New Facility to Focus on Developing Films and More
Tekni-Plex has opened a dedicated facility to serve as a new technology and product development center. Situated in Holland, OH, Tekni-Plex’s Global Technology Center will focus on devising new films, tubing, liners, and lidding stock and optimizing existing ones for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, foods, and beverages.
“We will focus on new product development and look at new processes to enhance product performance,” explains Dr. Phil Bourgeois, vice president of global technology and regulatory affairs. “We intend the center to serve as a source of excellence for our business units, and we also look to partner with our customers to bring their ideas to market very
Focusing on multiple markets offers advantages. “To have so much capability covering numerous markets under one roof is unique, and it will allow for cross pollination of ideas across industries,” said Bourgeois. “In addition, the center will draw on regional polymer talent from the relatively large number of polymer and packaging professionals in the Ohio region.”
The 32,000-sq-ft site already has its performance testing lab up and running, which can be used to subject structures to the variety of conditions that pharmaceutical films and other products may experience in the field. It also employs the latest polymer analysis equipment.
Later this year, the facility will see the installation of large-scale pilot equipment to develop a variety of mono- and multiple-layer structures for films, liners, lidding stock, and flexible tubing. The various lines will be able to produce extrusions, extrusion coatings, and laminations. Auxiliary processing equipment will also be available. The lines are designed so that technology can be easily transitioned to Tekni-Plex plants for production.
The pharmaceutical industry in particular is looking for innovation, notes Bourgeois. “There is much more demand on packaging for product protection, from the manufacturing site to patient administration,” he says. “Companies are also looking at transitioning away from multiple-dose packaging to unit-dose options. The sensitivity of today’s new drugs ranks among the biggest challenges for pharma.”
At the same time, pharmaceutical manufacturers are grappling with demands for more sustainable packaging and cost savings. “Our center is geared toward helping customers tackle these challenges,” said Bourgeois.
Despite being separate from Tekni-Plex’s other facilities, the new site will remain in close contact with its business development, marketing, and production teams. “One mistake a center like this could make is isolating scientists from the market, which could result in products that are technical successes but market failures. Our engineers are focused on meeting and anticipating market needs, so we have an intimate tie-in with business development managers and packaging engineers to discover unmet needs. It is then up to us to solve them,” he concludes.