Machinery

Injection Moulding Course – 23rd October 2014

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Design Cognition News, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Innovation, Machinery, Marketing, Materials, Medical Devices, Technology, Training, cost-optimisation on September 2nd, 2014 by Chris Penfold – 1 Comment

lego bricks - cropAnother exciting one day intensive hands-on training course being run by Design Cognition in October.

Injection moulding is used in many areas of packaging component manufacturing and in all sectors including cosmetics, food, healthcare, and toiletries. So this course is applicable to ALL.

It will provide delegates with a basic grounding in the processing of thermoplastics and elastomers by injection moulding methods including multi-shot moulding.

In addition the course will look at the key components that make up the injection moulding tool, including various gate designs and hot runner configurations.

To gain the best possible experience, you will get to see moulding machines in action and handle the tooling moulds themselves.

So whether you know nothing, have a basic understanding or are familiar with this area, this course will provide you with useful knowledge and insights from some of the leading tooling experts in the UK who have worked in the industry for over 40 years.

For more information – Follow this link to our Training Page to download a PDF flyer

Plastic injection moulding & tooling – a one day introductory course

Posted in Design, Healthcare & Pharma, Machinery, Materials, Technology, Training, cost-optimisation on December 20th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 114 Comments
Want to know more about injection moulding? Increase your skills on our 1 day course

Want to know more about injection moulding? Increase your skills on our 1 day course

If you are involved in the design or development of injection moulded thermoplastic parts, whether packaging, delivery systems or devices, and want to save huge amounts of time, money & hassle, this 1 day course is for you – especially if you would like to be able to:

- Understand the key terms and phrases associated with injection moulding machines, the process and a basic multi cavity hot runner mould tool configuration.

- Have the knowledge and confidence to interact on an even level with suppliers when specifying, sourcing and managing a plastics moulding, tooling project through to final acceptance.

- Recognise common moulding faults and implement a course of remedial action quickly.

- Create a bespoke mould tool specification documents for your own components. This will enable you to not only understand your current suppliers documentation, but also compare alternative suppliers on a like-for-like basis.

There is an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT, but HURRY, the discount ends Friday 24th December 2010.

To find out more, check out: Packaging Training Courses – More Information

or email Training@DesignCognition.Com

Alternatively just give us a call on +44 (0) 115 8461914

Look forward to seeing you there!

Pharmaceutical packaging – celebration of success – foundation for the future

Posted in Associations, Design, Government, Healthcare & Pharma, Legal, Machinery, Materials, Opinion, Safety, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 11th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 11 Comments
Blister Packaging

Blister Packaging

The following article is one that I’ve recently written for the Packaging Professional magazine, which details a fascinating 25 year transformation in the way we work and do business in the pharmaceutical packaging industry. Over that period the industry itself has undergone huge change and with recent economic pressures and the rise of generic competition is likely to continue unabated.

Back in the 1980’s, before the days of email and the internet, working in packaging could sometimes be a lonely business, especially in an area like pharmaceuticals where regulatory requirements, standards and process were constantly being updated as authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines Control Agency (MCA), evolved  increasing powers and rules. A situation where ‘fit for purpose’ packaging could be a matter of life and death.

Pharma companies are strictly regulated and need to work to tight and common standards and most companies were running similar, machinery, quality systems and packaging materials. So learnings from one company could greatly help another and save having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. It was also important for the industry to provide a collective view to positively influence proposed legislation and regulations, with a common and pragmatic ‘voice’.

So back in 1984, the ‘seed’ of an idea for a group was ‘sown’ by Alan Haskins of Roussel Laboratories and Roy Gray of ICI Pharmaceuticals, after Roy’s boss had visited the USA and seen a successful American group working in the same sector. This was a defining moment and the group would not have happened without their collective vision and proactive approach. The first Pharmaceutical Common Interest Group (PCIG) meeting took place on 16th October 1984 at Sysonby Lodge, which was the head office of The Institute of Packaging (IOP) at the time). The meeting was chaired by Alan Haskins, with Roy Gray as Secretary and an attendance of 18 people from 15 pharmaceutical companies from across the industry. There were 37 questions raised & discussed at that meeting on a range of topics, including: a New British Standard for aluminium flexible tubes, label adhesives, Tamper Evidence and EAN bar codes – themes that would arise again and again over the years.

