3 Healthcare Packaging Updates from PACK EXPO Las Vegas

On this Take Five video, Pat Reynolds showcases three package design innovations from PACK EXPO Las Vegas in pharmaceuticals, personal care, and child-resistance for cannabis.

Quick hits:

  • New from R&D/Leverage is a bottle design, DispensEZ, that has a more tapered, ramp-shaped neck that allows for easier pill dispensing.
  • Potential for personal care refills: Zacros & P&G are launching what they call the first ever mono-material, refill pouch in a commercialized project. The system won a Dow Award last year and will be rolling out in Japan this year.
  • Orics Industries showed a rotary tray sealing system designed specifically for a CBD-infused candy bar in a child-resistant package. The thermoformed PET tray has notches and flaps that prevent a child from opening the package.

Related to this episode:

Listen to the story here:

Read article   Read the transcript below:

Keren Sookne: Hi, I’m Keren Sookne for Take Five Video with Healthcare Packaging. It’s been over a month since PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, and the innovation reporting continues. 

Today we have a few package design clips to highlight from the show floor, delivered by Packaging Hall of Famer Pat Reynolds.

The first is a bottle with a specially designed neck for easy tablet or capsule removal. This is an area that continues to see focus due to a rise in the population of seniors globally. But accessible packaging isn’t just a benefit for seniors. There are many people with or without limited mobility who struggle with accessing just one dose, and it’s great to see companies innovating to improve the conveniency of drug delivery.

Next we check out a unique new mono material pouch capable of delivering refills for personal care and other goods. Pat talks about how this impacts recycling and a new application in Japan.

Last, we take a look at a child-resistant cannabis package designed particularly for edibles. Take it away, Pat!

Pat Reynolds: Yeah, That's right. They're really excited about their prospects.And then another container, although on the plastic side, you know how those aspirin bottles and tablet bottles, they've got that lip inside of like a shoulder, you cannot put a finger in and pull out one pill. And so with arthritic fingers, it becomes a real issue in trying to get pills out of bottles. So this company, R&D/Leverage, they're toolmakers generally for injection molding or injection stretch, blow molding. They've come up with this patent pending design where there's like a little shoulder, a little ramp inside the... that gets the pill over the shoulder of the bottle. So you can put one finger in, bring one pill out and it slides right up this ramp.

Jim Chrzan: That's interesting. So they went into easier to open pill bottles for diabetics and elderly people, but now even getting the medicine out is going to be the next step to make it easy for them.

Pat Reynolds: So they're looking for a brand owner who wants to buy the intellectual property and we'll see what happens.

And then finally, one more thing I thought I mentioned is a company called ZACROS monomaterial. So this is another trend we've been seeing quite a bit at the show. And even before the show, and this is polyethylene, adhesive laminated to polyethylene. And then in the adhesive that joins the two layers, there are barrier properties. Now I had not heard that before, and maybe it's not that unusual, but I find it pretty interesting that the adhesive used in the lamination actually brings some barrier properties to these two polyethylene films, which normally don't have that much barrier to speak of.

Jim Chrzan: And does that make it easier for recyclability or do you still have to deal with the adhesive, or does that cook off or something?

Pat Reynolds: No, apparently not. Now of course there's probably limits to how much adhesive you can use, but with a PPE lamination, the last thing you want to do is put something in the middle that would prevent recycling. Apparently this does not. And the other thing about this that was real interesting is Procter & Gamble in Japan had just launched a pouch made of this amount of material and they are calling it Japan's first ever monomaterial, refill pouch. So I would expect to see that in America, before too terribly long.

Ori Cohen: Hello, my name is Ori Cohen. I'm the owner of Orics Industries. At Pack Expo, we are introducing a new M10 machine for CBD-infused candy bars in a special package, which is childproof and open proof.

What we do here is the candy bar is being placed in those trays. As the operator presses the two buttons, the table will rotate, seal the package with an inside cut, and as the package is coming out of the machine, what we see is that there's two little notches over here, and they going into a slot in the paper box.

This slit is being folded, and this will prevent children from opening the package. That's like basically a childproof, tamper proof package. This slip acts like a spring and it's going to catch another lip in the paper board and would not allow unless somebody knows how to open the package to take the package out.

Keren Sookne: That's all for today. For more videos from PACK EXPO Las Vegas, visit packexpoxpress.com.