With the rise of the modern packaging in pharmaceutical
Pharmaceutical Industry not only demands aesthetics and appeal but also requires strict adherence to the laws governing the packaging process since it is a matter of human life. Hence it evidently becomes more critical compared to packaging in other sectors.
Automation in packaging can ensure peace of mind along with increased ROI for Pharmaceutical companies. An example of how automation can help is filling of multiple components in a flow pack at high speed. There are individual feeders on a flow wrapping machine for every component and these are synchronized with the main machine. Automation improves productivity and also avoids human errors which occur during manual feeding. At every stage there are sensors to sense the presence or absence of the components and reject the pack if any one or more of the components go missing from the pack. This also assures that the right components go into the right pack.
This technology can be a boon for the Pharmaceutical Companies exporting their products to highly regulated markets like the USA and Europe. Since these are highly regulated market and even if a single component which affects the efficacy of the drug or explains the dosage is found missing in the pack it can lead to rejection of the whole batch.
If the composition of the drug is known, we can decide on the barrier properties of the film & thus optimize the cost without compromising the quality. Ease of handling of the end pack is also a decisive factor. A sachet / pouch can be provided with an easy tear option.
Let's take an example of replacing the filling of liquid/powder/gel product from HDPE bottles / lamitube to a flexible pouch. It immediately cuts down the cost of packaging material and also the transportation & the taxes on the same. It removes the challenges in Supply Chain Management and also saves a lot in inventory resulting in more profitability. Since the packaging material of a flexible pouch is a film on a reel, it occupies much lesser space. It can free up space in the factory for some other utility. The pouch / sachet once opened cannot be reused. It automatically acts as an anti counterfeit.
Packaging of pharmaceutical products using flexible laminates in a flow wrap or a form-fill-seal format can provide an excellent alternative & automation opportunity. It can increase productivity, accuracy and result in higher profitability.