THERMOFORMED plastic packages are able to meet the stringent standards required by the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
Stockport-based Macpac produces bespoke thermoformed packaging, trays and products for this kind of usage and in this article the company gives an account of how it has met the challenges of one recent project.
A case in point was a pack produced for a medical customer recently (pictured above) that was required to hold three irregular shaped products. The brief asked for the pack to protect the products, give high display visibility and a neat closure system. The design team suggested that the pack could be made so that multiple units would stack on top of one another adding stability and increasing protection – an innovation that was greatly appreciated by the customer.
In this scenario, approved designs are transferred from the CAD system to one of the multi-axis CNC machines where a resin based tool is shaped. Resin is used as it provides sufficient hardness to allow a pre-production tool to be made quickly from which a sample can be produced prior to final approval. Once approved final tooling is made from high grade Aluminium.
This process could take anything up to 12 hours depending on the complexity and size of the tool. Every tool is individually hand finished and for some applications, sand blasted depending on the finish required. The tool is then fitted to one of Macpac’s thermoforming machines, the latest of which was commissioned in April. This new machine has some unique features that have been integrated into the design in collaboration with German supplier Illig and Macpac’s engineers. Particular attention has gone into the stacking arrangement of the machine such that it can handle larger more complex shapes at higher speeds.