Wrapping Up Cost Savings
These days, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are looking for more cost-effective ways to package their products, reports Kevin Ryan, pharmaceutical/medical technical sales at Formost Fuji. He says that many are finding that flow-wrapped packages can provide flexible and cost-effective solutions.
“From dust covers to hermetically sealed packages, by wrapping the products, rollstock materials can be thinner and simpler film structures than some five-layer laminates often used in thermoforming,” he says. “The thickness of the rollstock materials remains uniform throughout the package. For barrier packages using AL foil, wrapping provides the most effective method to protect against light, moisture, and oxygen.”
Ryan reports that there is a variety of film structures including PET, HDPE, and LLDPE, metallized films, or foil laminations that can be used for flow wrapping. During Pack Expo, Formost Fuji will be running a Perfecseal coextruded nylon/LLDPE that has run “very well” on its equipment. “Formost Fuji has repeatable, controlled methods to create a uniform package without wrinkles and ensure hermetic seals,” he says.
This past year, Fuji introduced the new Alpha 7 and CX flow wrappers. “The Alpha 7 platform has been redesigned to be stronger, faster, smarter, and easier to maintain,” says Ryan. “The machine has simplified maintenance with features like toolless part removal and tilt-fin wheels that will improve uptime, product quality, and the life of the machine.
“The level of intelligence that has been programmed into the HMI is unreal—full troubleshooting diagnostics, electronic signature, open architecture, interoperability, and with the correct password protection, maintenance or engineers are able to add IO from the PC HMI,” Ryan adds. “Connecting a laptop to the machine PLC to monitor the program is a thing of the past. And by providing servo driven machines, product change over involves product clean out and selecting a different recipe on an HMI.”
Formost Fuji can add in-line printing technology such as ink-jet, thermal-transfer, and laser printing, from companies such as Bell-Mark, Markem, and Videojet. “The technology is dictated by the customer, and we can integrate the solution they need,” says Ryan.
The company has also integrated bar code readers from Microscan as well as vision systems from Cognex and Systech to support specific applications. It also offers the Fuji Vision System to verify date coding, locate in-film splices, and help reduce waste by immediately detecting the situations, Ryan reports.
Formost Fuji has also developed its Tyvek Strip solution that “bridges the volume gap between premade pouches and thermoformed flexible packages,” says Ryan. “This solution reduces the cost and amount of material, making it a ‘green’ alternative.”