Adhesive vs. Extrusion Lamination – What’s the Difference and Why Does it ...
November 28, 2023
Film and foil laminations used for pouching applications across the healthcare packaging industry serve a vital purpose in protecting single use medical device, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical products. They are excellent microbial barriers and stand up to a variety of sterilization modalities. The large selection available of multi-layer structures allows packaging engineers flexibility in choosing the right structure for a given performance need or application. This might include added strength and puncture resistance, peelability, moisture and oxygen barrier properties, printing, or even a combination of these or other functional requirements. But how are these layers all combined? Generally speaking, most pouching laminates used in our industry are converted using either adhesive lamination or extrusion lamination. Let’s explore the difference between these two methods, and why it matters both for film and foil construction as well as final sterile barrier application.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Single-Use Healthcare Packaging
November 21, 2023
In a world where there is so much waste, why choose single-use healthcare packaging?
The answer: A continuous goal to enhance patient safety and reduce risk of contamination in the healthcare environment. In medical and home settings alike, single-use packaging is not only easy to use, but convenient. The sterility of the product inside is crucial, as it comes in direct contact with the patient. Through single-use packaging, the risks of cross-contamination and infection are significantly reduced.
Smart Science and Trendy Tech: What’s New & What’s Next
November 14, 2023
In medical packaging, our focus is often on compliance and quality due to our direct impact on human health. A lot of new packaging trends begin in food and consumer goods, but what if some of the high-tech packaging from consumer goods could be adapted to our more “serious” needs?
What is Aseptic Manufacturing?
November 7, 2023
In medical packaging, we hear the word aseptic a lot. By definition, the word aseptic means free from pathogenic microorganisms. But how does it relate to the manufacturing process? Aseptic manufacturing is the process of producing products free from contamination. It takes place in various industries but is a common requirement for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries because of the need to prioritize patient safety. Following stringent aseptic guidelines ensures that a product’s integrity is not compromised before use.
Fighting for Our Lives: When a Healthcare Associated Infection Hits Home
October 26, 2023
One year ago, my whole life changed. I went from excellent health, running 4 miles each day, to a hospital bed, in a matter of days. My nightmare started with a simple scope procedure performed at a Southern California hospital. Little did I know that this routine procedure would result in a Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a common bacterial infection of the stomach. In my case, this infection caused a bleeding ulcer, leading to blood loss that had me collapsing in my home. An intense ambulance ride to the nearest hospital and a blood transfusion were required to save my life. This illness nearly killed me, and it was several bedridden months before I was back on my feet due to this needless infection.
Fast and Furious: The Quest for Sustainability
October 17, 2023
It is amazing how quickly priorities change. Medical packaging industry buzz is no different. In 2014, “sustainability,” (while growing in prominence in other sectors) was in its infancy as far as the medical packaging industry was concerned. In 2017, our industry eyes shifted to the ticking clock of enforcement for the new EU MDR. And in 2020, every conversation went silent except for one, everywhere. By 2022 business was back, yet it took time to regroup: just where did we leave off?
Top 5 Life-Enhancing Medical Devices
October 10, 2023
Whether big or small, medical inventions have not only etched milestones in medical history but have transformed patient safety and quality of life. Born from next-level human determination, these devices have paved the way toward a healthier future for humankind.
How One Patient’s Experience Became a Profession
September 19, 2023
It was 12 years ago this past summer, but I can remember it all like it was yesterday. I was getting headaches that were a stinging pain in the back of my head. They would come and go, and often with a quick movement the pain would change. I was also suffering from a stiff neck that I could crack repeatedly. Being only 13 years old, my symptoms were dismissed as growing pains by my pediatrician. We were told the odds of something actually being in my brain were less than 5%, so why do an MRI?
The History of DuPont™ Tyvek®
September 12, 2023
As a material that took 15 years to fully develop and another 15 years to hit the mainstream market, the story of DuPont™ Tyvek® is one of humble beginnings. Fast forward to today, Tyvek® is recognized as a global leader in sterile packaging and shows no signs of slowing down.
How to Measure and Select the Best Medical Packaging Materials
September 5, 2023
When facing customer inquiries about packaging materials, some of the most common questions we encounter are: What is the thickness of the film material; how do you convert mil and ga; and, how thick is X ga material? When selecting packaging materials, material thickness is a very intuitive concept. Due to differences among regions, industries, material characteristics, and more, different materials use different units of measurement for description. A proficient understanding of the relationship between units of measurement, combined with material characteristics, composition, and other aspects, provides better direction when choosing packaging materials. This is especially true in the field of medical packaging, where the final selection of material specifications directly relates to the quality of medical products, the safety of medical instruments, and the well-being of patients.
The Intersection of Sterile Packaging and High-Tech Advancements
August 29, 2023
When “high-tech” is mentioned, most of the time, very precise, fast moving, highly advanced technology comes to mind. Sterile packaging may not be classified as part of the high-tech industry itself, but it does rely on and incorporate various technological advancements.
Why Are Cleanrooms Important in Medical Packaging?
August 22, 2023
Healthcare packaging is designed to protect. The medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and therapies we package very often go into the body and therefore must be extremely clean and sterile. Through sterilization, bacterial contamination is extinguished; however, particulate is not removed in this process. Particulate can include small items like dust or ink flakes, or bigger things like hair or even small insects. To ensure that particulate is minimized, medical packaging is often produced in a cleanroom environment.
What is Primary and Secondary Packaging?
August 15, 2023
You’ve finished the development of your device or medication. What’s next? The last step to ensuring the safety and integrity of your medical product is all in the packaging. There are two main types of packaging to think of when developing protective layers, primary and secondary packaging, and you’ll need both. Today, we’re going to discuss the critical differences between the two types of packaging, things to keep in mind when choosing your device package, and examples of what packaging solutions fall into these categories.
What is a Drug Delivery System?
August 8, 2023
Over the past few years, pharmaceutical research and technology have allowed for tremendous growth in the development of drug delivery systems. These systems are not only effective and convenient but have enabled patients to take an active role in their care, allowing for improved health and quality of life.
6 Types of Application-Based Testing and Why They Matter
July 28, 2023
Many packaging engineers in the healthcare space are familiar with supplier material data sheets, and the “typical” characteristics and standard material test results commonly found in these resources—attributes such as basis weight and thickness, tensile strength, elongation, and oxygen/moisture transmission rates. These results can be helpful when trying to get an initial understanding of a material’s compatibility with a certain application, or for comparing two or more materials at a high level. However, there are other tests in our industry that are being used more and more to better understand how a material and final package will perform in a real-life scenario, or to troubleshoot performance test failures. Here, we will explore a few of these tests; why they matter, and what they might indicate in terms of true application and the ability of a material or sterile barrier system to withstand the full operational, sterilization, and distribution environment.
Things Are Happening in the Healthcare Packaging World
July 18, 2023
When I started working in healthcare packaging in September 2008 (first at a Sterile Packaging Manufacturer from the United States and since 2018 at DuPont™), I could not have imagined that such exciting things would be happening as they are today.
Oliver Healthcare Packaging Strengthens Supply Chain, Adds In-Region Film & ...
June 29, 2023
Acquisition of EK-Pack latest investment to bolster commitment to customers throughout Europe.
Philadelphia United States AND Wiggensbach Germany (29 June 2023) – Oliver Healthcare Packaging, a leading supplier of sterile barrier flexible packaging solutions to the global healthcare market, today announced the acquisition of EK-Pack Folien GmbH, a manufacturer of high-quality film and foil technology, located in Ermengerst-Wiggensbach, Bavaria, Germany. This acquisition includes Vacopack H. Buchegger AG, a fully owned subsidiary of EK-Pack, based in northeastern Switzerland.
