Developed in partnership with Memjet and ColorGATE, AlphaFlex enables on-demand production of unique single-dose sachets that can be opened with a single gesture using one hand with sophisticated, high quality in-line printing
Their most recent addition is Mr. Pasha Solel as Senior Business Development Manager for their Flexible Packaging market. Before joining Michelman, Solel spent nearly a decade with HP Indigo as a Material Applications Expert, working with major converters and focused on labels and flexible packaging applications. Prior to HP, he spent many years in the sustainable solar power industry, having experience with various plastics, adhesives, coatings, treatments, and curing technologies.
Explains Ralph Giammarco, Global Business Development Director for Printing & Packaging, "In addition to his strong technical background and customer-intimate approach, Pasha brings an in-depth understanding of how digital imaging and state-of-the art finishing workflows will help our customers adapt to the high market and brand demands for sustainability, functional performance, and quick turnaround."
Additionally, Mr. Gianluigi Rankin, the company's Global Marketing Manager for Digital Printing, has just been named to the Digital Print for Packaging US Advisory Board. Along with peers from Siegwerk, EFI, HP, Smithers, Ball Corporation, and Global Inkjet Systems Ltd., he will help shape future Digital Print for Packaging events and programs hosted by Smithers, a multinational provider of testing, consulting, information, and compliance services.
Explains Rankin, "I'm excited to collaborate with this panel of expert advisory board members who thoroughly understand the current trends of the digital printing industry. I look forward to helping shape relevant and industry-leading events."
Coming off a year in which e-commerce surged exponentially, the fight against counterfeit goods has never been fiercer. Whether that means fake goods or product diversion, the ability to authenticate and track-and-trace has never been more relevant.
Recognizing this trend, HP has launched its HP Indigo Secure portfolio, which touts digital security printing in one pass. The portfolio, which includes the new HP Indigo 6K Secure digital press, includes a host of software and hardware solutions designed to safeguard the supply chain.
According to HP, counterfeit goods account for 3.3% of all global trade. For pharmaceuticals specifically, a recent study illustrated that counterfeits account for 4.03 billion euro. The surge in e-commerce has translated to greater awareness, too, especially as more consumers are using Amazon to purchase products.
In 2018, Alibaba Anticounterfeiting Alliance shut down 524 manufacturing and distribution locations, seizing over $536 million in fake goods. In the future, the estimated impact of counterfeit goods is $4.2 trillion globally.
“We see the potential, but the brands are seeing the need,” notes Amir Raziel, head of strategic marketing, HP Indigo. “If you have advanced technology, you can sidestep this problem, and that’s the beauty of our concept that we’re implementing. You’re already starting to see companies like ePac and Nosco using these technologies to protect their brands from counterfeiters.
“Brand protection is really diverse,” he adds. “Some brands do not feel the need while others have to have it – especially with regulations. Others see problems with divergence. The brands gradually understand the potential of the ability to do such a thing.”
HP has implemented solutions that can help with brand protection and security printing. The global market for security printing and brand protection is expected to reach $36 billion by 2024.
HP has amassed a wide range of partners to help fight this crime epidemic. These teammates include Agfa and Jura and range to EVRYTHING, VerifyMe and Scantrust. “For brand protection, we have a wide selection of features thanks to our partnerships,” explains Gidi Amir, innovations initiatives strategist, HP Indigo. “These companies that we’re working with are providing special security graphical designs that are harder to copy. Our partners provide serialization services and many other anti-counterfeiting needs.”
For example, a brand may require an invisible taggant ink that features chemical markers, which are utilized in HP’s ElectroInk. Brands that take advantage of these capabilities might have a product that has an inherent liability such as pharmaceuticals. Brands can prove that someone was harmed from a counterfeit product and not their product.
HP has realized a 300% increase in its invisible ink usage, but that’s just one part of the overall brand protection platform. Brands are increasingly utilizing any number of overt, covert and forensic features to protect their businesses. Holograms, tactile features and color shifting inks are also frequently utilized.
“Any HP Indigo customer can take a crack at this with the technology that we have and the presses that they already have in place,” says Raziel. “And it can range from very simple to very complex. This is part of the inherent advantages of variable data, to solving divergence problems, multiple SKUs, and so many more.”
The interest level in these capabilities is ramping up, too. “We’re seeing strong interest in what we can do, and we’re taking a very humble approach because this market is so closed,” comments Raziel. “It’s a long-term play for us. We’re learning from customers and our partners every day. This isn’t a one-year effort. This is a long-term vision and another step in the analog to digital revolution.”
