• Sidel adjusts equipment prices due to rising raw material costs

    The global pandemic has affected the packaging solution industry by leading to a significant price increase and shortage of raw materials and components used in packaging equipment. To compensate for the rising costs and continue to provide the highest quality solutions, Sidel is implementing a commodity-induced price adjustment on its equipment by an average of 5% effective September 6, 2021. Deficiency of raw materials and components may impact equipment delivery time as well.

  • Pfizer aims to offer new COVID vaccine packaging options that could increase accessibility and decrease wasted doses


    The change has the potential to increase the availability of vaccines in smaller, more rural areas and decrease the number of wasted doses. 

    So far, the Pfizer vaccine has been available in two packages: one with 450 doses and another with 1,170. But the vaccine's cold storage requirement limits where and for how long they can be kept, making it challenging for smaller facilities to store high quantities of the vaccine without wasting doses.

    The CDC document was not specific about what the new packaging would entail, but told partners to "stay tuned for more details." In a statement to CBS News, Pfizer confirmed it's working on smaller packing options. The CDC did not respond to a request for comment. 

    Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Officers, told CBS News that the change could allow shipments to go directly to doctor's offices. Currently, doses meant for locations without sufficient storage capabilities are often siphoned off from a larger facility where they're held to reduce waste. 

    On Wednesday, a CDC spokesperson said more than 14.5 million doses have been wasted so far, roughly 3.4% of all delivered doses. The spokesperson said vaccines delivered in multidose vials, like the COVID-19 vaccines, typically have a waste rate of 5-15%.

    Plescia said getting vaccines to medical care providers quickly "is one of the strongest evidence-based practices that there is" to overcome vaccine hesitancy. 

    "We've seen over and over again, people will go and talk to their doctor and they'll be determined they're not going to be vaccinated, then talk to their doctor and they change their mind," he said. "This is the place we feel like we can get a lot of people to change their mind who aren't going to change their mind with the public messaging we're doing and other things." 

    The potential for smaller packages comes as federal regulators are considering authorizing and recommending booster doses for large swaths of the population. Currently, an additional dose of either Pfizer or Moderna is already authorized for Americans who are immunocompromised. 

    Adriane Casalotti, government and public affairs chief for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, says the smaller packages could help more rural public health departments that struggled with logistics in the spring.

    "This certainly would provide more flexibility for those situations," she said. Casalotti also noted that this move is significant particularly because it applies to the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently the only vaccine authorized for children.

    In the document, the CDC also said that orders of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine are slated to resume this month. Shipments have been restricted for months after many states reported unused doses following a bumpy rollout of the vaccine. Plescia emphasized that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still remains a safe and viable option, especially for vaccinating people in emergency rooms who may be harder to reach for a second dose. 

  • FLEXcon launches PHARMcal


    FLEXcon has launched PHARMcal, a line of track and trace portfolio featuring engineered films with robust adhesion and optimized liners for pharmaceutical labeling.

    The line reduces complexity with a simplified product offering organized by end-use application, making it easier for customers and specifiers to select appropriate products for their intended use. 

    The portfolio features six product families to meet the needs of specific application requirements, such as small or large diameter containers, cover-up applications, extreme storage conditions, tamper-evidence, and secondary blood bag labeling. 

    All products are available globally and feature some of the company’s most high-performing adhesives, with raw material components locked down to ensure consistent quality and performance.

    ‘This consolidated product portfolio covers all the bases,’ said Lori Bitar, product manager, healthcare at FLEXcon. ‘Moving forward, both label converters and material specifiers can rest assured that the product they choose is appropriate for their application and that quality and performance will be consistent whether they’re producing a vaccine label, clinical trial label, plasma label, or tamper-evident box closure.’

    All PHARMcal products have been tested for durability and performance. Custom testing in the company’s DAP-certified lab is available for testing against specific application requirements and competitive product analysis.

  • Berry Sets Its Sights on eHealth Innovatiosn

    The latest pharmaceutical packaging and devices are supporting the growing trend towards eHealth, according to leading global supplier Berry Healthcare.

    eHealth seeks to promote and facilitate health and wellbeing in people, and enhance carer practice, through the use of information management and information and communication technology (ICT).