The Endoscope: From Open Flame to AI
June 27, 2023
Endoscopy is perhaps best known as two things: colonoscopy or “lower GI” and “upper GI” scoping through the mouth to view the esophagus and stomach. The field of endoscopy now encompasses every anatomical entry into the human body, and those that use tiny incisions to create the entry point. In addition to the esophagus, stomach and colon, ears, nose, throat, joints, heart, and abdomen are viewable through endoscopy. This often-overlooked medical specialty refers to seeing and/or interacting with internal anatomy from an external location. It is distinct from all other imaging technology because a scoping tool is inserted directly into the organ or anatomy it is examining. The medical needs addressed by endoscopy include screening to check health, such as colonoscopy, diagnostic procedures to identify a cause or disease, and even to treat, such as direct delivery of medication to an internal organ or area and photodynamic therapy that uses light and laser to kill tumor cells.
The Cost of Medical Packaging
June 20, 2023
Lower! Lower! Lower! A phrase viewers and participants alike scream on the popular television game show, The Price is Right, and now the healthcare industry is screaming it too. And as frustrating as it might be that costs are constantly on the rise, there is a reason. From diagnostic tests to medical devices, packaging serves as a protective barrier against contamination, but this essential aspect of a complete product comes at a cost. The cost of packaging for your medical product is influenced by a variety of factors from packaging materials, sustainability efforts, supply chain complexities, and more. How do you know when to spend and where to save? Let’s dive into the cost of packaging and the challenges in balancing safety and affordability.
Progress and Pitfalls - A Worldview of Regulatory Progress
June 13, 2023
Part 1 - A Focus on the U.S and Europe
The world history of consumer regulations and regulatory agencies began, unsurprisingly, with products consumed by mouth—food and medicines. As we look at some global markets and their entry into formal regulation of products, we see the triggering mishaps and mayhem around food, drink, and drugs. The prioritization of packaging, particularly for medicines and medical devices, was slower to come under the regulatory eye. Perhaps best summed up by now-retired packaging director Nicholas Berendt was his lament to drug and device makers that medical packaging “is not a dust cover.” Fortunately, everyone, regulators included, would come to understand the significance of packaging, paving the way for greater protection and safety in global healthcare.
The Evolution of ISO 11607
June 6, 2023
Our industry spends a lot of time around ISO 11607, the well-established standard for the packaging of terminally sterilized medical devices. Continual change across the global community can make it challenging to deliver timely and coherent technical guidance. A look back at the evolution of ISO 11607 is a great way to learn from the past while forging a healthy tomorrow.
What Does a Packaging Engineer Do?
May 23, 2023
It's often said that "everything you see comes in a package." But have you ever stopped to think about what goes into creating that package? Or even WHO? Behind every great package is a packaging engineer—a niche profession. Those who are familiar with what a packaging engineer does would say the role of a packaging engineer is to design and develop packaging that protects, contains, communicates, promotes, and positions a product, all while ensuring utilization. Depending on the industry or product a package is being developed for, some of those needs hold more importance than others. For instance, if a packaging engineer is developing a package for laundry detergent, containment and utilization are likely the key factors during the development process. Whereas a package designed for a medical device requires protection of the device (both from physical harm and contamination) and utilization (ability for the device to be aseptically transferred). But in my experience, the role of a packaging engineer is much more complex than designing and developing packaging
An All Access Student Pass to the[PACK]out
May 19, 2023
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the[PACK]out with the support and sponsorship of Oliver Healthcare Packaging. the[PACK]out is a healthcare packaging conference focused on providing industry professionals the opportunity to connect, collaborate, and learn about three important pillars: design, usability, and sustainability.
Investing in Europe
May 16, 2023
The Covid-19 pandemic exposed severe weaknesses in the global supply chain for medical device packaging. As a result, Oliver is committed to investing in regionalizing our supply chain. Recently, Oliver CEO, Mike Benevento, sat down with Medical Device Development magazine to discuss key developments, such as the expansion of our Venray, Netherlands facility, in preparation for any similar disruptions in the future.
Pop Quiz: Med Tech Acronyms
May 10, 2023
Every industry has its own lingo. Yet, among all profession-specific languages, one of the pillars of med tech is surely the use of acronyms. As a bit of trivia for your next industry conversation, the use of acronyms evolved out of telegraph code, where creative abbreviations for words were born to save time (and money, if you were the sender).
What is Advanced Recycling?
May 2, 2023
When talking about sustainability in healthcare packaging, the conversation almost always starts with recycling. It makes sense since medical packaging often includes plastic, therefore a primary focal point must be on processing plastic and other packaging materials in the most sustainable way possible.
6 Healthcare Packaging Materials and How They Reduce Risk
April 18, 2023
Packaging used for terminally sterilized products in the healthcare industry has one main priority – keep the patient safe by maintaining sterility until the point of use. Common packaging configurations used in this space today (such as pouches, thermoform fill seal or TFFS, lids and trays, and backer cards with pouches) have been designed to meet the needs of a manufacturing and sterilization process, provide product protection through rigorous distribution channels, and allow for aseptic presentation. The materials used in these packaging configurations play an essential role in creating and preserving the sterile barrier system and have evolved over time to reduce patient risk as much as possible.
The Evolution of Medical Device Classifications
April 11, 2023
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating medical devices in 1976, when U.S. President Gerald Ford signed into law the Medical Device Amendments Act (MDAA) to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. From those amendments, the FDA wrote proposed rules to ensure medical devices were compliant with the MDAA. The body of finalized rules was promulgated in 21 CFR Parts 800-1299. That federal code ushered in the FDA’s classifications of medical devices based on the level of risk to end users: Class I, II, and III.
What Materials are Used in Pharmaceutical Packaging?
April 4, 2023
Simply put, not all healthcare packaging is created equal. Product packaging is dictated by product needs, with medical device and pharmaceutical drug packaging requirements differing greatly. High quality and effective packaging play a large role in ensuring that products maintain proper storage conditions during transport, ultimately ensuring patient safety. But how exactly does the packaging differ, and why is it important?
Top Five Transportation Challenges for Medical Packaging
March 28, 2023
Challenge #1: What do I test?
Whatever is the current representation of your medical device, the answer to this question for most manufacturers is the same: test its worst-case product packaging system. Going a step further, by testing the “bookends” of the device, you can preempt many potential issues down the road. By bookends, we identify what is the largest or heaviest component and then what is the smallest or lightest component. These represent the most vulnerable aspects and likely contributors to packaging failures.
Why is the sterile field important in the OR?
March 21, 2023
Regardless of whether you are new to the healthcare industry or an industry veteran, we’ve all heard about the “sterile field.” Thinking about the sterile field probably brings a few words to mind … operating room (OR), surgery, patient. Maybe you also think of blue gowns, gloves, and scrub caps. But what exactly is considered the sterile field, how is a sterile field created, and why is it important?
Oliver Healthcare Packaging to set-up 122,000 square foot manufacturing ...
February 28, 2023
Singapore, 20 February 2023 - Oliver Healthcare Packaging (Oliver), a leading healthcare company driving quality and innovation in medical packaging, has announced that it will establish a new manufacturing facility in the southern state of Johor in Malaysia, its largest regional plant. The company broke ground on the 122,000-square foot facility today, which is located within the i-Tech Valley, an integrated industrial park in the established economic zone of Iskandar Puteri, Johor. The plant is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2024 and will supply its rapidly growing Asia-Pacific customer base.
