News: Industry Briefs
Dey L.P. (Napa, CA) has donated $100,000 and a quantity of its epinephrine emergency treatment product to the Silverado–Napa County chapter of the American Red Cross to support rescue and relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Epi-Pen Auto-Injectors are prescribed to people who have a history of anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction marked by swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, and trouble breathing. The company also donated respiratory medications for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory conditions to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, for use with displaced persons who are being sheltered in the Houston Astrodome. The company has shipped additional respiratory medications to the Asthma and Allergy Clinic in Baton Rouge, LA, for hurricane victims in that city.
Tear Anywhere Film, which won a gold award in DuPont’s 2005 awards competition, is produced at Alcan Packaging’s Neenah Technical Center (NTC; Neenah, WI). The 185,000-sq-ft R&D and technical center supports development of innovative applications such as Tear Anywhere film and Alcan’s Moisture Scavenging Sealant Lamination desiccating film, which won a silver award in 2004 from the Flexible Packaging Association. The analytical laboratory offers in-depth film and package analysis, including a full range of structural and strength property measurements and full chemical analysis. The pilot plant, located in the lower level of the NTC, replicates all of Alcan’s major manufacturing technologies. This allows Alcan to make development and qualification timelines as short as possible. Alcan’s NTC also hosts a flexible-packaging school, the College of Knowledge, designed for customer product development engineers, purchasing groups, and managers to gain insight into flexiblepackaging processes. The College of Knowledge is purely educational, with no sales presentations, and is taught by Alcan’s product development, exploratory research, and engineering teams.
Bilcare Limited (Pune, India) has acquired ProClinical Inc., a pharmaceutical services and packaging company based in Philadelphia. ProClinical has operated a 14-acre, FDA-approved facility. It is also DEA licensed for controlled substances on schedules I–V. ProClinical offers preformulation research and development, clinical batch manufacturing and packaging, and distribution of clinical supplies. Bilcare is the largest pharmaceutical packaging company in India, with facilities in Pune, India; the United States; and Singapore.
Hueck Foils LLC (Wall, NJ) recently completed an expansion of its Blythewood, SC, production facility. The expansion added 6500 sq ft to the existing 50,000-sq-ft plant to make room for additional storage and machine space. The expansion will also hold a parts-washing room and an automatic ink-dispensing system. This was the second expansion of this plant—which originally only occupied 30,000 sq ft—in the last five years. The company manufactures blister foils, cold-formable foils, and heat-seal coatings.
DePuy Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, has implemented a system of vertical and horizontal carousels as well as software from Remstar International Inc. (Westbrook, ME) at DePuy’s distribution center in Bridgewater, MA. Shipping medical devices for more than 500,000 surgeries annually, the center serves DePuy Spine, DePuy Orthopedics, DePuy Mitek, Codman, and others.
Remstar’s automated solution consists of vertical storage units accessed with vertical lift modules. Once pulled from this vertical storage, the surgical kits are placed into horizontal carousels. Dave Johnson, director of distribution for DePuy, says that the center ships an average of 2200 orders each night, 70–80% of which are shipped for overnight delivery. The system helps DePuy achieve a picking accuracy exceeding 99.9%.
Pharmagraphics (Gastonia, NC), a provider of printed materials for pharmaceutical packaging, has been recognized as a top-ten supplier for Medtronic-Xomed (Jacksonville, FL). Pharmagraphics is one of three suppliers to receive a silver status or higher. The firm was chosen from a supplier base of more than 500 companies. Pharmagraphics follows cGMP and ISO standards. It manufactures inserts, outserts, specialty labels, and other printed literature.
Chesapeake Corp. (Richmond, VA) recently launched a design studio and product development group dedicated to pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging. The design center will focus on constructional design and new product development. It is located at the company’s Field Boxmore subsidiary manufacturing plant in Nottingham, England. The design group will use CAD equipment with 3-D simulation and a Kongsberg sample-making table to produce prototypes for customer evaluation.
The Robotics Industries Association (RIA; Ann Arbor, MI) announced that North American companies had ordered a total of 10,712 robots through June 2005. Combined with companies outside North America, the total number of robots ordered in the first half of the year reaches 11,381. Material-handling equipment over 10 lb made up 31% of robot units shipped. Material-handling equipment under 10 lb represented 12% of robot applications. RIA estimates that more than 150,000 robots are now at work in factories in the United States. RIA also announced that universities and technical institutions conducting robotics research are now eligible to apply for the new Robotics Research Equipment Award, sponsored by RIA.
Rovema (Atlanta) has entered into an agreement to become the exclusive representative in the North American market for Hitech Systems (Turin, Italy). This enhances Rovema’s lines of flow wrapping equipment and other cartoner and case packer machinery. Rovema’s packaging line also includes vertical and horizontal form-fill-seal machines, and turnkey systems.
Sterigenics International Inc. (Leuven, Belgium) opened two new facilities this year. The company introduced its rapid-turnaround ethylene oxide processing technology when it opened its facility in Wiesbaden, Germany, in June. The CyclEOne technology preconditions, processes, and aerates in a single chamber in one day. In September, the company opened its electron-beam facility in Shanghai. This facility will provide sterilization for products such as surgical dressings, nonwoven surgical drapes and gowns, and simple plastic devices.