Article

Optimising Packaging Performance with ComboPack

11 May 2021

Packaging in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and beauty industries is facing increasing challenges to include secondary packaging materials in the cartons. There are both technical reasons and factors related to consumer behaviour, as well as market evolution.

As for the technical reasons, leaflets are getting larger because of the need to include the text in multiple languages, and the requirement to enter additional information to explain complex products. Moreover, due to the specialisation of certain drugs, they require additional instructions for their use as well as for proper patient adherence to the treatment. Therefore, these larger leaflets become cumbersome items that increase complexity within the packaging lines, which makes managing them difficult for the usual equipment.


Lately, recent regulations related to security (such as tamper-evident solutions or serialisation requirements) have made the job harder for engineers, manufacturing managers and operators, who have seen their tasks multiply. These circumstances have had a negative impact on the packaging lines, slowing down production ratios, which are still highly demanding despite the changes and complexity of packaging procedures. 


Depending on the needs of various markets, and their specific demands, some packed products must incorporate different materials, even if they maintain the same format. Therefore, laboratories require a level of versatility in their packaging lines that they seldom have.  Additionally, this particular issue has a huge impact on productivity, as well as hindering the process due to the lack of the necessary equipment to keep up with a very varied demand.


Additionally, the amount of materials that need to be introduced in the packaging lines has increased significantly as of late, such as additional leaflets related to specific regulations, usage and product application instructions, wallets, labels, patient alert cards, etc. All these additional materials must be incorporated into the folding carton, but in 99% of the cases there are not enough feeders in the packaging lines. In view of this situation, the dilemma over whether to invest arises. However, the uncertainty surrounding market changes complicates the decision, since the original expense may not pay off in the future if the investment does not bring back any returns. In other instances, incorporating new machinery to the lines might not even be an option due to a lack of space.


Moreover, as a consequence of continued changes in regulations, laboratories need to repack products that had  already been packaged, a task usually carried out by external logistics operators. In these cases, the entire supply process becomes extremely complicated; quite often this is required  for short batches or for very specific products, which translates into an issue that, generally speaking, gets resolved in an inefficient manner.


Most of the circumstances outlined above have driven laboratories to perform packaging operations manually and outside the regular lines (either internally or externally). This has complicated production management and lead times, as well as compromised product quality.


For all these reasons, Essentra Packaging launches ComboPack, a supply chain service that adheres a secondary packaging material (leaflet, wallet, label, info or promo card, etc.) to a folding carton.


ComboPack by Essentra Packaging improves the efficiency in packaging lines. The mechanical adhesion of the material to the folding carton is performed at the gluing station. This ensures quality guarantees and that it is done as one more operation within the folding carton manufacturing process.


The use of this service:


  • Reduces the complexity in packaging lines, since the secondary material is previously incorporated in the folding carton. This way, only the product would have to be packed.

  • Helps to plan production more easily, since the availability of the lines will not depend on the available equipment.

  • Will render investing in material insertion equipment unnecessary, because the folding carton will already incorporate the material.

  • Will increase the efficiency ratio significantly, because, even if there is equipment in the lines that introduces one or more materials into the folding carton, it will not have to perform more additional operations.

  • Reduces the stock of secondary material, since the inserted items would be stocked by the supplier.

  • Allows product differentiation by easily including additional material: safety elements, extra application instructions, promotional material, etc.


ComboPack is a service aimed at enabling the optimisation of efficiency and productivity in packaging lines. If you need more information about the adhesion of a secondary material into the carton, please do not hesitate to contact us. Tell us about your project, we will be delighted to help you!