MPO: What technology or service are you emphasizing at Medica this year?
Sean Egan: We will be highlighting our digital sketching techniques with designers at the booth demonstrating how the process quickly captures customer input in the design process.
MPO: What’s the most common challenge customers inquire about and how do you address it?
Egan: Cost is an ongoing challenge as OEMs react to downward pressure from healthcare providers. While reducing material thickness in the package seems the obvious choice, this is not always the best option given the potential to introduce risk to the protective properties of the package around the product. Better design and incorporating features that make the package part of the procedure go towards reducing total cost of ownership of the tray. The second increasingly common challenge is reduction of material waste, as companies become more aware of playing their part in the circular economy to recycle more hospital healthcare plastics.
MPO: If you could give one piece of advice to companies seeking a manufacturing partner before they make a decision, what would it be?
Egan: Work with a partner who understands the industry, materials, regulations, and customer needs with the ability to bring value add to projects in terms of technical know-how and manufacturing reach.
It is particularly important to ensure manufacturing partners have the scale and footprint to maintain operations across more than one site. In today’s global operations, OEMs cannot afford to have lines down because a critical operation is dependent on a sole trader operations—this may seem obvious, but many companies have found themselves in this position.
MPO: What are the forces driving medical device manufacturers to seek your technology/services over doing it in-house?
Egan: Technical expertise and range of equipment coupled with finishing services that provide value add for packaging solutions uniquely position Nelipak to meet customer needs, allowing them to concentrate on their core competencies of device design. Our three design centers and seven manufacturing sites across the Americas and Europe mean we are close to our customers’ facilities with the ability to develop projects within their time zone and reduce their shipping and warehousing needs.
MPO: In what ways is your company able to aid in getting a product (project) to market faster?
Egan: Nelipak’s approach to digital sketching kicks off projects faster by providing concept drawings in a couple of days—sometimes even hours—depending on the nature of the project. This allows packaging engineers to share ideas with non-technical people such as surgeons/marketeers who do not read technical drawings. Use of 3D rapid printed concept prototype molds allow for sample shots of small trays/blisters in specified materials, while the technology enables sampling of novel hold features before committing to full tool sets. Simulation provides analysis of material flow and product integrity testing to predict packaging performance before spending time and money on production tools.
Nelipak Healthcare Packaging is located at Medica/Compamed in Hall 8B, Booth/Stand J17.