Packaging Two Production Methods of Blister Packaging
Mainly used in the pharmaceutical, medical, and consumer goods industries, blister packaging is a widely popular form of packaging many smaller items in one larger package. For example, the majority of OTC (Over-the-Counter) products are provided in blister packaging for their unit-dose capabilities. Aspirin and other common pills come in what is referred to as a blister card or blister strip with three or four rows of blister cavities. Packaging companies prefer to use a thin yet durable cardboard backing so consumers can simply push the product through the board and not compromise any of the surrounding seals.
There are two major production types of blister packaging: thermoforming and cold forming. Thermoformed packaging and cold formed packaging offer their own different advantages and are created using completely different methods.
As the root of its name suggests, thermoformed packaging is created using heat. A plastic sheet is rolled out and fed into a preheated oven and travels to a mold. The heated plastic is then pressed into the mold at the forming station using pressure, plugs and vacuum. It is then cooled so it maintains the new shape as it hardens. More intricate designs may require additional steps and each packaging company has their own methods and practices to complete these complicated molds.
Cold Formed Packaging
This procedure of blister packaging does not require the use of heat and often used an aluminum-based laminate film as opposed to plastic. In fact, all that is required is a stamp to press the film into a mold. The pressure from the stamp will shape the film into the desired formation. Cold formed packaging is highly praised for its use of aluminum which provides a reliable barrier against oxygen and water. The product can often exceed its expiration date due to the formidable seal from the aluminum.
Although they couldn’t be any more different from one another, thermoformed packaging and cold formed packaging remain as the top two forms of blister packaging production methods and have been for some while. Both processes are simple, produce desired results, and chances are you have both forms of these blister packaging in your medicine cabinet right now!