• Stevanato Group: Robotic Human-like Inspection Unit with AI-based Machine Learning

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    Italy-based Stevanato Group, a producer of glass primary packaging and provider of integrated capabilities for drug delivery systems, is launching a modular, robotic inspection system that incorporates artificial intelligence with accrued machine learning capabilities at its Interphex Virtual Exhibition (July 15-17). The company’s Vision Robot Unit (VRU) is a reliable, autonomous module capable of automatically inspecting both cosmetic and particle properties without human intervention. The VRU’s island design, for which there is a patent pending, comprises a highly versatile “plug & play” concept with a freely configurable infeed and outfeed. It is also scalable, as multiple vision inspection units can be added to increase throughput. Its no glass-to-glass inspection process significantly mitigates the likelihood of product damage or breakage. Thanks to its AI technology, VRU is able to improve its inspection performance. The unit can quickly react to changing product characteristics – including active ingredient variations, differing fill levels and different containers–even throughout a single batch. It is also adaptive, exhibiting continuous learning from both production and operator stimuli. The result is an improvement in the reduction in both false rejects and, even more importantly, false positives. The VRU is suited to a broad array of applications in the pharma development and manufacturing landscape, including biotech products such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), vaccines and lyophilized drugs. Suitable for inspecting high-value products, the machine can be employed both in laboratory settings and for small batch production. The Vision Robot Unit is designed to meet emerging “smart factory” needs for a fully automated, flexible inspection system that enhances control process reliability. The unit includes automatic format changes, and the ability to gradually reduce set up times via image and data collection. The VRU is available with or without additional collaborative robots. Basic models offer particle inspection, while an optional add-on provides cosmetic inspection. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence promise to optimize pharma visual inspection processes, providing advanced analytical tools to identify and classify defective products with greater accuracy and robustness.

  • Aptar Beauty + Home Insights: How BBI Utilized Aptar’s Apollo Technology to Launch a New User Experience for Liquid Wrench

    This need for innovation in the aerosol market inspired Aptar Beauty + Home to create Apollo, the first pressurized accessory with a dual-spray option. Consumers now have the flexibility of choice in how they use the product with a simple twist and click. Blumenthal Brands Integrated (BBI) partnered with Aptar Beauty + Home to create a value-added delivery system for the automotive and industrial markets with the launch of Liquid Wrench Pro Penetrant and Lubricant featuring Apollo. The product features a narrow stream for tighter spaces and a wider spray for broader coverage.

  • How patient preferences are changing the design of drug delivery devices

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    The following insights detail which preferences are driving the evolution of drug delivery device design. Adding ease to applications From using implants for contraception, to getting insulin injections at the dinner table, to using a wearable device to administer chemotherapy in the comfort of home, applications for drug delivery are largely being driven by patient preferences. Not only do these growing number of applications improve the patient experience, they also empower patients to play a more active role in managing their medications.2 Key takeaway: Drug delivery devices are increasingly designed to make compliance easier for patients, including new applications to help patients manage their medications on their own terms. Offering more flexibility in autoinjectors Produced by the millions, pens and autoinjectorscontinue to evolve due to a variety of factors, including the emergence of new biologics that require strict specifications for packaging and delivery. At the same time, patients are seeking more options to self-administer medications on a less-frequent basis, which is driving a wider variety of treatment options and releasing formulators from having to conform to <1mL dosage requirements.2 Key takeaway: Even in the well-defined pen and autoinjector market, we are seeing greater demand for ready-to-use drug delivery solutions that work with the latest biologic medications. Controlling where and when drugs are administered Even though prefilled syringe systems are still a primary packaging option, there is increasing demand for cartridge-based systems as dosage volumes increase and more patients administer their own medications. Using a prefilled, cartridge-based system empowers patients to take greater control by managing more of their care at a time and place that works for them, such as at home instead of a hospital.2 Key takeaway: Patients are looking for flexibility when it comes to larger-sized doses, making packaging of prefilled cartridges an increasingly popular option for drugs that require doses up to 10mL. Using technology to improve compliance Intelligent, wearable delivery systems offer another advantage for patients looking for more freedom and flexibility in their drug regimen. These devices use a smartphone connection to track and report injections to healthcare providers, sending helpful reminders to patients and alerts to their doctors when doses are missed. Wearable devices also offer other advantages over traditional autoinjectors, including greater flexibility to modify dosing and delivery times, as well as the ability to monitor patient adherence.1 Key takeaway: Packaging for drug delivery devices is becoming more user-centric, using technology to help patients minimize risk, improve compliance and support better health outcomes. Taking a holistic approach to drug delivery design As patients become more involved in managing their treatment plans and administering their medications, manufacturers are responding by applying human-centered design principles to injectables. Patients are demanding devices that are reliable and easy to use, with instructions that are easy to understand and applications that are as pain-free as possible.1 This more holistic approach helps to ensure the medication, device and patient experience work in harmony to support the drug delivery goals of patients and providers. Whether your project requires a single machine or a complex, large-scale integration, you need a partner with deep industry experience to help you increase patient safety while meeting FDA regulations. Let MGS solve your toughest challenges. We'll deliver a comprehensive solution that optimizes your production while minimizing your risk. Contact us at info@mgsmachine.com or request more information below.

