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Perfecseal recently redesigned a tray for American Medical Systems (AMS), reducing packaging costs and winning the Society of Plastic Engineers’ 2005 Thermoforming Critical Barrier Package award.
Brent Binkowski, operations engineering manager for AMS, had found that two of the company’s urinary stress incontinence products—the SPARC Sling System and the MONARC Subfascial Hammock—were overpackaged. He sought alternatives that would keep the products in place, maintain sterility, and use minimal packaging.
Perfecseal engineers recommended reducing the size of the outer trays and reorienting the confined devices. As a result, Perfecseal reduced volumes by 68% for the sling system and by 54% for the subfascial hammock.
“The length and width of the trays decreased, while the depth of one the trays actually increased,” said Steve Olson, Perfecseal’s project engineer. “As a result, the draw ratios had to be carefully planned. The tray material could not become too thin, otherwise the safety and sterility of the product would be compromised.” Olson said Perfecseal was able to reduce material thickness from 0.040 to 0.030 in.
Perfecseal also advised the use of C0025 Internal Denest PETG from Pacur Inc., which would eliminate the tissue interleaves between each tray. Olson says that changing to a silicone-coated material could have been used to eliminate the interleaving, but the new raw material would have required customer revalidations.
“When stacked together, the former trays were nearly impossible to separate without using a tissue interleaf between every tray,” said Binkowski. “As a result, the packaging process was quite cumbersome as we brought the materials into our cleanroom and began packaging the devices.”
“We haven’t heard anything but rave reviews from our customers,” says Binkowski. “The amount of shelf space required to store the product has been reduced. The products are easier to access.” And he says the interleaving elimination has reduced packaging material waste.