Extensive machinery investments made as company experiences significant growth period due to COVID-19 related demand for specialized packaging.
West specialises in packaging for injectible drugs. That includes stoppers for vials of Covid-19 vaccines. The company says it is involved with more than 90 per cent of the companies that have Covid-19 vaccines or vaccine candidates in phase-three trials.
That has seen the US group scale up operations and working schedules at the Waterford plant that it opened in 2018 in response to a surge in customer demand as a result of the pandemic. The plant normally specialises in packaging for insulin for use in pen injectors but it also works on the company’s range of stoppers that are used in Covid vaccine vials, among other things.
The Waterford factory, which has now doubled staff numbers to about 260, will supply millions of rubber vial stoppers to more than a dozen global customers that can be used to package more than a billion vaccine doses in multi-dose vials.
“We are committed to doing our part to provide for the large-scale manufacture of high-quality components required to serve customer needs for the delivery of a safe, effective Covid-19 vaccine,” said Don O’Callaghan, West’s vice-president of European Operations.
“This has resulted in growing our global workforce, expanding facility and equipment resources and shifting to 24-7 operating schedules at several sites to address the demand for components associated with Covid-19.”
Mr O’Callaghan said West’s NovaPure premium stoppers, as well as polymer-coated stoppers, meet the industry standards for packaging sensitive molecules.
Apart from its work with Covid vaccine developers, West has also been involved in supplying packaging components for medicines used to treat Covid-19, as well as critical components that are included in some of the testing kits used to detect the virus.
The additional jobs mean West now employs 900 people in Ireland. It has a contract manufacturing business in Dublin.
West invested upwards of $125 million in the Waterford facility, which is on a 44-acre site that allows for future expansion.
Building on its recent track record of breakthrough innovations to deliver recyclable packaging, Amcor is today announcing customer trials of the world’s first recyclable* Polyethylene-based thermoform blister packaging. The new packaging is designed to meet the stringent requirements of highly specialized and regulated pharmaceutical packaging and creates a more sustainable alternative for the most in-demand healthcare packaging type. This innovation also benefits from up to 70% reduction in its carbon footprint, when compared to packaging alternatives on the market today.
AmSky™ eliminates PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride) from the packaging by using a Polyethylene (PE) thermoform blister and lidding film. PVC can make packaging recycling more difficult or contaminate other materials if consumers attempt to recycle it. By removing PVC – whilst retaining all the benefits of pre-existing blister packaging – Amcor has created a new, recyclable solution that benefits the entire recycling process.
Amcor is currently working with several leading pharmaceutical companies to bring AmSky™ to market globally. The company expects AmSky™ to be available in the healthcare market by the second half of 2022.
Peter Konieczny, Amcor’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Amcor is deploying our unique innovation capabilities to solve the biggest and most significant issues in packaging today. With AmSky™ Amcor has signalled our commitment to breakthrough innovation in the healthcare space – this is why we remain the packaging partner of choice for our healthcare customers, generating close to $2bn in annual sales in this market. This new blister packaging solution will significantly enhance the ability of healthcare and pharmaceutical brands to put sustainability at the heart of their businesses.”
William Jackson, Amcor’s Chief Technology Officer for Flexibles, commented: “This exciting solution is a result of Amcor’s continued focus on advanced technology and growth, using the entire power of our global R&D network to bring recyclable solutions to our customers.”
Serialization is the provision of a unique serial number to each saleable unit of a product. This number provides information about the product’s origin, manufacturing, and expiration date and works as an identifier for tracking. Serialization codes are generated either randomly or sequentially.
Serialization is important (and obligatory in most countries), especially in the pharmaceutical industry, as it protects against counterfeit drugs.
AV Print Inspector offers whole-label inspection, including image matching, code reading and color detection, at speeds up to 75 meters/minute.
Travagliato, Italy – Antares Vision, a leading global provider of intelligent track & trace, inspection and smart data management solutions for the life science, food & beverage, nutraceuticals and cosmetics sectors, has introduced a dedicated high-resolution vision system providing comprehensive inline layout inspection for webs and labels.
