 20 years. The Benefits of HPP Packaging HPP packaging is a desirable for a number of reasons, including: Versatility Compatibility with both solid and liquid food products It extends product shelf life — by up to four times as long as non-HPP packaged products, which means that food can be shipped over greater distances without spoiling. Safety — no preservatives or high heat environments are required, so food remains healthy and fresh HPP Packaging Design Best Practices Over the...


Posted in Custom Packaging | Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 | 0 comments