• Mondi to build production lines for non-woven fabric and masks

    News: 
    Packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi has revealed plans to construct new production lines in its facility in Gronau, Germany. The new lines will be dedicated for the production of melt blown nonwoven fabric and surgical face masks. The move is part of the company’s efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and meet the growing demand for face masks by health authorities, businesses and consumers. Mondi’s new lines will be capable of producing more than one million surgical face masks in a day as per EU Standard Type IIR. Around 50% of its production will be offered to other European face mask manufacturers. Mondi Personal Care Components (PCC) managing director Jürgen Schneider said: ‘We are well positioned for the increased production of face masks and melt blown nonwoven fabric in Gronau. Our people have the needed know-how and expertise on working with these materials and the technology required. “The in-house production capability of all substantial components positions us to build up a long-term competitive local supply. Once up and running, we will be able to produce more than one million face masks per day.” Earlier this month, the company’s three plants in Germany including Halle, Steinfeld and Gronau committed to produce and donate 10,000 protective gowns to workers in local nursing homes and retirement facilities.
  • Packaging firm JohnsByrne delivers face shields to first responders

    News: 
    JohnsByrne Company president and CEO Corey Gustafson said: “Seeing media reports of a lack of PPE, our structural design team got to work on a few 3D printed prototype options. We vetted and streamlined the concepts, and realised we had a best-in-class solution that we could manufacture. “It’s fulfilling to make an immediate difference in a time of need. We are fortunate to be able to apply our passion and innovation, and rise to the occasion in this global fight.” According to the company, the six-piece face shield is easy-to-clean and is reusable. It comes with adjustable sizing and a band cover to offer additional comfort to the wearer. Such face shields act as a barrier and help in reducing Covid-19 contagion risks. The product was authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an emergency use authorization (EUA) for use by healthcare providers as personal protective equipment. However, the face shield is yet to be approved by the US agency. JohnsByrne Company has already supplied its face shields to Saint Anthony Hospital of Chicago as well as to police, fire and administration departments in the village of Nile. Based in Illinois, JohnsByrne specialises in delivering paperboard packaging solutions. The company caters to several industry verticals such as health and beauty, wine and spirits among others.
  • The D-Flex Connect is smart-health ready

    News: 

    Using integrated optical sensors in the pen, D-Flex Connect provides valuable feedback, not only confirming that the patient has taken the medication but also indicating the precise amount administered each time. This information on the time and dose of each subcutaneous application is automatically documented, giving a clear picture of the patient's current therapy status. Connectivity via smart phone app means patients receive a reminder if they forget to take a dose. Moreover, they can view details themselves, for example to check whether they have already administered the drug. This innovative combination of state-of-the-art disposable injection pen and future-proof connected platform provides peace of mind for patients and medical professionals alike and helps to enhance patient safety. What's more, clearer insights can help improve compliance and therapy effectiveness.

  • Marchesini Group: Packaging Machines for Vaccines

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    Marchesini Group is currently producing and delivering packaging machines for vaccines, and in general continuing with customer order deliveries with the help of technologies such as FAT in streaming. The company has a history of delivering vaccine packaing machines: 2004: In 2004, a well-known Chinese company commissioned a line that would complete the whole process of filling and packaging vaccines in a syringe. 2009: The same customer became the first big pharma company in China to receive authorization to produce a vaccine against the H1N1 virus that caused swine flu and purchased the second complete Syringe Packaging Line from Marchesini. 2020: This partnership continues today and Marchesini is in the process of delivering three additional vaccine packaging lines as well as other stand-alone machines to update existing lines. The company has completed work in Southeast Asia as well, with the installation of a vaccine line to fill, assemble and pack syringes. The line, in operation for five years, represented an important step forward for the local market in the production of vaccines in syringes, which are usually expensive for emerging countries. They have also produced lines for multinational pharmaceutical companies involved in the production of antibiotics against the H5N1 virus, responsible for the avian flu. "We will try, even in this unprecedented moment in history, to be as quick as possible in delivering our machines, while safeguarding our staff’s health," said Pietro Cassani, CEO of Marchesini Group in interviews given to RAI, the Italian state television. In Italy, where our production plants are located, Marchesini Group recently doubled the production department of Corima, the Group’s specialized division in aseptic packaging technology and machines. Today, Corima has a 12,000 sq m factory at its disposal and aims to respond more completely and quickly to the growing demands of the sector, especially given the current events.

  • Quick Hits: FDA OKs First At-Home Saliva Test for COVID-19

    News: 

    A recent FDA News Release contained good news for those looking for at-home COVID-19 tests. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for a diagnostic test developed by Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory that uses home-collected saliva. “Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19. This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.

  • Active packaging solution could disinfect PPE masks

    News: 
    The N95 masks are desperately needed by healthcare personnel due to the shortage of disposable masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the company. In this simple disinfecting process, the N95 mask and a small strip of Aptar’s ActivShield™ are placed inside any commonly available one-gallon plastic bag. The strip releases a controlled amount of chlorine dioxide inside the sealed bag to decontaminate the mask. The process takes only three hours until the mask is ready to wear again. It can be performed on-site at the local hospital where the mask is being used. Aptar has submitted its safety and effectiveness data to the FDA for EUA review. The company is working to provide approximately four million ActivShield strips per week and is working to expand its production capacity with the intent to deliver ten million per week by the end of April. “We are extremely encouraged by the promising data generated so far and are eager to deliver this technology to the front line and support the fight against the pandemic,” said John Belfance, President of Aptar CSP Technologies. If the FDA approves the EUA, then ActivShield will immediately become available for this important use. Chlorine dioxide has been widely used as a disinfectant in different industries, including the paper industry, drinking water treatment, food processing, and medical equipment. Aptar’s delivery mechanism uses the disinfecting properties of chlorine dioxide in a controlled sustained release within a contained volume. ActivShield™ can efficiently and effectively disinfect N95 masks used by healthcare workers and first responders, it is claimed. “Aptar’s technology provides a unique, simple, and effective way to help solve the critical problem of PPE shortages we’re currently facing,” said Stephan Tanda, Aptar president and CEO. “We are aiming to provide a solution that is not only fast, but it does not require special equipment or training, making it potentially accessible to the wider healthcare community. This could enable healthcare workers to retain and disinfect their own facemask, helping to maintain continued proper fitting to their faces.”
  • Bacteria bounce off repellant surface for plastics

