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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seal Strength Testing: Is 1 lb. Still the Go-To Metric? ASTM WK57656 Update
March 13, 2020
A few years ago, I started a journey on behalf of packaging professionals everywhere—to validate or debunk the 1 lb. standard for seal strength testing. For as long as I can remember, it has been a popular topic of conversation and debate in every gathering or get-together with veteran and beginning packaging engineers alike. We discuss where the 1 lb. standard came from, why 1 lb. became the go-to metric, and if 1 lb. is right for every package out there.
Seal It with Quality
February 20, 2020
One day, I was talking with a colleague about the challenges in sealing. She works in application development, so she hears a lot about the different challenges medical device manufacturers are facing with packaging and sealing – from no-brainers to rocket-scientist-level conundrums. In many cases though, it turns out that an earlier focus on sealing process development, and package design in general, would have certainly helped.
Appropriate Sterile Barrier Systems
November 29, 2019
Oliver Healthcare has achieved several milestones in sectors of Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals and a credible position. We would like you to share some views and ideas about your company, plans, future and your outlook on the industry.
Design Thinking in the OR? Scrub in!
November 20, 2019
I began my career in IT, found my way to marketing, but since birth have been raised as the son of an engineer. Any engineer’s house is full of projects and the Pepe’s were no exception. The TV split open on the dining room table, the washing machine pulled apart to fix that darn wobble … and don’t even go near the garage.
World Pharma Today – New Independent Study Proves Coated Lidding Significantly ...
October 18, 2019
Coating technologies reduce particulate generation by up to 96% in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
As the demand for prefilled and prefillable syringe applications grow, one consideration for many pharmaceutical manufacturers is particulate; in particular, how particulate can be reduced in the manufacturing process.
MD+DI – 3 Medical Device Packaging Tips for a Successful Outcome
May 3, 2019
Medical device packaging is an important part of delivering your device to market safely and securely, yet there is no doubt that navigating the process can be a bit confusing and complex for device manufacturers. With decades of experience in assisting device manufacturers with their packaging design solutions, we offer the following three tips for a successful packaging design as a way of avoiding costly and time-consuming mistakes.