  • Mondi safely packages QIAGEN’s SARS-CoV-2 test cartridge

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    QIAGEN is a leading global provider of molecular Sample to Insight solutions. The company recently launched a syndromic test cartridge kit for the QIAstat-Dx Analyser System that can identify the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus within an hour. Designed for use in hospitals, clinics and laboratories, the company’s new QIAstat-Dx syndromic testing platform comes in the form of a compact, modular, table-top device into which multi-chamber cartridges containing test samples are inserted for analysis. During times like these, flexibility in production is key to help support essential packaging needs in the medical industry. “Given that timely testing is a critical component of mitigating the spread of the pandemic, we stand ready to assist the medical community in any way we can. At Mondi Korneuburg, we adjusted our production planning in order to meet the increase in demand to support QIAGEN,” explains Eveline Wagner, Managing Director of Mondi Korneuburg. Mondi has an ongoing relationship with QIAGEN and is providing packaging for the test cartridges using a customised design. The white, unprinted, multilayer pouches consist of a polyester/aluminium/polyethylene (PET/Alu/PE) construction to provide the necessary protection from light and moisture so that the test kits are not compromised before they are used. We worked closely with QIAGEN to understand how best to ensure test kits are packaged safely. We are now ready to scale up production of this product and meet the new demands. Emilio Vidri, Sales Director Europe, Mondi Consumer Flexibles

  • Momentum for GSI global barcode standard grows with new Digital Link upgrade

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    Dr Dominique Guinard CTO of EVRYTHNG, co-chairs the GS1 Digital Link working group that manages the standard. It reports significant momentum globally with brands adopting the barcode as a scalable, future-proof solution to deliver direct-to-consumer experiences, transparency, and proof of brand integrity. “GS1 Digital Link has gained significant momentum over the past 18 months, since its first release, and EVRYTHNG is pleased to be working with global brands using it to connect their product items with active digital identities in the Cloud,” said Niall Murphy, CEO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG. Research shows that 74% of consumers would switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is on the physical label. While the US Census Bureau reports the majority of retail sales growth in the USA last year happened in eCommerce. The company is working with global brands using the GS1 Digital Link standard to have one code on their product packaging for both consumer engagement and supply chain applications, each item connected with an EVRYTHNG Active Digital Identity™ (ADI) in the Cloud. Mowi ASA, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, has rolled out the new standard at mass scale. A GS1 Digital Link-enabled QR code on each pack connects to a unique EVRYTHNG ADI managed by its Product Cloud. Consumers simply point their smartphones at the QR code to access item-specific provenance information. “Beyond supply chain traceability, the real-time engagement data and insights help us learn about consumer behaviors so we can meet future needs,” said Ola Brattvoll, COO, Mowi. “We are now able to forge direct customer relationships to build trust and ultimately grow sales.” Thanks to compression, the expanded standard supports smaller codes opening the door for a wider range of product types able to benefit from product digitization at scale. With the introduction of link types, direct-to-consumer (DTC) apps can now request specific content when a product is scanned , such as nutritional facts, provenance data, etc. Consumers’ scanning products results in 10 times more engagements than paid digital ads, according to the company. In the US alone an estimated 11 million households will scan a QR Code in 2020, according to a recent Statista survey, up from 9.76 million in 2018. Some 2 billion iOS and Android smartphones around the world are able to natively scan QR codes without the need for special apps. “The rapid rise of consumers scanning makes this newest release of GS1 Digital Link a game-changer for the consumer products industry — in particular, apparel, beauty, and luxury brands but also brands desiring to deliver very specific targeted content to their customers such as nutraceuticals,” stated Guinard.
  • International regulators provide guiding principles for COVID-19 clinical trials

    EMA has endorsed a joint statement on prioritisation of COVID-19 clinical trials published by the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). Medicines regulators from around the world have jointly developed this statement to step up global collaboration to facilitate and expedite the development and evaluation of therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines against COVID-19.
  • High demand for protective garments for the medical sector: Reifenhäuser converts another pilot line for production

    The Covid-19 crisis puts global production capacity for hygiene products to a severe test. In March Reifenhäuser has temporarily produced metlblown to produce roughly one million face masks a day at its Technology Center. The company has now converted another pilot line for production. The first batch produces 110 metric tons of protective film for a global leading manufacturer for medical coveralls for use in hospitals. The increased demand is currently very high for coveralls worn to treat highly infectious coronavirus patients. This volume is sufficient for about 1.2 million coveralls.
  • Fast and Furious: Pharmaceutical Company Makes and Packs Hand Sanitizer in Record Time