How Does Smart Design Contribute to Sustainability? A Beginner’s Guide to ...
February 28, 2023
As we continue to learn more about the world we live in, we explore the best ways to support optimal conditions for humans and nature to co-exist. Creating a better world for present and future generations is important, and global sustainability is a key piece of this equation. For this reason and many others, sustainable packaging is becoming a focus for companies around the world as they work to understand how they can do their part.
The Delayed MDR Transition in Europe
February 21, 2023
This article is Oliver’s official coverage of the changing Medical Device Regulation (MDR) in Europe. New insights will be added to the top of the page. Please bookmark this page and return to stay updated on the latest news and insight on MDR changes.
History of Expiration Dates
February 14, 2023
The world has lived in an age of expiration dates for about 50 years. Britain’s Marks & Spencer stores started putting expiration dates on foods in 1972 after overhauling their chain-wide line of cakes that was steadily losing ground. The dates were intended to boost sales with proof of quality-mindedness more than anything else.
Packaging: Taking It for Granted
February 6, 2023
This week, my son Owen turns ten. Each year, I'm brought back to the day he was born and the whirlwind of activity in the hospital. His birth was my first realization of the role packaging plays in saving lives.
The Colors in Medical Packaging
January 30, 2023
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – ROY G BIV. This popular acronym started as a way to identify a common color sequence, like that of a rainbow. And it’s the varying shades of these colors that change the way we see the world each day; from the moment we get dressed to the foods we eat. But with all the colors in the rainbow (and so many in between), why do we see mostly blue or white in healthcare? Are we simply conditioned to choose those colors or is there a purpose for using them in medical packaging? If all packaging is the same color, how does the end user differentiate between products on the shelf?
Happy New Year: May It Be Lucky for All of Us!
January 22, 2023
Happy Lunar New Year, from our team to yours! Around the world, more than two billion people celebrate the holiday. 2023 is the year of the rabbit (in Vietnam, the rabbit is replaced by a cat). In Chinese culture, the rabbit is known as the luckiest out of all twelve animals. The rabbit symbolizes mercy, elegance, and beauty, and 2023 is expected to be a year of calm and peace.
What is a Sterile Barrier System?
January 11, 2023
A sterile barrier system is often present (and mandated by regulation) in the medical packaging industry. The concept of sterilization—or rather, the need for it—has been around for a long time. In the mid 1800s, Louis Pasteur, who is recognized as one of the founding fathers of microbiology, identified that microorganisms were the root cause of food contamination. He introduced heating as a way to kill microorganisms. This same theory of sterilization has played out time and time again—from food to medicines to medical grade packaging.
What Is Cold Shock, and Why Should I Care?
January 4, 2023
Cold shock failure is a rare problem in the packaging world. During my time as a packaging engineer, I can count on my hand the number of times I have seen this occur—and I’ve only ever seen it take place with rigid thermoformed trays and lids.
Your 2022 Top 5 PackTalk Articles
December 16, 2022
When we launched our PackTalk blog three years ago, our goal was simple: Create a community – a way for industry experts to connect with one another about the latest news, innovations & trends in healthcare. Each week, we showcase varying perspectives on trending hot topics like overcoming supply chain barriers, sustainability efforts, innovations that are transforming the healthcare industry, and educational articles that help keep you in the know. We enjoy sharing these articles with you each week and we’re glad you like them!
Avoiding Pitfalls of Packaging
December 13, 2022
Although technical professionals at healthcare packaging companies often do a lot of their work behind the scenes, we enjoy collaborating with our customers and joining their journey to bring new medical devices and pharmaceutical products to market.
An Evolution of Vigilance
December 6, 2022
Since its inception, the pharmaceutical industry has been required to meet myriad, sometimes conflicting, priorities. And while patient safety has always been the cornerstone, early warnings still serve as sobering reminders for constant watch in an ever-evolving marketplace.
Perspectives in Packaging: Connie Anderson
November 8, 2022
While attending the MD&M Minneapolis trade show last week, I spent time with many packaging professionals and MDMs, including Connie Anderson, a Regional Manager with Oliver Healthcare Packaging. Connie is a true industry expert, having been in packaging for over 25 years. We sat down with Connie for a quick interview we thought you’d enjoy.
Scary Good Packaging
October 28, 2022
In honor of Halloween week, which is admittedly one of my very favorite holidays, we thought it would be fun to take a detour from our more serious content and shift our focus to an article we’re calling: Scary Good Packaging.
The Fundamentals of Adhesive Coatings
October 18, 2022
As a packaging professional in the healthcare industry, it’s important to understand the basics of adhesive coatings, including why they’re important, and their impact on packaging materials. A better understanding of adhesive coatings will help you design and troubleshoot your sterile barrier system.
From Finger Prick to Automation: How Technology Has Changed Millions of Lives
September 30, 2022
The chance to improve the lives of people dealing with medical conditions is just one of the many rewards of being a part of the medical industry. Companies whose work support pharma and medical device developers, like packaging, contribute the practical magic to help deliver hope to patients. For millions of patients living with the daily reminders of serious conditions like diabetes, relief from even a single sign of disease progression can feel like a victory. The progressive outcomes of Diabetes Type 1, with open wounds, loss of vision, limb amputation and other major effects can be devastating. Type 2, while less deadly, is also rampant. Together, they make what is happening today in diabetes innovation both necessary and inspiring.
When will the supply chain recover?
September 27, 2022
If you remember the summer and fall of 2020, when people were still adjusting to their new post-COVID-19 “normal”, you remember how hard it was to find certain things. People were spending a lot more time at home, which caused a surge in demand for things like patio furniture, and outdoor heating units. Buying behavior was focused on making homes more comfortable, and manufacturers answered that call. But as COVID became more manageable, people adjusted their lifestyles and preferences. They learned to live with COVID, started taking vacations again, and stayed home less. Demand preferences changed quickly, but it took the supply side longer to adjust. As a result, big box stores now have an abundance of patio furniture and heating units simply because the need (or demand) is lower than it once was.
Something Wicked This Way Comes to Packaging
September 13, 2022
Unlike the 1962 Ray Bradbury novel, however, Wicked Stability (WS) has nothing to do with creepy traveling carnivals. News of this ambitious and ground-breaking Kilmer Innovations in Packaging (KiiP) project is traveling fast, and its implications are timely, relevant, and positive.
Perspiration to Inspiration in Wearable Devices
September 8, 2022
There has been plenty of talk about Wearable Medical Devices (WMD) in recent years. Wearable Medical Devices are one of the ultimate healthcare advancements for patients. A wearable can provide reassurance when monitoring a serious health condition, making them both convenient and empowering. The patient is alerted if something changes in their condition, building confidence, enhancing decision-making, and positively impacting daily life.
Sterilization 101: What You Should Know as a Packaging Engineer
August 9, 2022
The type (or modality) of sterilization used for a medical device can impact the materials chosen for the sterile barrier system. Therefore, as a packaging engineer, it’s important to understand what sterilization is, the different types of sterilization, and why it is important.
Future of Flexible Packaging: 2022 FPA Student Challenge
July 29, 2022
It’s no secret that packaging for the medical industry comes with many non-negotiable requirements. The highly technical, one-of-a-kind innovations we pursue are our passion. Still, the industry is quick to agree that packaging innovation often starts in consumer goods and food packaging.