  • Airnov’s active packaging range expanded with new flavors of Aroma-Can® drop-in canisters

    • Strawberry and mint flavors join core range alongside orange, lemon and vanilla

    • Aroma-Can® improves the user experience in a variety of food/vitamin and nutraceutical products by masking or enhancing scents

    • New flavors become part of Airnov’s standard offering, with ability to create new flavors to meet customer demands

  • Tageos Launches World’s Smallest RFID Inlay for Latest Medication Packaging Types


    Tageos launched its EOS-202 U9 RAIN RFID inlay. With the smallest form factor available today for healthcare and pharmaceutical applications, the new inlay has successfully passed latest tests specified by the Auburn University RFID Lab Spec S. Furthermore, EOS-202 U9 is certified by DoseID as suitable for a broad range of pharmaceutical and healthcare purposes.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for high-performance, resilient healthcare solutions worldwide. RFID technology contributes strongly to that by providing products for seamlessly tracking and tracing pharmaceutical items on a unit-of-use basis. DoseID, an industry consortium for the use of RFID technology in the healthcare and pharmaceutical space certifies RFID inlays for tracking of pharmaceuticals.

    With the EOS-202 U9, Tageos is not simply expanding the range of DoseID certified and ARC Spec S approved inlays designed for unit-of-use medications and specimens in pharmaceutical applications. The French-headquartered RFID supplier is upgrading that range with a product of unique capabilities.

    The new UHF product features a sophisticated, very-small-footprint antenna design measuring just 20x10 mm (wet inlay finished size 22x12 mm) alongside NXP’s UCODE9 IC. The IC complies with the EPC Class 1 Gen 2 protocol and the ISO 18000-6c standard for global use, and features auto-adjust technology, unique brand identifiers, and pre-serialized 96-bit EPC memory.

    The chip and the antenna design tailored to it make EOS-202 U9 the market’s smallest RAIN RFID inlay (as of August 2021) to exhibit strong performance across all types of items currently tested according to ARC Spec S for healthcare and pharmaceutical applications.

    Its read sensitivity and reliability, even in dense RFID tag populations, make the EOS-202 U9 viable for use across the latest portfolio of tested items outlined by ARC Spec S, including clear and amber liquid glass vials, clear glass powder vials, plastic/COC syringes, plastic syringe caps and plastic blow-fill-seal vials. That performance edge pays off in a wide range of hospital, pharmaceutical and inventory management workflows.

    “The new EOS-202 U9 inlay underpins our strong commitment to always provide our customers with the most advanced products in terms of maximum performance, quality and sustainability. With its unique combination of the smallest size and optimum read characteristics in challenging environments, the new inlay provides the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector with the ultimate ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” said Chris Reese, head of product management at Tageos. 

  • New PET Blister Packaging Film is Recyclable


    Sustainable packaging advancements continue in pharmaceutical markets with the launch of kpNext, a first-to-market innovation in recyclable PET blister films from Klöckner Pentaplast (kp). It’s produced from a globally recyclable material and designed to be recycled in the RIC (resin identification code) #1 PET stream.

    kpNext is claimed as the only PET recyclable blister that’s 100% compatible on pharmaceutical manufacturing form, fill, and seal (FFS) equipment.

    It performs as well as conventional materials and is a drop-in replacement for standard blister films. Pharmaceutical companies and converters can utilize kpNext on their FFS lines without a loss of line speed or a need to retool.

    “Current pharmaceutical blister packaging is classified as RIC #7, produced from a multimaterial structure, which is not recyclable and therefore is disposed in a landfill or incinerated,” says Daniel Stagnaro, head of technology. “Pharmaceutical companies have been challenging blister manufacturers for a solution that is responsible and recyclable. kp has answered those challenges with kpNext.” 

