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

Posted by Jennifer Agbobli on Medical packaging | Thursday, March 30th, 2017 | 0 comments

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...

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

Posted by rhelmke on Medical packaging | Monday, March 6th, 2017 | 0 comments

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,...

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Automating Your Packaging Systems

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Monday, February 6th, 2017 | 0 comments

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...

How Medical Device Packaging Protects Life-Saving Devices

Posted by rhelmke on Medical packaging | Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 | 0 comments

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....

PETG for Crystal Clear, Impact-Resistant Packaging

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | 0 comments

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...

How Award-Winning Packaging Educates Consumers

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Friday, June 3rd, 2016 | 0 comments

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...

Do You Use Long Catheter Trays?

Posted by rhelmke on Medical packaging | Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 | 0 comments

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...

Plastic Ingenuity Brings Home Two 2015 AmeriStar Package Awards

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Friday, August 7th, 2015 | 0 comments

Sargento, GSK Partnerships Highlighted From food to pharmaceuticals packaging, 2015 made for a year of groundbreaking work at Plastic Ingenuity. A leader in quality, customer service, design, and manufacturing, PI’s standards of excellence have been recognized with superior results worthy of not one, but two, AmeriStar Packaging Awards, recognizing outstanding innovations in the packaging industry. GlaxoSmithKline and MD&M East The 2015 MD&M East Conference, held from June 9 – 11, showcased two exceptional breakthroughs from PI. We displayed products made with Eastalite™, a new copolyester material from Eastman. Additionally, we proudly showcased our first AmeriStar-awarded design for 2015. The recognized medical device packaging resulted from a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, and was highlighted as an outstanding contribution to industry innovation. Sargento Balanced Breaks™ Health-inspired ingenuity isn’t just for the medical industry. Sargento Balanced Breaks™, a unique cheese snack pairing different varieties of cheese with fruits and nuts, required a packaging solution to encourage quality snacking in a consumer arena dominated by empty calories. This collaboration also garnered a 2015 AmeriStar Award. The specialized thermoformed package and paperboard sleeve resulted from combined...

Eastalite™ Medical Packaging Debuts at MD&M East

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 | 0 comments

  Modern healthcare professionals rely on a diverse array of medical devices to treat their patients. The medical industry is constantly evolving to meet patient needs; as a result, designers and manufacturers of medical devices are pressured to deliver the highest-quality products possible. There are notable practices to achieve this goal—many of which will be discussed at the upcoming Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East event. The MD&M East Conference is one of the country’s largest medical technology events, and will be held from June 9 to June 11. Taking place at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, this three-day event will feature interactive presentations that reveal the industry’s latest innovations. Some of the most influential thought leaders in the industry will lead various educational sessions and panel discussions; topics include packaging and labeling, manufacturing equipment, design services, industrial automation, and much more. As a trusted provider of exceptional medical device packaging, Plastic Ingenuity is proud to participate in the MD&M East event. Our representatives look forward to highlighting PI’s assortment of products, which include blister packs, clamshells, standard...

Using Plastic Packaging to Ensure Safe Pharmaceuticals

Posted by Rob on Medical packaging | Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 | 0 comments

  Pharmaceutical and other medical products have to be as safe and contaminant-free as possible to be considered ideal, and for good reason—if medical products are not sterile, they can cause serious problems when used. Likewise, if contaminants get into medicine or other pharmaceutical packaging, it can pose great danger to consumers. This is why plastic packaging is often chosen for medical and pharmaceutical products—it keeps them safest from being contaminated. There are a variety of types of packaging to choose from when considering different options for your product, and depending on what your product is, one of these options may be better than another. Over-the-Counter Retail Options For products sold over the counter, such as vitamins, supplements, painkillers, or cold medicines, blister and clamshell packaging can be great choices. These two options of plastic packaging allow consumers to see the product they are purchasing, but because these are both very secure types of packages, customers can trust that the product they are buying is totally safe. Make sure that when you are working with a company that is creating...