Stick packs are being used increasingly by the pharmaceutical industry, for example for liquid medicines for oral ingestion. (Image: Volpak)
Flexible packaging for the pharmaceutical sector
Not least, the Covid-19 pandemic has led many people to realise how important medicines that are quickly available and easy to handle can be. Especially if patients are expected to take the medicine without the presence of medical staff, a package with an appropriate design can be helpful.
This is true for example for pre-portioned medicines. These have the advantage that users can administer these themselves without larger complications or assistance from third parties. Measuring out, filling or other means of dosage are not necessary and therefore the room for mistakes is minimal. A flexible packaging can serve as protection for these medicines.
Because the advantages that give flexible packaging an edge in other areas also apply to packaging medicines. For one, after use there is no residue of medicine left that would land in the waste – the amount packaged is exactly the amount needed. Regarding transport and storage, too, the packaging takes up less space and weighs less than for example packaging made of glass, or large sized boxes. Flexible packaging – if monomaterials like polypropylene are used in its manufacture – is also easy to recycle after use.
1800 units in a small space
One example of application that is currently becoming a trend in the pharmaceutical sector, is the stick pack. For example, it can be used to package liquid medicines intended for oral ingestion. For exactly this type of product, Spanish mechanical engineering company Volpak, a subsidiary of the Coesia Group, now has a newcomer among their portfolio: the Enflex PHS series.
All the models of the series – here the Enflex PHS 100 – only require little space. (Image: Volpak)
The machine is meant for producing and processing single-portion stick packs and reaches a capacity of up to 1800 units per minute. According to the company, this process uses 42 percent less packaging material than do comparable machines. The reduced space requirements of the Enflex PHS series make it suitable even for confined spaces.
Ready for industry 4.0
Volpak offers the new series in different designs with multiple lines, so that different requirements can be met. Format changes can be carried out without the need for special tools. The overall efficiency of the entire system is over 95 percent, according to the company.
The Enflex PHS series is equipped with the Coesia HMI OptiMate. (Image: Volpak)
All models in the series are equipped with the Coesia HMI (Human Machine Interface) OptiMate. The software supports operators when changing formats or carrying out maintenance on the machine, and also allows for full control of each single work step.
An industry like the pharmaceutical industry also needs to always keep up with the times when it comes to packaging. Flexible packaging like the stick pack has many advantages, equally for both for marketers and users. No wonder, then, that mechanical engineering companies like Volpak are stepping up their efforts.