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    When a coronavirus pandemic is underway globally and there’s a widespread and shortage of life-saving hand sanitizer, companies of all types and in all sectors have jumped swiftly into action to do what they can to provide help at a critical time. However, the from-scratch fast and furious effort achieved by HR Pharmaceuticals, York, PA, may be one for the record books. With the invaluable help of C-P Flexible Packaging (CPF), the pharma company accelerated from a standing start in late March to filling unit-dose packets of self-made hand sanitizer 10 days later. That record-busting turnaround is made even more amazing when you consider that the pharmaceuticals company had not made sanitizer before. Setting the humanitarian effort in motion was Colby Wiesman, president of HR Pharmaceuticals, who responded to the nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer. Although the company had not had any experience making or packaging hand sanitizer, Wiesman knew that its ultrasound gels have a consistency similar to hand sanitizer gels. He had a simple, but strong motivation: Wanting to help. Wiesman quickly set out to mass produce hand sanitizer gel and provide it to various groups within the local community that were in desperate need of the product. A few things had to happen quickly, and they did. First, HR Pharmaceuticals’ product development and sourcing teams swiftly came together to bring the idea to fruition. Although the alcohol needed to produce hand sanitizer was in short supply, the company managed to overcome this obstacle and rapidly pull together all of the raw materials needed to mass produce hand sanitizer gel thanks to Suite-K based in New York City. Notably, while HR Pharma had experience with flexibles before, it had not worked with C-P Flexible Packaging, the converter’s Director of Marketing Amanda Dahlby tells Packaging Digest. That was surprising because both companies have operations in York, PA, which is a highly fortuitous and perhaps necessary proximity given the timeframe. A flexible solution is logical. HR Pharmaceuticals needed a format they could package safely and get the hand sanitizer literally into as many hands as possible and in expedited fashion. Knowing that hand sanitizer is generally produced in large bottles or packages, Wiesman figured the sanitizer would be widely distributed to more people if packaged in single-use flexible packets rather than multi-use bottles. “As you may know, there is a big shortage of alcohol, so if we're filling into a 32-ounce bottle, it gets into your house, but it doesn't get into everybody else's," he says. "This is a great opportunity of producing single-use packets where they can be widely distributed." He also felt that single-use packets would also eliminate any potential for cross-contamination. It’s a format that hits the sweet spot for the company, which packages lubricants in tubes and packets for personal and medical/surgical use. That’s when HR Pharma reached out to C-P Flexible Packaging’s Clark, VP of sales. Clark immediately gained the full support of the converter. The customer created and delivered graphics for the new hand sanitizer packets in one day, and C-P Flexible Packaging expediently delivered first order of printed rollstock. Packaging Digest is told that the supplier had the raw materials on-hand, a 2.25-mil lamination with moisture and oxygen barrier properties that is also designed to seal through contamination. It was 10 days from Wiesman’s first contact with C-P Flexible Packaging that his company started packaging the gel. Each packet holds 3 grams of hand sanitizer, and HR Pharmaceuticals is filling from 4 to 6 million packets weekly for six weeks on vertical form-fill-seal machinery at the York facility. In addition to making this product available for sale through the national medical distribution network, the product is being donated to local front-line workers like police departments, fire stations, EMTs, prisons, courthouses, and more. Says Wiesman, “We are constantly pursuing opportunities that do good for the community, doctors and patients we serve while doing good for our business and associates. We were thankful that C-P Flexible Packaging bent over backwards to help us get the product into the literal hands of those who need it, with lead times that are unheard of in this industry. Seeing our internal associates and external partners come together for this noble project has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career.” This story may not end. Even as the planned six-week production run winds down, HR Pharmaceuticals is considering adding hand sanitizer to its standard portfolio, according to C-P Flexible Packaging’s Dahlby. To read more, visit Packaging Digest's archived listing of COVID-19 articles.

  • Plastic packaging replacement for Mettler Toledo InLab® sensors

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    Our approach: Easy setup corrugated cardboard box DSS Plant Oftringen (Switzerland) created a single-material solution which is easy to set up without any additional inlays. Results: • Monomaterial solution – corrugated cardboard • Easy to recycle – better environmental protection across the supply chain • Easy to set up which leads to higher efficiency • Packaging fit for several sizes of the product • Lower cost and lower complexity • The solution won the World Star and Swiss Star Packaging Awards in 2016.

  • Dispenser is a Sweet Solution

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    The original polystyrene (PS) construction of the lid and container has been replaced with a dispenser made entirely out of PP, which greatly increases the pack’s ability to be recycled. Equally important, the new dispenser offers the same durability and ease of use to ensure effective product protection and consumer convenience. The dispenser also retains the distinctive attractive design of the original to create maximum on-shelf appeal. The high gloss finish can be fully customised for effective brand differentiation, including individual colour matching, printing and sleeving. The side-actuator ensures ease of use for the consumer. The Bramlage Sweetener Dispenser 2.0 is available in two sizes, with a capacity for 650 or 1200 tablets up to 5mm in diameter and 2mm in depth.

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