Aptar CSP’s Technologies Activ-Film Technology Protects New At-Home Prescription & OTC COVID-19 Tests
Auburn, AL, April 28, 2021 – Aptar CSP Technologies, a leader in material science and active packaging solutions (part of AptarGroup, Inc.), announced its Activ-Film™ technology protects two new at-home COVID-19 tests that recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The tests were developed by a leading manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare solutions and offer prescription and OTC (Over the Counter) COVID-19 at-home testing options without the need to visit a doctor’s office
Next-generation solution opens door for recycle ready forming/non-forming packaging system
OSHKOSH, Wis. – AmPrima™ forming film from Amcor – the leading global developer and producer of responsible packaging – has received prequalification to carry the store drop-off label from the How2Recycle® program. The innovative technology paves the way for a true recycle ready forming/non-forming flexible solution for consumer packaging applications.
While many of us have been surprised at the speed with which the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed, we may not consider the additional complexity associated with safely transporting it. In the case of one of the available vaccines, Packaging Corporation of America collaborated with several companies to create the best possible solution.
Q How has the pandemic impacted the pharma packaging segment?
The pandemic situation was an exception to the conventional. It is easier to encounter an opponent or a situation when it is known and visible. Initially, during the outbreak, it was all about uncertainty. Within few months, the entire world was under its cover. Packaging being an integral part of the product and considering need of a global level coverage within a short time, it was a big challenge. The end-to-end supply chain from raw materials, packaging materials to the finished product was not equipped for this kind of emergency. There were many hurdles like the restricted movement of people, skeletal transportation system, scarcity of essential support systems, etc. Nevertheless, Packaging has a noble role to support product protection and distribution, irrespective of external situations. The only difference was quick optimization of the available resources and consolidate them to support the demand. R & D, Manufacturing, Packaging, Quality, Supply Chain, and all other major support functions got aligned to respond to the pandemic.
Q Can you tell us how the pandemic has promoted innovative packaging solutions and their future impact?
Innovation in Packaging has three distinct categories – Material innovation, Design Innovation, and Application innovation. Material innovation, particularly the primary packaging materials, is a long-term process, involving compatibility & stability study, extractable & leachable study, migration & permeation study, including clinical and bio equivalence studies of the product and transport worthiness of the finished product packaging. Considering the emergency, design, and application innovation got priority for development and adoption. However, the process of material innovation got momentum and many studies are continuing with different formulations at different parts of the world.
Q In pharma packaging can all single-use plastics be replaced with eco-friendly materials like agro-waste materials. Do you think this model is realistic?
In today’s world plastics, in various forms, are part of the product packaging system. It is not easy to replace them overnight without adequate backup study and appropriate backup data. However, its judicious use and controlled disposal can definitely improve the situation we are worried about. Replacing plastic with wood-based material will create another crisis, which we are already experiencing now.
Q In your assessment, how the segment is set to improve supply chain workflow?
When the right quantity of a product is delivered with the right quality at the right place at right time through a seamless end-to-end internal and external coordination and communication, then we can consider the supply chain is working efficiently. This is possible when automation & digitalization is adopted at each level of operations along with other hybrid technologies using track & trace, blockchain, wireless communication, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, etc. Connecting end-to-end material suppliers and solution providers is very crucial at this juncture to consolidate all the efforts to make the supply chain strong.
Q When it comes to sustainability in packaging what are the challenges faced? Elaborate.
Sustainability is mostly challenged by the timely availability of the input materials, manpower, and disruption due to the transport system at both ends. Else we have all resources and capabilities to meet the challenges, which we have already proved during the relaxed period before this pandemic 2nd wave started. The other part, availability of alternate formulation/material/design/ application is also in progress and they will be coming soon to support and sustain the business flow once study and data are available along with necessary regulatory approval. We are highly optimistic to prove our prowess.
Q How will a patient centric innovation help packaging? Can you tell us about the role of technology particularly AI, IoT, and Blockchain in patient centricity?
Most of the innovation happens only with the help of contemporary technologies. Hence natural expectation is the use of currently available technologies which can easily make a hybrid solution for a common cause. Automation, digitalization. Use of AI, IoT, Track & Trace, Block Chain, Interactive Packaging, Augmented reality, Wireless communication, Web portal services are many such tools that can enhance the intended end use of the product through its packaging.
- New AmSky™ blister system, the latest in Amcor’s recent innovation breakthroughs, has the potential to transform the sustainability of healthcare packaging
- Innovation eliminates PVC from blister packaging – enabling Amcor healthcare customers to improve the recyclability of their packaging
- Innovation will deliver the first child-resistant and senior-friendly (CRSF) recyclable solution for the most in-demand pharmaceutical packaging typ
Building on its recent track record of breakthrough innovations to deliver recyclable packaging, Amcor is today announcing c