Scoping out INTERPHEX - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Scoping out INTERPHEX
Visitors will see many packaging innovations at the annual industry exhibition.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 36, Issue 4, pp. 42-48

Label innovation

A film/foam label identifies product while protecting vials during processing, transit, and storage. Preventing breakage not only reduces waste and associated expenses, but also prevents the release of toxic substances and injury to transportation, warehouse, and healthcare personnel. The label also enhances container/closure integrity, thereby preventing product contamination. A thin, flexible structure ensures easy application. Labels can be handled on existing equipment and eliminate the need for complex secondary packaging (Pharma-Cushion label, Schreiner MediPharm).

Integrated lines


Dispense Lid from Constantia Flexibles has inner seal with cut-out. (PHOTO IS COURTESY OF CONSTANTIA FLEXIBLES.)
A group of companies has joined forces to offer pharmaceutical packagers one-stop shopping for new packaging lines. The collaboration was officially launched in May 2011 at Interpack in Dusseldorf, Germany. The group anticipates collaborative projects will account for about one-fourth of its members' business. In preparation, it has established joint project teams and a unified service network with 600 employees worldwide. Packagers benefit from improved interface management, comprehensive documentation, and on-site support (Excellence United consists of Bausch-Ströbel, Fette Compacting, Glatt, Harro Höfliger, Uhlmann, and Visiotec).

One partner plans the North American unveiling of its latest tablet press. Already in use in Europe and India, its design simplifies three primary tablet press functions: changeover, operation, and maintenance. The design has an optional and user-configurable third set of compression stations that allow it to quickly convert to double-layer use. The unit easily handles difficult products requiring extended dwell time. Features include a new filling cone, completely redesigned compression stations, an optimized first-layer sampling function, and a through-the-column, all-in-one, corner discharge assembly (FE55 Tablet Press with Tri.Easy design, Fette Co. America).

Blister packaging

A two-ply, opaque, polyethylene terephthalate (PET)/foil laminate lidding offers three levels of child-resistant (CR) protection. The hardest-to-access design achieves the highest rating (i.e., F=1) and is designed to be opened with a tool such as scissors (Lock-tight lidding, Winpak). Another version features a peelable opening for fragile pharmaceuticals or unique drug delivery medication systems (Safety-Pak Plus PL lidding, Winpak). The third option relies on traditional peel-push CR opening but provides a full-panel peel (Safety-Pak Plus PP lidding, Winpak).

A customized cutout in induction-sealed foil lidstock controls dispensing of tablets, capsules, or liquids from plastic bottles. The lidstock reduces the chance of product contamination during dispensing and serves as an anticounterfeiting tool because the dispensing design is difficult to copy. As it makes its North American debut, it seeks its first user (Dispense Lid, Constantia Flexibles, formerly Constantia Hueck Foils).

A space-saving, unit-dose blister pack reduces material and space requirements by 20–30% in refrigerators, warehouses, and transportation vehicles while providing greater product protection and less head space. A circular area in the middle of each cavity improves product access. The user simply pushes down on two flanges, which crumples the center of the pack and presents the dose (Crumple Zone Blister, Intini Marketing).

One diecutting change converts non-CR blisters to CR and senior-friendly blisters. A small, semicircular cut in the blister flange allows multiple blisters to be strung together, and the "needle" is locked in place in a box with an F=1 CR rating. Applications include any product in a non-CR blister that needs CR protection and pharmacy use for pre-packed blisters (Medi-Lock box with Rod Lock, Intini).

Hallie Forcinio is Pharmaceutical Technology's Packaging Forum editor, 4708 Morningside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109, tel. 216.351.5824, fax 216.351.5684,
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