  • Syntegon to showcase robotics and automation solutions at PACK EXPO 2021

    • New robotics pick-and-place platform RPP on show live for the first time

    • Two automated lines for cookie and cracker packaging underline innovation potential

    • Live demonstrations include virtual live launch of new LFS filling machine

    • Smart service concepts and digital solutions

  • Amcor announces breakthrough healthcare lidding technology for combination products

    • Developed in collaboration with leading healthcare company
    • Ideal for combination healthcare products, such as devices with an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient
    • Technology leverages Amcor’s best-in-class innovation and R&D capabilities


    Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing a diverse offering of responsible packaging solutions, today announced the launch of a proprietary healthcare lidding technology that will be utilized for combination products – those consisting of two or more regulated components (device, drug or biologic).

  • Spouted Pouches: Gualapack and TOMRA join forces for a ground-breaking, full-scale recycling trial


    In a context of full-scale sorting and recycling infrastructure, Gualapack’s first-ever monomaterial polypropylene spouted pouch was proven recyclable. The results of extensive testing, carried out on several sites during the course of 2020, demonstrate that sustainability through innovation is possible.

    Industry leaders TOMRA and Gualapack, both members of CEFLEX (the European platform for the Circular Economy of Flexible Packaging), joined forces to test how one of Gualapack’s innovative products, which combines monomaterial laminates and semi-rigid multi-layer components, could be automatically and effectively managed for recycling in the rigid PP (polypropylene) stream.

    Gualapack is the world leader in pre-made spouted pouches and a global player in the flexible packaging industry, manufacturing laminates, caps and pouches for baby food, snacks, pharmaceutical products and a wide range of other applications. The company is fully committed to sustainability, which in the past few years has been its greatest driver for growth and innovation.

    Michelle Marrone, Gualapack Sustainability Manager recalls, “It was 2018 when I first met Jürgen and TOMRA. At Gualapack, we were busy tackling the challenge of designing a monomaterial spouted pouch that had to resist hot-filling, pasteurization, and maintain its barrier properties 12 months on the shelf. But at the same time, I knew that to be monomaterial by design was not enough! It was equally important to prove our circularity by demonstrating that our pouch could be correctly identified as PP, sorted, processed and extruded on an industrial line.”

    As a passionate and trusted innovation leader with 50 years of experience in circular waste management, TOMRA provides technology-led solutions and contributes proven expertise, established processes and market knowledge, which enable Circular Economy solutions through advanced collection and sorting systems.

    “After development of the new pouches, and to determine whether these could be sorted with optical sorters, we added a significant amount of them to a combined separate source and mixed waste stream sorting plant for automated sorting,” explained Jürgen Priesters, SVP Business Development TOMRA Circular Economy. “The result was very good detection and accurate separation rate of all pouches. A subsequent washing and recycling trial showed that the Gualapack mono-material pouches could be easily recycled into standard products.”

    As a first step, different percentages of Gualapack pouches were added to rigid PP waste, which was then processed through TOMRA’s AUTOSORT®, a sensor-based sorting machine that confirmed pouches are well identified as a PP material, with over 80% redirected to the rigid PP stream. Then, a waste PP bale with 5% additional pouches and a bale without any pouches were compared, in a back-to-back trial that took them through all the steps of a standard recycling process. First shredded into flakes and hot washed with water and sodium hydroxide at 85 °C (185 °F), then post-sorted through a second AUTOSORT FLAKE machine to further improve the quality of the material, the two bales were then extruded on an industrial scale extruder and pelletized back to PP.

    Results were surprisingly good, with ink and adhesives from the pouches not impacting on extrusion, and affording high thermal stability without any odor or volatile issues. Furthermore, the pelletized materials were characterised by third party laboratories and declared comparable to PP copolymer grades suitable for injection moulding.

    This key takeaway demonstrates that the Gualapack monomaterial pouches are well tolerated within a German DKR rigid PP stream and that TOMRA sorting systems, in real-life scenarios, are suitable infrastructure to correctly identify and sort monomaterial laminates, even in the presence of semi-rigid multi-layer structures. Furthermore this is a successful example of design for recyclable packaging according to the CEFLEX D4ACE (design for a circular economy) guidelines.

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