It was agreed that there would be three meetings per year and venues would rotate across the various company sites, but over the years most were actually hosted by the IOP.

One of the original members, Mike Shorten, who worked for Boots Pharmaceuticals at the time and is now retired, recalls:

“The PCIG soon became my most important network. Forty pharmaceutical practitioners across all sectors of the industry provided a powerful resource that could offer practical experience about most issues and without any consultants’ fees! A great strength of the group was the willingness of its members to talk openly about issues and share best practice and then to collectively influence new regulations and standards”

How the CIG has changed over the years

I have myself have been a member of the group for over 18 years (since 1991) and over that time can recall a great deal of camaraderie, focused help for each other and pragmatism having helped us all deal with issues as diverse as use of high barrier blister materials, bar coding issues and leeching of preservative through polyethylene bottles.

As issues became apparent, some common themes evolved and a number of dedicated ‘sub groups’ were set up to focus on specific topics. Four of these were Working Groups for Digital Artwork & Reprographics (DAR), Validation, Child Resistance and Quality Standards. The DAR subgroup was set up at a time when ‘desktop publishing’ was a buzz word being used as artwork generation moved from ‘old fashioned’ layout board, to a digitised computerised system.  At the time there was no common standard. There was a range of hardware (PC & Mac based), a number of operating systems, and various artwork creative software packages on each platform. The ease by which artwork could be generated and manipulated raised its own issues in terms of artwork version control and (in the early days) data going ‘missing’ sometimes between approval and print – which had the potential to cause a catastrophic result. So the group played a critical role in sharing ‘best practice’ and setting appropriate standards.

The Validation subgroup was formed in 1992, the founding Chairman being Mike Harwood of The Wellcome Foundation, Dartford. A subsequent Chairman (1993-98) John Cooper (of Pfizer at the time) recalls “The original intent was to develop a set of guidelines for validating pharmaceutical packaging equipment and then issue to IOP members, but as the guideline developed and the information was shared informally with machine manufacturers it became obvious that it would be of a wider benefit to publish a ‘book’. As I was a member both of the PCIG and Institute of Quality Assurance Pharma Quality Group (IQA PQG), I suggested that this was published jointly as a monograph in the series which was already established by the PQG. The monograph was published in 1998 and launched at a joint meeting of PCIG and PQG at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Lambeth with over 200 people in attendance, including the MCA Head of Inspection and Enforcement, Gordon Munro!” That was another defining moment in the ‘life’ of the PCIG and evidence of the esteem with which the group was held within the pharmaceutical industry. The third edition of that monograph is presently due for print.

It was not uncommon in the early days for PCIG meeting attendance to be around 35-40 people, with standing room only. Questions would be collated by the Secretary and shared at each meeting. It would sometimes take 3 or 4 hours to go through them all, one-by-one. As the years have gone by and we have moved in to a digital age, email has enabled members to converse more easily and questions can be asked and answered sometimes within minutes. So the focus and frequency of face-to-face meetings changed to providing more of an opportunity for discussing in more depth, processes, procedures, technology and impending legislation, and to keep in touch with old colleagues and friends. Together with the myriad of mergers among the pharma companies, this has meant attendances have dropped.

Where we are going with it in future
The PCIG (now called the Pharmaceutical Packaging Forum – PPF) is still active, with a core of ‘stalwart’ members and a new voluntary Secretary, David Pethick, former Director of Packaging Development at GSK. David is upbeat about future for the group and says “the pharma landscape, increasing demands and changing regulations on packaging present as much, if not more of, a challenge as when the PCIG was first established. I see both a need and role for a vibrant PCIG to help the pharma packaging professional meet those challenges, whether that be from simply providing networking among its members, to wider influencing, technical leadership, training needs or whatever”.

Pharma packaging legislation/regulation has changed enormously, and the Society recently received an enquiry about training courses on this. Feedback from PCIG members showed a high level of similar interest. Whether or not such a course could be developed is still a work in progress, but both David (for PPF) and Ian Morris, Training Manager at IOM3, would be interested in readers’ feedback.

Ultimately, the future and utility of PCIG, as over its past history, is reliant on the members who actively value and contribute to it.

Chris Penfold

If you work in Pharma and are interested in knowing more or in joining the PPF group, you can contact David Pethick (the Secretary) at dppk@btinternet .