A Film Is Not Just Film
July 25, 2022
When you say healthcare packaging, people often think immediately about sterilization methods. The focus of the conversation will then quickly turn to whether or not a breathable substrate is needed, what coating might work best, and the optimal sealing parameters for the pouch combination.
Innovation & Sustainability Hot Topics at InnoPack Pharma Confex (Mumbai)
July 12, 2022
The recently-concluded InnoPack Pharma Confex in Mumbai, India took place 9-10 June 2022.
With India being a key exporter of drugs and medicines, the event attracted over 600 participants, including 40 exhibitors, 25 speaking tracks and saw participation from top pharmaceutical companies like Dr Reddy’s, Glenmark, Cipla, GSK, Sanofi, and others.
Sparking Interest for the Next Healthcare Packaging Leaders (Part 2)
July 5, 2022
The amount a medical device packaging professional needs to know is astounding. I grew up as it was evolving and was able to learn what I know in stride – and I’m still learning more all the time! While it is still evolving, there is still a large “barrier to entry” that junior professionals need to take on when they first start. Not only by understanding the regulations and standards they need to abide by in conducting the technical side of their jobs – all the way down to basic quality systems.
Sparking Interest for the Next Healthcare Packaging Leaders (Part 1)
June 27, 2022
Thirty years ago, when I first entered the medical device manufacturing world, I was warmly welcomed by the engineers supporting the sterile packaging operations and design functions. They spent time teaching me – they had the time to teach me. They had me do things that had become mundane to them, but were new and exciting to me. I was allowed to “fail” and not know things – there was time to learn and they didn’t give me anything that could have significantly impacted either the design of or manufacture of the medical devices we made. They allowed me to grow in knowledge over time, giving me more and more autonomy as I grew, such that at the end of my time there, I was a fully functional packaging engineer. I fell in love.
Novel Ideas and Data-Driven Methods at Kilmer Conference 2022
June 22, 2022
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Kilmer Conference, a 3-day conference dedicated to the disciplines of sterility assurance, microbiology, and chemistry. This year was the first time packaging played a prominent role in the agenda. Thanks to the Kilmer Innovations in Packaging Executive Committee, multiple KiiP groups presented on projects, findings, and significant contributions to the healthcare packaging space. In addition, discussions generated novel ideas around continuity and challenging the status quo. Here are a few presentations that stood out.
Unwritten Rules of ISO 11607
June 13, 2022
Many industry veterans know that parts of ISO 11607 are up for interpretation. There are portions you shall (must) follow, and there are areas that are left up to you and your organization to determine how they relate to your products. This is our quick, expert guide to the areas of ISO 11607 that are more open to interpretation than others.
Asia Pacific Tradeshows & Conferences: Live After Two Years
June 7, 2022
In May 2022, Medical Fair India and AusMedTech mark the resumption of in-person meetings for the India and Australia respectively after a hiatus brought about by the pandemic. Not surprisingly, both shows met with resounding responses of “We get to make connections in person again!”
Abrasion Risks: Testing the Future
May 31, 2022
With the push for reducing carbon footprint and increasing recyclability in materials becoming greater priorities by the day, med tech producers are looking for new ways to do more with less. Plastic films have long played a major role in the medical packaging industry. Currently, the desire for thinner films is driving the quest for new varieties that will increase performance and address sustainability while reducing costs. Novel film types must maintain the quality and integrity required for medical packaging, as they also respond to trending industry needs.
How to Approach Curving or Coiling Long Catheters
May 11, 2022
Long catheter systems can be a complicated problem when it comes to package design. As the name suggests, they are long and awkward to handle for manufacturing personnel, storage facilities, and end users. Considering alternative packaging configurations, such as curving or coiling the catheter, is an opportunity to simplify the user experience and gain efficiencies throughout the product life cycle. I recently discussed this topic with Vipul Rajpara, a Packaging Leader at Edwards Lifesciences with 15+ years of experience, much of which has been dedicated to long catheter packaging development. He is knowledgeable and passionate about the cross-functional proficiency needed by Packaging Engineers to succeed in this space. Here are some things he recommends considering when approaching package development.
"Time is Brain" - A Lesson from Cath Lab Veterans
May 3, 2022
In our articles, we often focus on doctors and nurses, but there are so many people in other settings that support life changing procedures. This article is for them, with a specific focus on Registered Radiologic Technologists (RT), and the important role they play.
13,000 People Strong at MD&M West
April 20, 2022
“It feels so good to be back in person” was a sentiment that was echoed loud and clear throughout the MD&M West event last week.
Last week, the Anaheim Convention Center was filled with over 1,400 exhibitors and 13,000 attendees—obvious that this year’s show was back to pre-Covid level participation. The many handshakes, conversations, and the common question of “so tell me what’s new” was evidence that attendees were happy to be back to face-to-face collaboration.
Sustainability: The Drum Beat is Getting Louder
April 20, 2022
For the last ten years, I have had the privilege of guest lecturing at Michigan State University’s School of Packaging. Every semester I get to meet a new group of students and provide education on the healthcare packaging industry in their Packaging 102: Packaging Seminar class. Recently, I reflected on a trend that has been reoccurring over the last few years. Not a single lecture ends without a student asking about sustainability initiatives and how our industry is supporting this important topic. Lately, this has made me realize that the changemakers are coming!
A Fresh Perspective: Advice from the Next Generation
April 6, 2022
As college graduations once again approach, packaging students will begin searching for their first industry roles. To gain more insight into the process of securing that first job and applying their knowledge to healthcare packaging, I met up with my good friend and peer, Chris Kelley.
Advanced Recycling Conversations Start Here
March 28, 2022
Increasing sustainability throughout medical product development and packaging processes can feel like attempting to climb Mt. Everest in a pair of sneakers. Our industry is dominated by “one-of-a-kinds.” Our material requirements are demanding, often unusual, and stringent. Our end users are patients, thus safety and sterility are the highest priority. These facts rule out many renewables emerging for other consumer product producers.
Packaging 101: ISO 11607
March 21, 2022
When you first enter the medical packaging industry, you’ll frequently hear about ISO 11607. But what does it mean, and why do you need to know about it? Here, we share the top six things you need to know about ISO 11607.
Keeping Sustainability in Focus
March 14, 2022
Women’s History Month Reflection: Growing up in India in the 90s, there were several formative experiences that come to mind: economic liberalization (neighborhoods that watched TV together could now afford one in each house), acute water crisis (my mother would ration our showers) and the Kargil War (as a teenager, it got me to pay attention to the news). Given I chose to work for a company that enables electronics and communication, water solutions and industry leading products that keep frontline workers and patients safe, it does appear that life progresses towards circularity.
Diagnostic Testing from the Comfort of Your Home
March 1, 2022
One of the main trends that has emerged recently in the diagnostics industry is a shift for simple testing—from a doctor’s office or lab to the home. While in-home testing existed before the COVID-19 pandemic (think pregnancy, allergy, and DNA tests), people have become much more comfortable checking their health status from a box, while conveniently sitting in their own home. No longer are people afraid of performing a finger prick, or nasal or saliva swab. Our desire to know “for sure” brought home-use test kits to the forefront of family life everywhere. Soon, we realized the convenience of at-your-fingertips, self-administered tests, and most importantly, the valuable health information they delivered.
How to Beat the Odds: Avoid Packaging Pinholes
February 21, 2022
Packaging engineers are familiar with this common packaging failure: the dreaded pinhole. Having been through it myself as a medical device packaging engineer—and helping customers design and analyze their packaging as the Technical Director at Oliver Healthcare Packaging—I’ve learned how to reduce or avoid pinholes altogether. When packaging failures are discovered in the eleventh hour of a product launch, there can be a significant impact to the overall cost and speed of the project.