    The new plastic surface – a treated form of conventional transparent wrap – can be shrink-wrapped onto surfaces, such as handles, that can be magnets for bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile. The treated material is also ideal for food packaging, where it could stop the accidental transfer of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and listeria from raw chicken, meat and other foods, as described in a paper published by the journal ACS Nano.
  • Sharp Acquires U.S. Pharma Packaging Facility

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    The site, located in Macungie, PA, will offer primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging including bottling, blistering, vial labeling and medical device kitting as well as serialization services. Located within 6 miles of Sharp’s Allentown campus, the Macungie site provides the company with additional capacity in response to increasing volume demands from clients, as well as the space to expand further. The site will commence an immediate integration to the Sharp facility network. The 160,000 sq.-ft. facility has full regulatory approval and comes with 12 primary production suites, space for multiple secondary packaging lines, 30,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and c. 66,000 sq. ft. of unused space. Kevin Orfan, President of Sharp said: “Our focus as always is to invest to better serve our clients and their patients, and the acquisition of the Macungie facility will help us to support their needs immediately and for years to come,” said Kevin Orfan, president, Sharp. “Its proximity to our Centers of Excellence in Allentown will allow us to leverage existing capabilities and help us to continue delivering efficiently while growing our capacity. “This investment is the latest of many that we have made over recent years to meet the continuing growth in demand for our packaging and clinical services as we continue to support clients across the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.” Sharp has invested over $60 million on its global facilities over recent years including: • $21m on expanding capacity and capabilities at its Allentown and Conshohocken, PA facilities; • $11m on its new Clinical Services Centre of Excellence in Wales; • $11m on enhancing its injectable and cold chain capabilities in the U.S., Belgium and the Netherlands; and • $23m on its refitted state-of-the-art clinical facility in Bethlehem, PA.
  • Function-Focused Rebrand for Wellness Shots

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    Continuing to evolve its brand and strengthen its customer connections, Boulder, Colo.-based Ethan’s, the functional shot company, has announced the rebranding of its line of wellness shots, putting function at the forefront of their packaging. “At Ethan’s, we keep a very open dialogue with our customers, so when we learned that they were looking for more clarification on the function and occasion for each of our shots, we knew it was time to make some changes in our packaging,” says Ethan Hirshberg, founder of Ethan’s. The new labels for its 2-oz glass bottles are being used for Ethan’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), MCT, and Fire Shots varieties and explicitly state the function for each: Daily Detox, Fast Fuel, and Immune Boost, respectively. Along with this new focus on function, Ethan’s has changed the color of each bottle to reflect the shots’ unique flavors and primary ingredients. According to Hirshberg, “Not only does this new packaging answer the question of function and occasion for each line, but we feel that it exudes more of the creative, fun, and wholesome personality that the Ethan’s brand embodies.” In addition to their commitment to improving the customer experience, Ethan’s is also devoted to making strides toward a more sustainable future, thus they have chosen to switch their plastic caps to aluminum. Doing so, the company will save nearly 10,000 pounds of plastic per year from just the cap alone. According to the company, as the brand and product line continues to evolve, Ethan’s is committed to finding new ways to make their products and their packaging as sustainable as possible. With the introduction of this new function-first product packaging, Ethan’s hopes to not only improve the shopping experience for existing customers, but also educate new customers on how to best enjoy Ethan’s products. The new packaging will be reflected on all new and existing Ethan’s product lines moving forward.
  • Jones celebrates centenary by authenticating COVID-19 test kits

    News: 
    The company is seeing a surge in interest in more high-tech healthcare packaging, including printed electronics, with the challenges of COVID-19. “Recently, we have been asked about COVID-19 testing kits with intelligent and connected capabilities,” Chris Jones Harris principal, corporate development at the company said. “The market is experiencing a rise in counterfeit testing kits, while authentic at-home kits can be difficult for consumers to understand and use.” “This has led us to important work with multiple partners to create intelligent kit options that not only allow consumers to quickly confirm a kit is authentic and manufactured under safe conditions, but can also provide consumers with easy access to tutorial videos to demonstrate proper use – all of this with the tap of a smartphone to the packaging. At this time, we have provisional designs with partners undergoing regulatory approval,” Jones Harris added. Jones is also in the process of acquiring design protection patents in North America for another of its innovations – intelligent, monitored medication adherence cards to ensure compliance with complex polypharmaceutical regimes. “This system digitally tracks whether patients have removed prescribed doses of medication at the right times – and can also send reminders to patients, healthcare providers and caregivers when medications have not been taken,” Nic Hunt, chief strategy officer at Jones, explained. There is a growing consumer familiarity with NFC tap interaction, which the company is well placed to develop and produce, it claims. The team’s current focus is on intelligent, connected packaging –evaluating different electronic sensors that could connect with embedded NFC and RFID technologies in packaging. These sensors could detect humidity or temperature to ensure product integrity, for example.
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