2010's Top Stories

What were you reading online at pmpnews.com in 2010? Below we list the articles and news stories posted in 2010 to pmpnews.com that had the most page views. You'll also find a few surprises from our archives.

Most-Viewed Articles Posted in 2010

Number 1: Devising Sterile Packaging Solutions

This feature article explored medical device manufacturers' goals in keeping quality up and cost down. While the pressure to reduce packaging costs is not a new trend, it is an ongoing challenge. Regulations keep the sterile packaging market fairly stable, but manufacturers are still looking for ways to hold down costs and enhance product sterility assurance, within mandated requirements. Suppliers are coming up with ways to help them.

Number 2: GS1 Datamatrix: FNC1 versus GS as the Variable Length Field Separator Character

In this article, George Wright from PIPS explains that the GS1 General Specification requires the use of FNC1 but the transmitted data are the same if GS (Group Separator) is encoded instead. Does it really matter? He asks. The four special bar code Function Characters (FNC1, FNC2, FNC3, and FNC4) trace their origins to the invention and introduction in 1981 of Code 128. According to the original Code 128 international symbology specification ISO/IEC 15417, these Code 128 symbology characters “define instructions to the bar code reading device to allow for special operations and applications.” These four symbol characters have no ASCII equivalent and are not intended to be transmitted. Many linear and 2-D symbologies invented subsequent to Code 128, including the popular 2-D symbologies Data Matrix ECC200, Aztec Code, and QR Code, incorporate these same characters and their defined functionality.

Number 3: Working toward Cold-Chain Standards Certification

In this preshow report on the 2010 International Transport Packaging Forum, ISTA explained that attendees would shortly become familiar with emerging best practices in temperature control. During ISTA’s International Transport Packaging Forum held March 29–April 1, 2010, at Disney World in Orlando Florida, ISTA presented important new ISTA Standards relating to the qualification of temperature-sensitive-products packaging solutions. The results of two major projects that took place over the past couple of years will be presented, along with a certification program:

1. ISTA’s Heat and Cold Profile Study of the 2nd Day parcel shipping environment within the United States.
2. The development of ISTA Manual 20: A Thermal Qualification Process for cold-chain packaging.
3. Thermal Laboratory ISTA Certification Program.

Number 4: Bayer Introduces New Bayer Aspirin and Aleve Bottles

Bayer Healthcare (Morristown, NJ) changed the packaging system for Bayer Aspirin and Aleve with a new oval-shaped bottle and user-friendly cap. Launched into retail stores earlier in 2009, the packaging eliminates the carton, representing Bayer’s first venture into cartonless products for analgesics and a first in the category. The system features a new cap design with a soft-touch thermoplastic elastomer cover, and a raised logo grip on the bottle sides for helping consumers grip the package.

Number 5: Pfizer Adopts Vision System High-Speed Bottle Filling Lines

Pfizer introduced camera-based vision inspection on five high-speed bottle filling lines at its Pearl River, NY, facility. The plant is implementing the Slat Filler Inspector from Optel Vision (Quebec City, Canada) for 100% automated inspection of solid dose multivitamin products. The Optel system replaces manual inspection for improved quality.  “We saw that with this system successfully in place, we could achieve even higher quality standards. The object is to drive product quality improvements and customer satisfaction,” says John Moynihan, packaging engineer, Pfizer.
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