MTS Develops Thermal Tote For Eli Lilly Sales Reps

The system accommodates a day’s worth of samples at refrigerated condition.

Eli Lilly sales representatives are adopting a new thermal container for samples developed by Minnesota Thermal Science (MTS; Minneapolis). Featuring a soft-sided outer shell with strap and carry handle, the Series 4 424 was developed for Lilly’s sales organization in Spain.

The first order was placed for delivery to Lilly’s Portugal sales organization this month, says Karl Schlenker, vice president of strategic business development, MTS.

“The plan is a country- by-country roll out of the product. Lilly sales organizations in each country have a great deal of autonomy under a single sales reporting structure that involves quality control,” Schlenker says.

The container is the first joint project with SCA Cool Logistics since MTS and Cool Logistics partnered last year.  A Cool Logistics sales rep began working with Lilly at Lilly’s request to find a solution for the distribution of samples by the reps to doctors’ offices and medical centers.

Lilly defined its requirements with Cool Logistics and CL director of engineering Richard Wood, after which CL and MTS collaborated in developing the container.

The Series 4 424 is a modification of a Credo Cube container qualified for shorter duration. The sales container maintains refrigerated temperature for 12 to 24 hours versus 72 to 96 hours for a standard Credo unit. The container features MTS’s VIPs, Thermal Insulation Chamber (TIC), and phase change technology, but with reduced phase panels, says Bill Mayer, MTS’s director of engineering.

“The client was concerned about the container weight. As their requirements for thermal performance were less stringent than what the Credo container can provide, we were able to reduce the weight by removing some of the phase panels.
“We added a custom payload insert that holds the panels and the payload as well,” Mayer says.

A payload area of close to four liters is dimensionally built to the maximum size of medications that would be carried on a day’s trip.
“Cool Logistics tested the container simultaneously with us. They tested to their shipping profiles and extreme constants and we tested to ISTA profiles. We have developed a nice set of data demonstrating how the container performs in a wide range of conditions,” Mayer says.

As another solution for “last mile” distribution of temperature sensitive product, MTS introduced this year its Operating Room Container (ORC) in 8-liter size, as an additional solution to its two-liter ORC. MTS uses Igloo coolers in the solutions.
“These provide an attractive hard shell finished case that operating room personnel will be familiar with,” Mayer says.

“Blood is typically transported at 1 to 10° C and stored at 1 to 6° C. The ORC maintains 1 to 10 ° and can be used as well to meet storage requirements,” Mayer says.

Most recently, MTS adapted an ambient room temperature PCM to the new 8 liter OR container
application for blood platelet storage at 22°  C.

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