Zero Particulate: Mission Possible?
February 15, 2022
There are countless aspects of the medical product production process that require attention. As industry capabilities, demands, and technology continue to evolve at a white-knuckle pace, particulate contamination reduction remains a critical area of focus for injectable products.
Healthcare Packaging: Change is the New Normal
February 7, 2022
It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges faced by today’s healthcare packaging engineers is change management. The industry is moving faster than ever. Both external and internal forces are requiring packaging engineers to be much more proactive as they consider changes that may impact the packaging system; and all of this comes as international regulatory bodies heighten their expectations of healthcare organizations.
Wishes for the Lunar New Year: Year of the Tiger
January 31, 2022
On February 1st, 2022, our entire team in China, along with our Chinese partners and many people around the globe celebrate the 2022 Spring Festival and enter the Lunar New Year, the Year of Tiger. The tiger is one of China’s zodiac symbols. In Chinese culture, the tiger is an ambitious and energetic animal. It symbolizes dignity, passion, and confidence, and is resolute in its approach to goals and tasks.
SAVE THE DATE: the[PACK]out is Coming in Hot
January 25, 2022
It’s 2022, and there’s a new experience taking the stage! Grab your duffel and toothbrush and get ready: you’re going to love this, guaranteed.
Packaging Trends and Advice from Industry Experts
January 19, 2022
Looking ahead at 2022, we asked packaging experts to share their thoughts on emerging trends, top strategic priorities for the year, and their best professional development advice.
Mapping Your Supply Chain Risk
January 7, 2022
Last year at this time, we were hoping 2021 would restore smooth, and even improved, supply chain operations after a full year of COVID-19 chaos. Little did we know that the global supply chain would continue to experience significant challenges, both from the pandemic and impossible-to-predict disruptions like the Houston, Texas freeze.
The Future Gamma Irradiation
December 20, 2021
As industries that thrive on the discovery of the new and the next, medical device and pharma can be equally dogged in defense of what has worked before and will work now. Both perspectives have a place in our work. A perfect example is our enduring reliance on gamma irradiation as a sterilization mainstay. Gamma irradiation has been around for more than 70 years yet remains the most popular irradiation sterilization modality for medical devices today. Gamma irradiation is effective. It is well-suited to many applications, packaging types, and is scalable. But what if it became less available?
Creating Award-Winning Packaging with Medtronic
December 14, 2021
It’s a pleasure to share a few thoughts at the invitation of my Oliver Healthcare colleagues on the PackTalk blog. For those who don’t know me, it makes sense to start with a brief background of how I arrived where I am today, as Principal Packaging Engineer for Medtronic in Plymouth, Minnesota.
Unique Device Identification System for Medical Devices – Part 1
November 29, 2021
Under various medical device regulatory jurisdictions worldwide, the Unique Device Identification (UDI) System is being developed to facilitate adequate medical device identification through distribution and use. Healthcare providers, distributors, group purchasing organizations, payors, researchers, and others are using UDI for supply chain efficiency, tracking medical devices in the electronic health record including track and trace, comparative effectiveness research, electronic procurement, and a multitude of other information. This article, the first in a 2-part series, will give you a quick overview of the basics of UDI and its importance in the track and trace process at medical device companies. In this part, let’s talk through the basics–including what it is and why it matters.
Apple’s Influence on Medical Packaging
November 22, 2021
Today, consumer packaging has become a part of branding. A lot of thought goes into packaging and the consumer experience, and how the product is presented is a way for it to stand out. But packaging hasn’t always been considered in such a thoughtful way. In fact, a lot of times, packaging was simply looked at as a real drag to the bottom line.
The “You” in Sustainability
November 15, 2021
Over the last couple decades, the world has been gradually confronted with the stark reality that many of our habits are wreaking havoc on the natural environment. We saw the haze of air pollution, and waves of oceans filled with plastics. Now that the bleak outlook of unmanaged consumption has started to sink in, it’s time to get creative. It’s time for all manufacturing sectors to rethink and retool what we make, how we make it, and how to do it more sustainably.
The Show Goes On, Even in a Virtual Setting
November 8, 2021
2021 is coming to a close, and while we are optimistic for a return to a more traditional environment in 2022, we recognize the valuable shift we’ve seen to more virtual and hybrid industry events.
My Why: How Packaging Creates the Ideal Career Path for Students Like Me
November 2, 2021
As a senior at the University of Wisconsin—Stout, I’m just on the edge of entering the workforce and starting my full-time career as a packaging engineer. Because I have such a passion for this major—and for this industry—I want people to know more about what it is, and what a career path might look like. Right now, there are more packaging engineering jobs available than there are graduating students to fill them, which is great news for us! Traditionally, students choose this industry because they know someone in it, or because they transfer into the major after hearing more about it. I, however, have known that packaging was the industry I wanted to pursue since high school.
The Quick Pace of Evolution in Healthcare Packaging for Developing Nations
October 12, 2021
Evolution in the healthcare packaging industry is much quicker in developing nations than it is in more developed countries. Continuous improvement is all about minimizing risk while getting products to market quickly is still a top priority. So, what are the unique, foreseeable trends for 2022, and how are markets evolving in Asia, post pandemic?
5 Lessons I Learned from My Experience in Healthcare Packaging
October 4, 2021
“Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. Ongoing, continuous, non-stop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.” – Brian Tracy
The Gorilla in the Room
September 29, 2021
When I first sat down to write this article, a myriad of topics came to mind. There is a LOT going on right now–technical, business, professional development, and more… I think what I’m going to go after today is a bit more abstract than normal, but hopefully, it will resonate with you, nonetheless.
Sustainability in Healthcare Packaging: A Grassroots Effort
September 22, 2021
Last month during MDM West, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Kiley Djupstrom (Plastic Ingenuity) and Jennifer Benolken (DuPont) in a moderated session on sustainability in medical packaging. Kiley and I lead a team of industry professionals as part of the Kilmer Innovations in Packaging group focused on sustainability. Our goal: Make progress in sustainability of healthcare packaging. This is no easy feat, but the goal is progress, and we have a team of passionate individuals across the value chain who are committed to showing up and doing the work.
One Doctor’s Request for Sustainable Change in Asia
September 14, 2021
152 kilograms. 4500 tonnes. 134 hectares. No matter how you say it, it’s not positive or sustainable. These numbers reflect the amount of medical waste from just one surgery, in a study from four hospitals over three months in New Zealand. 152 kilograms is equivalent to the weight of an empty refrigerator, a small piano, and even a baby elephant! Let that sink in. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact this is just a small percentage of the medical waste generated in New Zealand and a drop in the bucket of the medical waste collected around the world each year.
Customers First: How to Collaborate in a Niche Industry
August 24, 2021
Working in a niche industry, like medical packaging, comes with a responsibility to really understand your customers. The packaging you provide is specific and custom for each company, so the questions can vary greatly. Understanding the needs of all these different customers is key to a successful collaboration.
The In-Person Handshake is Here to Stay, and We Couldn’t Be Happier
August 18, 2021
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies across all industries had started to question the traditional tradeshow, wondering if they still made sense in our digital world. The cost to participate in a show, including sponsorship and exhibition cost, is a big expense. In March of 2020, when all in-person tradeshows came to a crashing halt, we saw a gradual shift to virtual events … some of which were successful, while others left a lot to be desired.
