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.
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
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
Certification affirms the company’s quality management systems meets ISO requirements
Auburn, AL, April 20, 2021 – Aptar CSP Technologies, a leader in material science and active packaging solutions (part of AptarGroup, Inc.), earned the International Organization for Standardization ISO 13485:2016 certification for both its U.S. and France-based plants. These internationally recognized standards set the requirements for a quality management system specific to the medical device industry.
Diabetes patients depending on lifelong insulin treatment have to administer the vital medication to themselves using insulin pumps, syringes or pens. Ypsomed offers UnoPen™, a disposable pen with variable dose setting, for this and other multidose therapies. Schreiner MediPharm has developed an NFC-Label for this injection aid that serves as a communication interface between the injector and the SmartPilot™—an electronic pen add-on. The resulting smart device interactively supports patients in using the pen and helps them adhere to their therapy plans.
Tamper Evident Packaging (TEP) is a broad category of packaging practices and technology that alerts the consumer of foul play or damage to the product during the B2C route. This is usually useful for international shipments or high-value local shipments that are delivered to the consumer through a third party. As opposed to Tamper Resistant Packaging, which is designed to be very hard to open, Tamper Evident Packaging provides a visual indication of tampering.
We had two sessions of this webinar on the services of Packaging Connections 2021 on 12th January 2021. We had a good number of registrations from across the globe and understood that more and more people are looking for services supported remotely. It has been a good way to share the information without traveling and we could utilize our time better. Of course, face to face meeting has its own charm but I think digital is the next best way and in some cases even better. This can certainly help to reduce traveling and so the carbon footprint and then we can travel once in a while.
AR Packaging continues its successful growth development in line with the strategic plan to expand in selected segments and geographies. The German based Kroha GmbH is a specialist in folding carton packaging and leaflets for pharmaceuticals. The company is an attractive addition to the Group’s product offering and strengthens its capabilities to service both mid-sized and large customers in the pharmaceutical industry.
“We are very pleased to having received full clearance on the acquisition and warmly welcome Kroha to our group. With its sole focus on pharmaceutical packaging it upholds high quality assurance and efficient operations which fits very well into our strategy”, says Harald Schulz, President and CEO of AR Packaging. “The customers of Kroha will benefit from our Group’s unique wide product portfolio including multi substrate packaging”.
The two acquired facilities will be operating under the name AR Packaging and the integration is now initiated together with the management team.
For more information please contact:
Ingrid Lidbäck, Group Marketing & Communication Director at AR Packaging
Telephone: +46 70 566 31 83
AR Packaging is one of Europe’s leading companies in the packaging sector with net sales of approximately EUR 930 million, 5,500 employees and 29 factories in 13 countries. The Group offers a unique range of packaging solutions from its specialised plants. Added value is created to its customers through its broad product offering and deep knowledge of carton-based and flexible packaging. The head office is located in Lund, Sweden. AR Packaging has an objective to grow both organically and by way of acquisitions.
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