The firm said the nine-layer line is “specifically tailored to the production of medical films” and equipped with “auto-gauging, web cleaners, and vision systems to ensure the highest quality.”
Michael Barr, product manager of Amcor’s coextruded and converted units, said the line "enhances our capabilities to develop and manufacture next generation peelable films, oxygen and moisture barrier films, and high performance forming films."
Barrier film demand
Demand for more effective barrier films has grown markedly over the last few years as drug makers have sought ways to improve both the shelf and safety of increasing potent and costly pharmaceuticals.
However, while this is good news Amcor, and indeed specialist firm maker Klockner Pentaplast which recently boosted production capacity, in the longer term demand may shift towards nanotechnologies.
At least this is the contention of analysts at iRAP who recently suggested that: “demand for better barrier protection for new high-tech, high-value drugs is driving development of nanotechnology packaging technologies.
Post Alcan shake-up
Since the acquisition fellow pharmaceutical packaging firm Alcan earlier this year Amcor has sought to reorganise its range of products and geographic coverage, with today’s announcement being just the latest move.
For example, in the statement accompanying today’s news, the Australian firm revealed it has already installed identical blown film capacity for pharmaceutical products at its manufacturing facility in Ghent, Belgium.
Prior to that, and as a condition of the Alcan takeover, Amcor agreed divest plants in Tobepal, Spain - which had combined sales of €110 million – after European regulators raised competition concerns about “flexible packaging used in the pharmaceutical sector.”