Why Speed & Flexibility Drive Big Pharma
August 3, 2021
From discovering and developing a new drug, testing to ensure its safety & effectiveness, determining how the drug should be delivered, and the demanding regulatory environment, most drugs take years before they are introduced into a market. Add in the fact that 7 in 10 products that reach market never recover the cost of development, and the challenging nature of the pharmaceutical industry becomes clear.
The Next Decade of Medical Packaging Belongs to China – Part 3
July 12, 2021
The final part of our three-part series examines China’s role in the global supply chain for medical devices and packaging. A strong central government and experience managing pandemics led the country to a rapid rebound ahead of other economies.
Part 3: Supply Chains Before and After the Pandemic
How Much Do You Know About Dye Penetration Testing?
June 28, 2021
Dye penetration tests are commonly used to test the seal integrity of sterile barriers. Are you familiar with the essentials of this test? Do you know how it is properly performed? Let's take a look together!
In Vitro Diagnostics: Leading the Path to Patient Empowerment
June 22, 2021
In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) testing is newer than some of the related, more traditional industries like medical device and pharmaceuticals. IVD is generally viewed as a vast field of testing performed by clinicians, technicians, and labs. While serving the same market, particularly given its reach, diagnostics is an intriguing industry that will continue to evolve for years to come. The potential for breakthroughs in IVD is promising, but complex. Diagnostics stands to take on new leadership in redefining the “what,” “who,” and “how” of testing and monitoring as a way of empowering patients.
Updates on China’s New Regulations for Medical Devices
June 15, 2021
In late March 2021, China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA, formerly CFDA) published the revised Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices. This version of regulations was postponed until March 2021 due to re-prioritization of tasks of NMPA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The updated regulatory framework was slated to take effect on June 1, 2021.
True or False: Thicker Foil Is Best
June 8, 2021
False. Although common sense would lead us to believe that thicker packaging will always offer better protection, this is not the case with foils. That’s because with any continuous foil, where there are no holes in the foil layer itself, thickness doesn’t matter. Foils are always considered impermeable by their very nature.
Country-by-Country: Asia’s Regulations on Medical Packaging
June 1, 2021
Asia is emerging as one of the fastest-growing regional markets in the East. A number of dynamics are driving growth, including expansive government expenditure, increasing healthcare needs of aging populations, and greater accessibility to healthcare overall. As Asia opens these new dimensions, it is bringing economies, commerce, marketing and social issues such as healthcare, to the fore. The double-digit growth has highlighted the need for more standardized, precise medical device regulations, which have varied widely across APAC countries, until now.
MDR Starts on May 26; Read This to Get Ready
May 25, 2021
MDR has been a part of our vocabulary since 2017. It was postponed last year, but the time is finally here. On May 26, 2021, the European Union Medical Device Regulation (or, EU MDR) will finally be implemented. Since the announcement of this new regulation, all notified bodies and medical device manufacturers across Europe have been actively preparing. By now, stakeholders are aware of what must be done. But with that said, it is an extensive regulation, so we also know companies who are wondering if they’ve interpreted MDR correctly, and more importantly, if they comply or not.
Takeda’s Manufacturing Leader on Dealing with Climate Change
May 19, 2021
Whether your company is all-in, looking the other way, or waiting to follow, addressing climate change in your supply chain management model is no longer a vague notion or cheap buzzword. A proactive approach now can help circumvent crisis mode later.
1 Simple Question that Will Drive Your IVD Packaging
May 11, 2021
The In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry is fascinating, and as precision medicine is prioritized more heavily around the world, it is important that we understand the industry from even the most basic level. When I was talking with a colleague recently about packaging for the IVD industry, it became clear just how diverse the landscape is, and how quickly it is evolving. For example, specialized DNA testing, a wearable glucose monitor, and a simple urine test are all considered diagnostics. To put it simply, anything that is used to provide a diagnosis belongs in this category. Additionally, as I’m sure you can imagine, the setting for package opening and use are quite different too, depending on the IVD. For example, a diagnostic might be used in a regulated setting like a healthcare facility, hospital, or a laboratory. Some diagnostics though, like allergy testing kits, are used in personal homes.
Two Nurses Explain the Difference Between OR and ER Packaging
May 5, 2021
We know how valuable it is to gain insight from nurses; they are the core end-users of sterile healthcare packaging. Have you ever considered the myriad environments, procedures, and medical devices they manage, or how this vast diversity impacts a nurse’s experience with medical packaging? I recently interviewed two nurses to explore just that – Brooke Wieferich (RN, BSN, CEN in the ER) and Amber Wagner (RN, BSN in the cardiovascular OR and ER). Read on to understand more about the differences between the operating room (OR) and emergency room (ER), how these differences impact the sterile field and packaging interaction, and what matters most to these critical end-users in their respective environments.
The Next Decade of Medical Packaging Belongs to China – Part 2
May 3, 2021
Part two of our three-part series examines how China’s evolving medical device market helped the country during the pandemic. It also looks back at what changes took place as the healthcare sector found itself at center stage of the world’s COVID-19 response.
Part 2: Regulation Speeds Up Due to COVID-19
7 Crucial Questions to Ask About Your Packaging
April 19, 2021
Your project team has come to the critical stage where you need to consider how you will package, sterilize, and ship your product. How do you ensure your medical device arrives safely at the various medical facilities, hospitals, and clinics? With so many packaging options, how do you find the perfect sterile barrier system for your product? In my role at Oliver Healthcare Packaging, I am often the first person a new customer works with. Here is how I get them started.
Material Science: A Game Changer for a More Sustainable Future?
April 12, 2021
As Bob Dylan once said … The Times, They Are A-Changin’. This year, though, that was even more true than ever before. Navigating the global pandemic, while simultaneously implementing EU MDR, made us all feel like the world was upside down. Slowly but surely, we are getting back to some semblance of normal, but there are some learnings we can take into the future with us.
From Machine Operator to Head of Quality
March 30, 2021
I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed if half of us are held back.
- Malala Yousafzai, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Wishes for the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Ox
February 22, 2021
Our team in China, along with many people around globe, just celebrated the 2021 Spring Festival and entered the Lunar New Year, the Year of Ox. Ox is one of China’s Zodiac and in Chinese culture the ox is a hard-working and docile animal. It symbolizes diligence, dependability, strength, and determination. In Western culture, the ox symbolizes wealth and power, and Hinduism sees ox as representing good luck.
Packaging's Longest Design Rule That's Ready To Be Broken
February 15, 2021
What comes to mind if I ask you to think of a medical sterile barrier pouch? Whether you’re new to or experienced in healthcare packaging, I bet a chevron seal is the image that pops into your head. It is, after all, the go-to design across the industry, for good reason. Chevron seals have provided healthcare personnel with better opening control and aseptic presentation into the sterile field. Still, a variety of alternative pouch seal designs and features are available in the market.
Conversations in the Medical Device Industry
February 9, 2021
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was right. We must apply lessons learned to current industry action plans.
The Healthcare Digital Revolution
January 19, 2021
In 1972, the Regenstreif Institute proudly rolled out the first electronic medical records (EMRs) to physician practices. The electronic forms touted the ability to centralize data, reduce or eliminate paper files, and access data from multiple computer stations. Even with the distinction of “first” and “only” labels, the response of the medical community was decidedly lackluster, thanks to high costs and many questions. Around 1982, PCs began to go mainstream and in 1993 the Internet was born. These advances reignited the possibility that centralized, electronic records could enhance administrative and patient care management, after all.
