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Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, October/Fall 2016

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pmpnews.com • Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News Fall 2016 26 Medical packaging 'Changing the game a little' in medical packaging Companies collaborate to present a new option for cushioning, protection, and sterile barrier. By Daphne Allen Editor C omputer Designs Custom Thermoforming's forte is designing packaging using almost any material, says Chuck Ortwein, account executive. The company started 20 years ago designing tooling for customers using CAD/CAM software, and "along the way people started asking whether we could make packaging for them," he says. The company now makes tooling solely for its own thermoforming opera- tions, of which about 70% is dedicated to medical applications. So when Ortwein saw an article on Eastalite copolyester from Eastman Chemical, he was intrigued. "I thought, 'Let's do something diferent, innova- tive, that may change the game a little in the medical arena,'" he tells PMP News. "It has the creativity factor." Eastalite is a multilayer structure composed of a foamed copolyes - ter core and Eastar copolyester 6763 (PETG) skins. Together, the multilay- ered sheet is called Eastalite. Eastman initially worked with film extruder Pacur and thermoformer Tek Pak Inc. to develop the new lightweight opaque material as an alternative to high- impact polystyrene (HIPS). Aneta Clark, market development manag- er for Eastman Chemical, told PMP News last year that the material can be thermoformed into almost any given shape. "Any applications that call for rigid, opaque packaging, including pri- mary trays, can benefit from Eastman Eastalite and its attributes," she says. "Thanks to its flexibility in design, it's not only for sterile barrier, protection, and cushioning. The end application requirements, not the limiting factors of the material, dictate how it can be formed and used." After Ortwein learned about East- alite, he thought of some of the chal- lenges his customers are facing with HIPS. "Some customers have very large trays, with deep draws," he explains. "HIPS can have impact issues, so maybe this little amount of foam could prevent a crack. Styrene is very crystalline and can also develop splinters for an angel-hair efect." "HIPS can be brittle after steril- ization," explains Clark of Eastman. "Breakage in the field is a window of opportunity to evaluate." Adds Glenn Petrie, sales develop- ment manager, specialty films, for Eastman: "We've seen people do all sorts of things with Eastalite, such as form inserts—it's a great opportunity for change." Ortwein also believes "there may be some cost advantages, because we would most likely be able to eliminate any secondary operations and gain a little more overall economy of scale," he adds. The team at Computer Designs began experimenting with Eastalite by Eastalite can be thermoformed into almost any given shape, reports Eastman Chemical.

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