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Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, November/December 2015

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News pmpnews.com • Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News November/December 2015 14 Cal Poly Students Create Contact Solution Bottle and Case to Simplify Daily Use C alifornia Polytechnic State Uni- versity students stood out this year well, taking home AmeriStar Package Awards accolades from the Institute of Packaging Professionals. One student team, overseen by Assistant Professors Javier de la Fuente and Koushik Saha in the Orfalea College of Business' Industrial Technology and Packaging Department, earned second place for its contact solution bottle and case. Cal Poly offers a BS in Industrial Technology and Packaging and a BS in Business Administration with a con- centration in Consumer Packaging Solutions, de la Fuente says. "Many of our graduates intern and/ or end up working as packaging engi- neers in companies like Apple, Ama- zon, Procter and Gamble, Abbott, Boston Scientific, Illumina, and Big Heart Pet Brands, to name a few," he says. "Our students participate every year in the AmeriStar competition. In the 2015 edition, they received four out five possible awards; our students got second and third place, and two honorable mentions. "Elaine's project is a great example of Cal Poly's motto: Learn by Doing," de la Fuente adds. "As in many other Cal Poly's packaging courses, student teams engage in a hands-on project that requires application of knowledge and skills related to market research, packaging technology, design, and prototyping. The IT 330 class project focuses on packaging innovation and starts by detecting consumer needs and ends by providing a feasible design solution that fulfills those needs." Two students on the team use con- tact lenses and face a problem that occurs when using contact solution and standard contact lens cases. The solution spills while being poured and creates a mess, and contact users have to bring the solution bottle and case while traveling, causing an inconve- nience, according to the team. "The contact solution idea came up because I use contacts everyday, and it can be a pain to deal with all the parts, especially when traveling," says Elaine Cohen, a then-senior and busi- ness administration major with a con- centration in marketing management. "I brought it up with the group, and we decided to move forward with this idea. Our solution to the problem was to combine the case with the contact fluid into one package." Cohen worked with Rachel King, a junior who majored in business admin- istration; Rachel Berman, a junior who majored in business administration; and Kevin Chiu, a junior who majored in business administration with a con- centration in financial management. "The basic idea for how the bottle worked came from seeing a mouth- wash squeeze bottle," says Cohen. "In our design, the solution is kept in the lower chamber and can be squeezed through a one-way tube to the case on the top." The students had one academic quarter to design and build their pack- age with the only criteria being that it had to be original and fulfill real needs. "One challenge we faced was trying to figure out how to put the contact case on the bottle," she said. "We first started with a regular case, which has two chambers. However, we could not make this work and solved the prob- lem by changing the case style to a vertical, one-chamber style." The team chose to use the barrel style of contact case that stands in a tube, instead of the common case with two round containers. While the barrel style is normally used for special solu- tions, Cohen said its design worked better with their idea, while also keep- ing the contacts safer since there are two layers of protection. The older method with the two small, round wells to store contacts can get messy with the saline solu- tion, according to the team. When the user is ready to wear them, he or she removes the contacts from the case and dumps out the solution, then refills with new solution. Residue can get left over inside the two wells when the solution dries. Cohen says the new design features a valve often used for mouthwash in that fills a top-situated reservoir on the top of the bottle. The reservoir holds the contacts, and when the contacts are taken out, the old solution can be dumped down the drain and easily filled back up with a simple squeeze of the bottle. "The new design for the package is creative and innovative in the way that it prevents spills and makes the process easier for the consumer," Cohen says. According to the team, the man- ufacturing process is similar to how a contact solution bottle is currently made, plus the addition of the straw and technology to fill the case. The plastic used would be PP since it is use- ful for sterilization and in the medical sector. 0 —Matt Sanderson The student team from Cal Poly devised a contact lens solution bottle with a chamber at top for holding the lenses.

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