The Future of Pharmaceutical Packaging?
Modularization and flexibility are a second major trend. Generics producers and contract manufacturers in particular have to design their lines to handle small batches with minimal changeover time while delivering safe products. Suppliers can provide lines which can be expanded as needed or reconfigured to handle a wide variety of applications. This applies not only to the hardware but to the software as well. Groninger, a producer of specialized machinery, is developing user interfaces which support quality control throughout the process for an average 25 – 100 stored formulations.
Quality Control in the Process and Beyond...
DIR Technologies has developed a new induction sealing inspection technique for pharmaceutical containers. During the sealing process, the system performs 100% sealing integrity inspection and fill level detection on pharmaceutical containers such as bottles, bags and sachets, taking quality assurance to a new level. Inspection takes place in real time using non-invasive highly sensitive thermal imaging technology through the closed cap. It will be possible in the future to localize defects during induction sealing with greater precision and pinpoint exactly where to take corrective action. The manufacturer claims that the system can handle high throughput rates without slowing down production.
A team of developers in Singapore has designed self-expiring packaging which can automatically draw the user’s attention to the expiry date. The blister pack is made of multi-layer plastic. Warning symbols are printed on the innermost layer. The outer layer contains basic information such as the manufacturer’s logo. Once the expiration date has passed, the diffusible material between the layers disintegrates, exposing the warning symbols. The developers won the Red Dot Design Award for this idea. Among other things, the system could be very useful for older patients who are unable to read the expiry date which appears on the packaging in small print.
Another innovation was on display in 2014 at the Lopec exhibition for printed electronics. The packaging has built-in temperature sensors made of nanomaterials which can remind patients to take their medication.
At ACHEMA 2015, exhibitors in
Hall 3, in the Forum and in the Pavillon Agora will present their innovations in the field of pharma packaging.