The subsidiary, PouchPac Innovations, has formed an alliance with German manufacturer Leu-Tronic - the manufacturer of Pack-Saver product recovery machines that recover usable product from defective, damaged, miscoded or mislabelled packages - to develop machines that speed up the process of separating products from their packaging.
For manufacturers, separating returned items is costly and can involve dozens of workers. The Pack-Saver system has been installed in more than 150 food and household product manufacturing lines, but the alliance with PouchPac represents the first significant move into the pharmaceutical arena for the technology.
Under the terms of the alliance, Leu-Tronic will build and ship the machines to PouchPac, and the latter will install the electronics and service the machines. PPi, which markets standup-pouch machines, flow wrappers and freezer-to-microwave food packages, will market the devices.
The company anticipates sales of the line will be around $2 million (€1.5m) this year.
Foil pouches are increasingly being used by drug companies as they deal with increasingly complex active drugs which require more effective protection from environmental factors such as light, oxygen and moisture. For example, some firms are using foil pouches as over-packaging for vials as the pouch makes labelling easier and more legible, while pouches may also be used for tamper resistance and counterfeit protection.