Plastic Ingenuity Thermoform Circularity Report 2021
Customer Stories

Custom Healthcare Packaging: Universal Transport Tray

Custom thermoformed packaging design Universal Transport Tray Shipper Stack

The Challenge

Assessing the Damage

Merit Medical Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of single-use medical devices for interventional and diagnostic procedures, turned to Plastic Ingenuity to design a solution to eliminate shipping damage, decrease material waste, and reduce packaging costs.

Merit’s BasixTouch and BasixCompak inflation devices for angioplasty procedures are packaged with delicate instruments, including tubing, a barrel size of 20mL and 30mL, and gauge attachments. Unfortunately, the fine analog gauge and needle often incurred damage in transit, likely caused by the vibration, shock, and environmental stresses of normal distribution channels. Using a PETG insert to protect the gauge, along with a heavy-duty corrugate for reducing impact and shock during transportation, the product line launched. However, as the product line expanded, this stop-gap solution eventually increased costs in material wastes, labor, warehousing, and distribution.

Custom thermoformed medical device packaging

The Process

A Universal Solution

Material selection is key for typical work-in-process trays. Traditional materials like PET and HIPS are rigid and unforgiving. To develop a delicate, protective, bulk work-in-process solution, we leveraged Eastalite copolyester, a formed PETG. As the first commercial Eastalite application on the market, this material provides a lower density than traditional rigid materials, greater abrasion resistance, and improved shock absorption and impact strength. After selecting the material, we designed a 5-cavity, bulk universal tray to meet the project requirements.

This solution is capable of accommodating all devices, sizes, configurations, and SKUs with one tray. The universal cavity design prevents device vibration and movement, improving device and gauge protection with zero rejects in the bulk pack solution.

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    Innovative Design

    Ribbed accordion features in the bottom of the tray aid with impact absorption.

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    Cohesive Solutions

    The trays interlock when stacked without contacting the devices in the tray below.

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    No Corners Cut

    A 0.175” step along the tray perimeter improves corner integrity, preventing damage and boosting reusability.

Custom thermoformed packaging design Universal Transport Tray

The Solution

Exceeding Expectations

Our design for the Universal Transport Tray created a single packaging component that works with multiple products within the same family, and the new Eastalite form core provides cushioning to prevent abrasion, cracking, and damage to the analog gauge face and needle indicator. The design not only accommodates all devices in one tray, but it also offers improved product protection, minimum bending in the flexible tubing, no tray-to-product contact, and reusability.

The solution exceeded the functional, economic, and environmental requirements of the client by accommodating all devices, sizes, lengths of tubing, and configurations, and protecting the device, gauge, and tubing. By shifting the packaging labor burden from seven down to three people and optimizing cube utilization to accommodate 1,400 devices/pallet vs. 600 devices/pallet, the client also saved on labor and shipping costs.

Money Saved, Damage Reduced

Money Saved, Damage Reduced


reduction in transatlantic freight costs.


reduction in packaging material costs.


lbs of reduced packaging material waste in the first year.