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As a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, you are constantly looking for insulated packaging solutions that are less expensive and more environmentally-friendly while also being efficient. Contrary to received wisdom, a made-to measure temperature-controlled packaging solution is a cost-effective and efficient alternative to standard solutions. Here are 3 of the advantages of made-to-measure insulated shipping containers or boxes.
Before initiating manufacture, our specialist cold chain engineers analyse the logistical sequence of the medicines (or the products to be transported) in order to define the outside temperature profiles. This allows adapting the cold source without adding unnecessary weight to the container or risking the possibility of fluctuations in temperature.
Vincent Bailleul, a Packaging Engineer at Sofrigam, explains: “The flexibility of the manufacturing process, without the use of machine tools, allows us to produce products that comply with our customers’ specific demands, guaranteeing high quality and safe storage at temperatures of between +2 °C and +8 °C. If a product with a very low thermal inertia has to be transported, it is perfectly possible to design a container that will maintain the medicine at a constant temperature of +5 °C. Indeed, the cold source inside the container is matched to the thermal inertia of the transported product as well as to the temperature profiles encountered while it is in transit.”
The ‘made-to-measure’ design process makes it possible to manufacture an insulated container based on the volume of the pharmaceutical products you wish to transport. Even before the design stage, our engineers calculate the best ratio between payload and external size to ensure that it will accommodate the maximum number of products.
“We design made-to-measure packaging solutions based on the type of pharmaceutical products to be transported, by assembling different sizes of polyurethane plates. This limits the number of voids in the boxes or they can be adapted to fit air cargo platforms in the case of large-scale exports”, observes Laetitia Perche, Marketing and Communications Manager at Sofrigam.
Thanks to its high thermal efficiency, using polyurethane panels optimises the payload/external size ratio of the containers and thus limits the amount of cold source and the transport container weight. In addition, the container is designed to facilitate preparation, ensuring that this operation is as straightforward and rapid as possible.
From the choice of raw materials to the design of the container, the made-to-measure option is an integral part of our ecologically sound initiative. In order to reduce the amount of raw materials used, the container is designed in virtual form to obtain a near-perfect prototype. Vincent Bailleul explains: “We begin by designing the insulated container using 3D software. The machine tools used for manufacture can then read the files. The Design Office produces a single drawing, without duplication or repetition, and our colleagues in the Production Department retrieve the drawing in order to configure the machine tool. The entire cycle is automated, from the design stage until completion of the finished product.”
Made-to-measure design also allows optimising the container volume and reducing its weight: these gains help to reduce the ecological impact of transporting medicines via the cold chain. They also help to achieve savings on the overall shipping costs.
As we design cold chain thermal packaging solutions on an international scale, our designs incorporate the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) initiative. The R&D Department is devising ever-more efficient packaging solutions that are easy to use, ecologically sound and cost-effective.