ISO 11040-7: Packaging In-Process Pharma and Prefilled Syringe Tubs
January 13, 2021
For those in the medical device and healthcare packaging industries, whether you are just starting out or have been in the field for 30 years like me, we understand ISO 11607. We live and breathe it every day. Whether we are considering the device itself, the package design, making a material selection, or considering sterilization and transportation, ISO 11607 is our guide.
Design for Manufacture: Saving billions for more than 40 years
January 4, 2021
Not everything that is designed can be manufactured. This is why the concept of Design for Manufacture (DFM) is so important in the packaging industry.
Virtual Engineering Week Recap
December 14, 2020
2020 has been a year that has required us to pivot, adapt and constantly find ways to connect outside of traditional tradeshows and networking events. Earlier this month, Informa held their first ever Virtual Engineering Week, which ran from November 30th to December 4th. The week was full of exhibitors, keynote speeches, panel discussions, and live Q&A sessions.
From “Approved” to “Available” – Innovations in Scaling Parenteral Drug ...
December 9, 2020
The road to market for new drugs and pharmaceutical products is long and complicated. Each stage of drug development is highly scrutinized by the FDA, enabling patient populations and providers to confidently rely on the product.
November 24, 2020
Thanksgiving is a holiday of the heart, through the lens of gratitude. The year of COVID-19 has made that message shine brighter than any other year, if nothing else.
Behind the Scenes of Our Nurses Speak Up Video Series
November 16, 2020
Recently, I had the pleasure of virtually interviewing five operating room scrub nurses. I interviewed them as a part of our new video series, PackTalk: Nurses Speak Up. The goal of these interviews was to get real, honest feedback from healthcare professionals who open medical packaging every day. And that is exactly what we got!
MedTech Conference Hot Topics
November 9, 2020
AdvaMed’s conference takes on medtech’s need to actively increase diversity and inclusion and fight racism, now.
MD&DI Interviews FDA Commissioner
November 3, 2020
How the FDA continues to generate the science and data of a pandemic, keep the public health on active duty, and serve innovation, in the year that upended the world.
How to Assess a Failure Observed Post-Transit
October 29, 2020
Transit failures happen. In fact, one in three transit or distribution studies that come through our lab fail. Sometimes intentionally to test the limits of a package, other times it can be unexpected and bring a project to a halt. When we know what caused the failure, we can make the correct recommendation for the packaging so the client can continue launching their device to market.
Package Design for Seniors
October 20, 2020
Designing medical packaging for seniors is like designing packaging for day and night. This is because when designing for seniors you must also solve for child resistance needs, which often contradict each other.
The Role of Robotics in Packaging Automation
October 14, 2020
The medical packaging industry goes all-in on the role of robotics in retooling how we design, produce, and distribute products.
Can Packaging Postponement Find Its Way into the Medical Device Market?
October 7, 2020
As we all adjust to the "new normal" brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical device companies are doing the same. The downturn in elective medical and surgical procedures has upended our businesses. This begs several questions.
What Medical Packaging and Airline Travel Have in Common
September 30, 2020
Before COVID-19 put most airline travel on hold, I traveled quite a bit for my job. I enjoy visiting our customers, attending trade shows and industry conferences, and giving educational seminars in person. When I sit on a commercial aircraft, climbing to altitude and experiencing the physical aspects of pressure changes, I sometimes think about the impact that pressure differentials can have on sterile barrier systems (SBS).
Oliver Healthcare Packaging Celebrates Expanded Manufacturing Facility in ...
September 29, 2020
Trevose, Pennsylvania, USA – Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – Last week, Oliver Healthcare Packaging Company celebrated the grand opening of an expanded manufacturing facility in Feasterville, Pennsylvania.
State of the Industry: An Update from Our CEO
September 24, 2020
Around the world, we have all felt the impact of COVID-19. In the United States, where Oliver is headquartered, we started to really notice the effect in late February / early March. Almost every major industry has been impacted by the pandemic, and healthcare has felt a profound shift. Healthcare workers around the world have been fighting COVID-19 heroically from the frontline. Major pharmaceutical companies are working hard to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread. And companies like Oliver are working to keep the medical supply chain stocked and ready to support the industry.
4 Things I Learned from Not Being Able to Attend Trade Shows
September 16, 2020
It’s no secret that trade shows are a staple in the medical device and packaging industry. They are a place where everyone comes together to learn about the newest technologies, innovations and best practices, and network with friends and colleagues. Typically, our global teams attend nearly 20 trade shows throughout the year. This year, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve attended three. A drastic change for our team, business, and industry.
Confessions of a Packaging Leader: David Hardin
September 8, 2020
I started my career with Richards Medical in Memphis, Tennessee, working in a product design role that later evolved into packaging engineering. At the time, I had no experience in packaging, and was therefore learning on the job. My degree was in operations management from the University of Memphis, but when the opportunity presented itself in packaging engineering, I quickly said “yes”. As the company grew and evolved, so did my role. I had the opportunity to manage an engineering team very early in my career. Even then, I knew I wanted to lead people; the opportunity to build and create something new together has always been exciting to me.
Oliver Healthcare Packaging acquires Kansas City Design, forms new premium ...
August 25, 2020
Trevose, Pennsylvania, USA – August 25, 2020 – Oliver Design LLC, a new business unit of Oliver Healthcare Packaging Company, a leading provider of global healthcare packaging, today announced the acquisition of Kansas City Design (KCD). KCD is a premier product and packaging design firm, having served customers in the life sciences industry since 2004 from their design center in Lambertville, New Jersey. KCD has deep expertise in the design and development of complex packaging systems for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical therapies. Some of these therapies include cold form foil, blister packaging, prefilled syringes, autoinjectors, transdermal and microneedle patches, wearable devices, and other biomedical therapeutic applications.
Where Device and Drug Makers Come Together
August 21, 2020
As industry innovators seek to master the growing injectables market, partnering across disciplines helps overcome regulatory and practical challenges.
Sterile Barrier Packaging: The Impact of Sterilization Modalities
August 19, 2020
Sterilization is a defining factor when it comes to healthcare products—it’s an essential step in the commercialization process for most single-use medical devices. The cleanliness of a hospital environment is crucial, and sterilization and correlating sterile barrier systems are key factors in ensuring your medical device remains free from contamination until the point of use.
Out with the old? Changes to EO sterilization may help meet new challenges.
August 12, 2020
Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization has remained largely unchanged for decades, but recent changes have shaken up the industry. Concerns with the carcinogenic nature of EO and the alleged levels of emissions from sterilization facilities led to subsequent closures of some contract sterilization facilities. EO is a highly effective sterilant with many advantages, but it is also toxic and classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known carcinogen.
Embracing the Human Factor
August 7, 2020
An expert translates surgical nurses’ device packaging wish lists into roadmaps that help engineers make those wishes come true.
How A Film-to-Film Packaging Design Can Impact the Results of Distribution ...
August 5, 2020
You decide on your medical device packaging and are ready to launch to market, but you discover you have forgotten a key part of getting your device launch – packaging validation. Depending on your timeline, this could be a major roadblock for your product launch. Validation is a necessary step required by the FDA and the only option is to comply and get the ball rolling as fast as possible.
FDA Pilots Programs to Enhance Traceability
July 30, 2020
What is happening with FDA Title II Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)?
