Inspired by End-User Needs
At HealthPack 2010, nurses participating in a live panel spoke of the handling challenges they encounter with items such as tubing or other long medical devices. Experts from Beacon Converters Inc. (Saddle Brook, NJ), in attendance at the show, believed they might have a solution.
|The Tyvek Tie Wrap from Beacon Converters holds coiled products in place.|
The company manufactures specialty die-cut Tyvek products, including tie wraps. “These die-cut pieces of Tyvek have a belt-like, easy-to-use closure mechanism that locks the wrap in place and secures itself without the use of any adhesives,” explains Alison Tyler, technical director. The wraps have been designed to hold coils of tubing or multiple pieces that need to be unitized and secured, and they allow for easy opening upon dispensing and an organized presentation, she adds.
For years, Beacon has been producing a line of die-cut insert cards to offer alternatives to trays in order to reduce tooling costs along with packaging size, weight, and ship density. A full range of die-cut sizes includes styles that are smaller than a credit card as well as others more than 5 feet long. Tie wraps, however, “fit a specific need very well,” Tyler notes. Nurses who spoke at Healthpack reported that coiled, multiple-component products and those with an off center of gravity are prone to issues during sterile field dispensing such as “flipping” or “dumping” techniques that are often employed in the ER and OR environments, she adds. “An effectively designed tie wrap and/or insert cards can help prevent these issues.”
In addition, Tyler says that input from customers had indicated that
some had experienced problems with damage to devices or even damage to packaging from devices that were not adequately secured. “The tie wraps address that issue specifically, securing devices with minimal cost, labor, and with significant performance improvement,” she says. The wraps can be used alone or in conjunction with die-cut insert cards or trays.
|Beacon's die-cut insert cards can reduce package size and weight.|
“In the case of coiled tubing, tubing remains coiled until the user releases the tie wrap, an advantage over it uncoiling when dispensed in the sterile field,” Tyler explains. The wraps can be unlocked or cut easily.
Made from Tyvek, the wraps do not introduce particulate or lint that a paper wrap might otherwise. When used with a Tyvek pouch, tie wraps do not introduce any new material to the sterile barrier system. “Because they are die cut, we can make them in virtually any shape or size so they truly are a custom fit for the product,” she explains.
Karen Polkinghorne, packaging engineer for DuPont Medical Packaging, says that “Tyvek is a preferred material choice for die-cut organizers. The material’s sheet structure is formed from continuous strands of interconnected fibers of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The inert nature of HDPE limits or, in most cases, eliminates any interactions or compatibility issues with other materials. Additionally, the continuous fibers don’t generate particulate or expose individual fibers when die-cut. Low bioburden and a medical device manufacturer’s overall familiarity with Tyvek also make it a natural choice for this type of application.”
Because tie wraps and cards can be used to replace more expensive packaging components, they may assist packaging engineers faced with cost- and source-reduction goals.
|Inserts can be embossed with recycling symbols or company or brand names.|
Beacon has experienced significant growth in demand for its die-cut cards, Tyler reports. Recent card innovations include a die-cut wallet that folds and stacks small heavy items within a pouch or tray and very large cards used to organize complex devices such as exceptionally long wires and tubes. Options include a variety of gauges and polymers.
“Customers drive the direction of the expansion. If there is a need that isn’t met, we work to develop the right solution,” Tyler says.
“Embossing the cards has recently become more popular. Primarily, we emboss with recycling symbols but customer logos are also available, providing an opportunity to have branding on the inner most packaging component without having to contend with inks or labels inside the sterile barrier.”
Beacon’s die-cut tie wraps and insert cards along with other products will be on display at MD&M East in Booth #2127.