Modular Cold-Chain Shippers

"We had an overwhelmingly positive response," says Karl Schlenker, vice president of business development. "No one ever complained about the design for the panels in our past products, but when they saw the new design they responded very enthusiastically to the ease in storage and flexibility they offer."

Instead of rigid box sizes, the new Credo shippers come in modular pieces and can adapt to many more payload shapes and sizes. The company's patented Thermal Isolation Chamber (TIC) panels now surround the payload via six interchangeable walls. These walls can stack in standard freezers for pre-conditioning; their precision-formed beveled edges create tight thermal seals.

Ranging in sizes from 127 cu in. to 5800 cu in, the containers have phase-change materials for diverse medical materials from tissue to room-temperature vaccines and pharmaceuticals. With customizable wall dimensions and modular construction that closely fits the payloads contents; Schlenker says customers can save shipping costs and packing time.

"The other part of the cube design is that it gives us flexibility in making alternative-sized shippers," Schlenker says. "A customer had requested one similar in height but with more length. We will be able to seamlessly join two 9 by 9 in. panels to create 18 in., or 12 by 12 in. to make a 24 in. shipper. This modularity is in response to several clients' specific requests."

Three early evaluators will be using the new shippers and will provide feedback on the design with intent to validate the products. Memorial Blood Center in Minneapolis will utilize a 22 C solution, MTS is delivering products to several pharmaceutical companies, and a solution is being given to tissue company Cryolife for evaluation.

MTS's intention is that all of these products will provide a minimum of 72 hours of performance. When the full set of products is available, it will support sizes as small as 6 by 6 by 6 ins. The first available are 9 by 9 by 9 in., to debut in the first week of April; 12 by 12 by 12 in. and 15 by 15 by 15 in. options will follow. The largest will have a useable payload capacity of 3,375 cu in.-a high volume shipper-and will have a tear weight of approximately 50 pounds, available in 22, 4, -20, and -50 C degree varieties.

"Lead product engineer Bill Mayer has stated that a perfect cube is the perfect storage container," Schlenker explains of the design's origins. "When we announced in September the Credo name, the intention was to expand our offerings and develop the Credo Cube as we moved forward."

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