Interphex Showcases Packaging Innovations - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Interphex Showcases Packaging Innovations
Exhibitors' products prevent counterfeiting, provide child resistance, protect product quality, and improve packaging-line efficiency.


Pharmaceutical Technology



IMA Libra's "MAC" modular aseptic compact vial filler fits in a shipping container and ships as a single unit to expedite validation.
Serialized 96-bit electronic product code (EPC) numbers can be encoded at a rate of as many as 550/min. The encoder's antenna looks for the tag identification, communicates only with that tag, writes to it, and verifies it is readable before the bottle leaves the unit's read range. The tag can be removed when the container reaches the consumer. Several drug makers currently are evaluating the tagged containers, and commercial deployments are expected in 2008 (RFID-embedded packages, O-I Healthcare Packaging, Perrysburg, OH).

At least one other vendor aims to incorporate HF RFID tags into bottle closures (injection-moldable tag, Magellan Technology, Annandale, Australia).

RFID can be combined with cryptography to enable on- or off-network authentication. When the tag is encoded with the EPC, it also receives a digital signature using public key infrastructure (PKI) based on IEEE 1363a. Any reader equipped with PKI can authenticate the product. Thus, authentication could theoretically be done by the consumer, but more likely would occur at a "Smart Shelf" or other reader location. Since product information is encrypted in the digital signature, the system not only addresses counterfeiting, but also protects privacy ("Certicom Security" RFID product authentication, Certicom Corp., Mississauga, Canada; RFID chips, Texas Instruments, Plano, TX).


A die-cut hole in the key for Chesapeake's "KidKey" carton makes it easy to attach to a keyring for repeated opening and closing.
A traditional anticounterfeiting tool, holography, is often applied as a label, but can be incorporated in the forming web of a blister package. The capability, derived from technology used for European Union bank notes, can be customized with logos or other designs and incorporated into various films ("Perlalux-Identity," Perlen Converting AG, Perlen, Switzerland).

Child resistance

New child-resistant (CR) blister designs offer improved peelability and printability while maintaining protective qualities that prevent children from accessing their contents.

A CR peel–push lidstock based on 25-μm foil features a layered structure consisting of acrylic print primer, 50-μm white polyester, release adhesive, foil, and vinyl acrylic heat-seal coating. The lidstock can be printed in as many as seven colors to maximize brand identity and eliminate the frustration of hard-to-peel, paper-based lidstock. The absence of a paper layer also eliminates the machinability issues associated with moisture absorption and lengthens the time the material can be stored while awaiting conversion or use on the packaging line ("Safety-Pak Plus PP," Alcoa Packaging, Richmond, VA). A full-panel-peel version accommodates delicate tablets ("Safety-Pak Plus PL," Alcoa Packaging). The adhesive's broad sealing range ensures a reliable peel. For applications requiring maximum security, the peelable adhesive is eliminated, and the resulting blister pack requires a tool to open ("Safety-Pak Plus LT," Alcoa Packaging).


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