“We’re exposing ourselves in the high security world and gaining trust,” adds Amir. “Participating in exclusive events to let them know we are there, and we see tremendous acceptance. We’re no longer bridging out, now companies are coming to us to learn more and understand the advantage of our technology. Indigo is not just another digital platform, we’re much more than that.”
Company’s G7 Process Control Master Certification exemplifies its commitment to quality and consistency in commercial print and packaging.
The variability in batch sizes and the corresponding impact on packaging line efficiencies is an accepted norm throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Lengthy changeover procedures coupled with small batch sizes have a negative impact on KPI’s designed to track and improve inventory, throughput times, OEE and costs.
Demand volatility is driven by numerous factors, and many businesses struggle with forecast accuracy which often results in the need to overstock and overproduce. Holding vast amounts of pre-printed blister lidding material in inventory is neither efficient nor cost-effective and leads to high levels of waste and a negative impact on profitability and the environment.
Many pharmaceutical companies are looking to digital technology
For batch sizes of 5000 blisters or less, solutions such as Hapa’s BlisterJet, the IMA POD or Mediseal’s LSC allow for blister packs to be produced as brite stock on the blister lines. This removes packaging complexity from the line and allows it to operate with significantly improved levels of operational effectiveness. With blister production decoupled from packaging, the process of customizing and supplying product quickly and efficiently is assured. The digital printing system prints the exact number of sealed blank blisters in line with the market demand and the benefits are felt right through the supply chain.
Speaking to Pharmaceutical Technology, Hapa sales and marketing director gives the example of a drug supplied to 40 different countries in three different strengths. This leads to the need for 120 different variants and thus 120 different locations in inventory. The result is logistical complexity, poor asset utilisation, delivery delays, waste and much more.
Using digital technology as part of a ‘postponement strategy’ means that SKU proliferation is far easier to manage – neutral blisters are the leanest form of pack. With the complexity removed from the blister line, the utilization of the assets improves significantly.
Companies can be more eco-friendly with late-stage customization
As well as reducing the number of production lines needed and simplifying the SKU process, late-stage customization drastically reduces the time it takes to get a product to market. The leaner production process leads to increased flexibility and the ability to produce multiple product variants without overcomplicating the production process, cutting down the time and energy it takes to deliver product to the pharmacy/patient.
Also, the positive ecological impact is significant. The process of producing aluminium lidding material is extremely energy intensive with a correspondingly high CO2 emission level. Waste therefore has a both a financial cost and an environmental cost. Late-stage customization eliminates the waste associate with pre-printed foil. Furthermore, the waste created by overproduction and expired product in the supply chain can also be eliminated.
Runners, repeaters and strangers
Still, that’s not to say it’s all bad news for traditional batch production and pre-printed foil. The key to understanding the best approach is directly connected to average batch sizes and coding requirements.
Use of pre-printed material is more cost effective when packaging high volumes of product ”runners”
Hapa’s range of inline printers can be used to print foils for medium volumes ”repeaters”
Postponement provides the perfect solutions to batches under 5000 ”strangers”
Hapa sales and marketing director says: “Hapa are in a unique position to offer different technologies that cover the complete spectrum of production requirements. Systems such as the Hapa Web 4.0 and BlisterJet can all be used for this purpose.
“With small batch volumes, pre-printed materials are creating a lot of set up waste, high inventory levels, handling and costs. For nano batches, late-stage customization is the best approach.”
Hapa is the leading supplier of inline printing systems for pharmaceutical packaging, with partners utilizing their technology across the globe. Since the founding of the organisation in 1933, more than 10,000 of its systems were installed worldwide.
News:Mr. Pete Petrie joins Michelman as the Sales Director for Printing & Packaging, Americas region. He began his career at Avery Dennison and most recently spent 23 years with WS Packaging Group. He led multiple teams which were responsible for the Labels for Package Decoration market segment, strategy development, and relationship management with major brands. This focus on team building, along with his broad industry knowledge, contacts, and commercial skills, will provide a key enabler to continued growth in printing and packaging markets. Mr. Dave Jeffers joins Michelman as Territory Sales Manager for Digital Printing. He has spent over 17 years with Yupo Corporation America, managing technical service and new business development, in addition to holding a regional sales position. He was most recently a Territory Sales Manager with The Eastman Kodak Company and brings over 30 years of printing experience to Michelman. According to Dr. Rick Michelman, Michelman’s Chief Technology Officer & EVP, Americas, and Printing & Packaging, “Printing & Packaging has been a growth platform for Michelman for the past two decades. We intend to continue to collaborate on, develop, and commercialize forward-thinking technologies with our customers and accelerate our ability to deliver innovative solutions. We have identified several key strategic growth opportunities that these two outstanding professionals will help address. We’re privileged and excited to welcome them to the Michelman team.”