Pharma and HPC Insights 06/2018

November 2018

The Flexible Blister: A Packaging Innovation

Meet the Flexible Blister, a pioneering packaging solution that cleverly combines the portability of a strip pack, the ease of use of a blister, and the superior protection of our PET-ALU-PE-based laminates. It is also a prime example of Constantia Flexibles’s winning strategy: an innovation inspired by customer needs and perfected at our Product Excellence Center.

Innovation Driven by Market Needs
At Constantia Flexibles, one of our core values is focusing on innovation and quality to make our customers more successful. Giving our engineers the freedom to develop fresh ideas and customers a forum to share their visions is the bedrock of that process. This is exactly how the idea to improve on the classic blister pack was born. Engineers at Constantia Flexibles’s Spanish-based Product Excellence Center Laminates (PEC Laminates, see below) researched ways to make unit-dose packaging even more user-friendly and participants at a “Voice of the Consumer” workshop shared their must-have features for a portable pack. In the end, the Flexible Blister emerged, a pack with the push-through ease but none of the sharp edges of a traditional blister, a portable, twistable, and bendable strip that doesn’t sacrifice its superior barrier protection, and ample space on the primary packaging to display promotional or patient information.

Evolution of an Idea
One of the challenges of working with PET in a laminate is the opening behavior. The PEC Laminates at Spanish-based Constantia Tobepal has been the driving force in overcoming this challenge, introducing the Tobepal Opening Feature, or TOF, for stick packs with PET-based laminates in 2012. They perfected the mechanical process that adds micro-perforations in defined areas of the PET layer of the laminate while keeping the aluminum barrier layer completely intact. The inventive TOF solution received the 2012 Alufoil Trophy for Consumer Convenience.

Push-through Appeal
When it came to making a strip pack with a PET-based laminate and an easy-to-use push-through mechanism, our engineers at the PEC Laminates once again rose to the challenge. A multi-disciplinary team adapted the TOF technology for the new format and made it work for a variety of applications. “It is fully customizable in terms of technical and regulatory requirements to meet the customer’s specific needs,” explains Dr. Roberto Martín, Head of Innovation Laminates at the PEC Laminates. The Flexible Blister was officially launched at the CPhI event in Madrid in October 2018, where it was short-listed for the “Excellence in Pharma: Packaging” award. Watch this space: we are also in the running for a 2019 Alufoil Trophy in the categories “Marketing + Design” and “Consumer Convenience.”

 

Constantia Tobepal

Constantia Tobepal is a Spanish-based subsidiary of Constantia Flexibles with two production sites in northern Spain. At the Burgos site, a team of 270 people focuses on adhesive lamination and metallization processes for the Pharma, Consumer, and Personal Care sectors. The 225 employees at the Logroño site are dedicated to extrusion lamination as well as artwork and cylinder engraving. We opened our PEC Laminates in Logroño in 2017 to design and develop technology-driven, user-friendly laminate products for a diverse range of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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