Heat Sealing Advances Heat Up
July 28, 2020
"The benefit of machine-intelligence technology is risk mitigation." - Kent Hevenor
Do It Yourself Healthcare
July 22, 2020
Chances are that you know someone who lives with a chronic condition that requires ongoing, regular treatment. Often, that treatment includes injections. More than ever, patients and families are finding themselves being transitioned from office visits to self-administration of injections at home.
Where COVID-19 and Innovation Collide
July 15, 2020
It’s no shock that COVID-19 has changed (and will forever change) our lives, including the way we do business. Everyone, across every industry, has been challenged to get creative and innovate. Restaurants have created digital menus and mobile applications for online only orders. Fitness centers are providing tools for in-home exercise. Even taking your dog to the vet looks different now.
The Ventilator Project
July 13, 2020
Tyler Mantel, robotics entrepreneur, creates nonprofit organization to develop new ventilator during COVID-19 pandemic.
July 7, 2020
An entity all its own:
“Why did THEY make it this way?”
“What were THEY thinking?”
How many times have I uttered those or similar phrases about “they” in my career?
Who are “they” anyway?
In my case, my “they” has often been the people who wrote the ISO 11607 or ASTM standards that we use to test our packages.
New Nylon Opens Door for Companies Looking to Upgrade Packaging
June 30, 2020
To our readers … you know by now that we never push our product through PackTalk. In this blog, we aim to educate & inspire, and ultimately start a discussion. But we’re breaking our own rule for this article. The healthcare industry is conservative (rightfully so—in healthcare, lives are impacted). But with that said, we get excited when we see innovation in the industry, whether it comes from Oliver or someone else.
Healthcare Agility in the Time of COVID-19
June 11, 2020
The healthcare world has faced a massive shift in recent months to focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical system has suffered unprecedented strain, and there has been global coordination in ways we have never before seen. Hospitals have transformed, healthcare workers have been thrown into unfamiliar work, and companies have created new supply chains, seemingly overnight. COVID-19 has been at the forefront of everyone's mind every day. Although these stressors have tested the limits of the medical system’s capacity to take care of patients, ingenuity and adaptability have prevailed in the wake of this crisis. As they navigate the changing landscape, people have been forced to approach problems and leverage resources in promising new ways for our future, post-pandemic world.
Saluting Nurses Everywhere—Thank You
June 8, 2020
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a nurse looks like? Behind the Mask, a short video by Carolyn Jones, premiered at the 2020 Virtual AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo. The video gives us a glimpse into what motivates and drives nurses to show up each day for the patient. The twelve-minute documentary walks us through a patient story of a liver transplant and reveals the compassion, processes, care, technical aptitude, and teamwork required to get through one procedure.
COVID-19 Testing Supply and Capacity May Be Key to Reopening the Economy
May 29, 2020
Since the first confirmed COVID-19 case reported in the United States in late January, the nation has seen more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and approximately 96 thousand deaths. This number has risen higher than anticipated while states have been staying under lock-down orders for months. As state and federal governments plan for reopening the economy, promising vaccine candidates are moving into their second clinical trials. This timing pushes the hopeful availability of vaccine for mass production to later this year or next year. With uncertainty around a vaccine, testing capacity may become the next key strategy to ease social distancing and reopen the parts of the country that are still under lock-down.
Global Medical Device Regulations & Harmonization Efforts of Sterile Medical ...
May 26, 2020
We are going through a global health crisis which is unprecedented in our lifetime. This is a global pandemic which requires an international response. As such, it becomes even more important to understand global harmonization of best practices in the healthcare industry.
The FDA Authorizes First COVID-19 Saliva-Based Test for Home
May 20, 2020
With COVID-19 test kits in high demand, the FDA has been authorizing new at-home sample collections to help make tests more accessible.
What Mass Testing Means for the Packaging World
May 18, 2020
As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, the tone in America has shifted since the initial battle cry to “flatten the curve.” The lockdown of schools and non-essential business has passed the 10-week mark and caused a counter-reaction to re-open businesses, states, and the overall economy.
COVID-19 and the Road to Recovery
May 6, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to impact the world and remains a force against US MedTech firms, hold on. The pent-up demand for halted medical procedures is expected to be urgent. Yes, it remains complicated, but the medical device industry could face shortages as recovery begins.
The Quest for Sustainability
April 30, 2020
I don’t eat meat every day of the week, but when I do buy meat, I check to see where it originated. When it is local in origin, I am more likely to buy it. I avoid going to the greengrocer for produce during January. If I find salsify, I won’t buy it outside of salsify season. I spend more money on my jeans than I used to, as I now buy a local brand. My point in sharing my shopping habits is simple: I try to think before I buy, and I try to be conscious about what effect my purchase has on the environment, when it is possible.
ISO 11607 & EU MDR: Getting Clarity on Risk Management
April 29, 2020
A year after the publication of ISO 11607-1/2 revisions, seeking further harmony with 2020’s EU MDR, new changes are in the works.
5 Pharmaceutical Trends & Their Impact on Packaging
April 20, 2020
While a virus demands attention now, chronic diseases and changes in how medicine is delivered will remain for years to come. It’s our job to attend to both.
Clinical Trials in Europe Show Promise for Treatment of COVID-19
April 17, 2020
Roche Phase III Covid-19 clinical trial is under way, as United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues his recovery from the novel coronavirus.
Innovation & Sustainability in a Challenging Environment
April 15, 2020
The healthcare packaging industry knows that recycling and reuse can be tricky to synergize with sterility and human medicine and that’s okay. We are always up for a good challenge.
Oliver & COVID-19: An Employee Perspective
April 8, 2020
Anxious. Disconnected. Overwhelmed. Grateful. Inspired. Resilient.
Like many of you, I am feeling all of these. Often within a few minutes of each other, and even at the same time. I am a full-time Oliver employee, working remotely right now, with two young children at home, a first grader and a fourth grader. They each have a distance learning plan at school, utilizing different technology. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a colleague. Navigating our new normal during COVID-19 has been challenging, and there have been many moments of laughter and tears. Some days are easier than others. I am accepting that and giving myself grace (I hope you are, too).
Will the Coronavirus Halt Initiatives for Sustainable Packaging?
April 3, 2020
With people on high alert due to potential virus-spreading and cities all over the world implementing and/or rewarding the use of reusable packaging; will the trend toward sustainable packaging subside? This is an unprecedented time. While countries are doing all they can to minimize the spread, there is no doubt that our collective cultures will be changed by the impact of this pandemic.
The War Against Novel Coronavirus
April 1, 2020
As 265 million Americans across 32 states live under stay-at-home orders, the US economic outlook also darkens in the wake of climbing COVID-19 cases and deaths. While Congress implements an unprecedented stimulus package to ease wage and business losses, both the private sector and government agencies at different levels face yet another Corona-era challenge: supply chain disruptions in vital sectors such as health care manufacturing. Armed with the Defense Production Act, the Trump administration aims to speed up production of items desperately needed by hospitals everywhere. But will this step succeed in addressing shortages in our interconnected, globalized manufacturing world?
Packaging’s Part in Drive-Thru Testing
March 31, 2020
Among the hundreds of articles displaying COVID-19 headlines, you have probably noticed the high emphasis and discussion around testing for the virus. From every angle, significant funds are being invested in this critical effort. In addition to quarantining, social distancing, and working from home, testing availability plays a significant role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Packaging, as it relates to testing, is equally vital by helping ensure product quality and performance, since the resulting data is the information on which policymakers and healthcare providers will go forward and treat.
Pulling Together To Fight COVID-19
March 23, 2020
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Mayo Clinic, and Roche Get FDA Approval to Help in Fight Against COVID-19.