On my own part (Chris), as well as continuing to be an active member of the PPF and a consultant, I am also the External Relations Officer of the East Midlands Packaging Society, for which you can find more information at: East Midlands Packaging Society.

You can find more help and advice on various aspects of pharmaceutical packaging at our sister site: The Pharma Gateway

DAY 5 – Packaging Tip No5 – Manufacturing constraints

Posted in Design, Machinery, Opinion, Top 10 Tips, Uncategorized, cost-optimisation on March 10th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 4 Comments
Packaging Top Ten Tips

Packaging Top Ten Tips

In order to help you develop your packaging more productively, we have generated a series of  FREE short 1-2 minute videos detailing our Tip Ten Tips for getting it right. We will be posting 1 x video per day on this blog site over a 10 day period – so keep a look out for them – they could save you a £££$$$ fortune in the long run!

DAY 5 – Tip No5: Have you thought about how your pack is going to be filled or assembled? If by hand initially, what about longer term? Thinking ahead could save you a lot of time & expense…have a look at the video…

Tickety Boo packaging.

Cheers Chris

Today’s Video:

Packaging Tip No5 – Manufacturing & Production constraints – by Chris Penfold – Design Cognition

Look out tomorrow for Tip No 6 – Environment & sustainability…..

India could be your next big market

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Machinery on January 12th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 11 Comments

Interesting article.  I believe the biggest majority of the packaging will be manufactured in the country, but if you have the technology/machinery for sale it might be worth you considering India as your next target market.  Their upgrades and increased sophistication will have to come from somewhere.  (Jane)

Food packaging in India will undergo huge changes in the next five years as companies increasingly use it as an important vehicle for product differentiation, said a report from Datamonitor.

via India set for food packaging revolution.

Chinese funding to cut specialist food packaging imports

Posted in Business News, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Machinery, Materials on October 16th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 12 Comments

Chinese funding to cut specialist food packaging imports – worrying trend?

By Rory Harrington,

A Chinese packaging company said it is to receive multi-million dollar government funding to expand its operations and reduce domestic reliance on specialist packing imports.

Shiner International announced this week that the development of its Packaging Industrial Park project in Hainan will be part-funded by a government grant of RMB 29m ($4.26m).

Domestic boost

The company, which specialises in food safe and anti-counterfeiting packaging, said the cash will be used in the construction of a new facility. The Chinese Government gave the green light to the funding because the plant will help domestic food manufacturers reduce their reliance on having to buy specialist film packing applications from overseas, said the company.

Shiner CEO Jian Fu said: “For quite some time, the Chinese domestic market has relied on the importing of high quality packaging films for high-end consumer products at great expense to Chinese manufacturers. In recent years, the central government has begun to realise the importance of domestically developed key technology products that utilise intellectual property that is developed and owned by Chinese companies such as Shiner.”

Funding for its packaging project will allow the Chinese outfit to make its patented products in a state-of-the-art facility, he added. The money will be used for construction of infrastructures, improvement of capacity and recruitment of senior technical staff for the project.

via Chinese funding to cut specialist food packaging imports.

Edible codes for cheese

Posted in Food Packaging, Innovation, Legal, Machinery, Safety, Technology on October 16th, 2009 by Anne Dallison – 10 Comments

Edible codes for cheese – not another cheesey story…

Het Kaasmerk BV in, Leiden, the Netherlands, is a manufacturer of assorted blocks of cheese. Kassmerk has been collaborating with Isotron Systems on the traceability and quality control of its cheese for some time.Isotron Systems is the distributor of Cognex vision and identification equipment in the Netherlands. Kassmerk adopted a Cognex DataMan 7500 system to read the codes marked on its individual blocks of cheese.The two-dimensional codes are applied early in the production process and need to be read at the end of production.The only bar-code identification equipment Kaasmerk could find that was capable of working with the blocks of cheese, despite Kaasmerk’s rigorous industrial environment, was the In-Sight Vision System and the DataMan 7500 reader, which are both from Cognex.Identification codes, such as a 2D code or data matrix, are not only applied to state-of-the-art technology products, they are also applied to food products.These codes are mandatory in Europe, and are also necessary for safeguarding of food quality during production. They help minimise food-safety risks after the production phase, because each end product can be individually traced back to the production lot.Passport to traceabilityThe ability to identify each individual cheese as a unique item in the production chain is an essential component. Actually applied to the cheese block itself, the code functions as a veritable passport.

via Edible codes for cheese.