Time to Be Efficient with Tamper-evident Folding Cartons
28 Apr 2021
Despite all the efforts of the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries in the past few years, determining whether a package has been opened is a problem not easily solved. The received pressure of regulations have caused the need to implement packaging measures in the laboratories; measures that, in the best cases, ensure the product’s integrity, but with devastating consequences for the packaging line.
When we talk about folding cartons, the relationship between safety and efficiency is a difficult equation that requires a detailed analysis of the factors that influence the result. Moreover, we must consider a series of premises in order to make realistic decisions that will help you get right on track and accomplish your goals on every front:
When it comes to tampering, we can’t always speak of safety at 100%. As happens with other anti-counterfeit measures, it is only a matter of time before the counterfeiters find the key to copy the product, given that tamper-evident solutions are seldom infallible.
It is expected of folding cartons to follow certain specifications that are often contradictory. For instance, it must be secure, but at the same time accessible for people with motor impairments; or also, cartons must show evidence of having been opened, but these solutions should not affect the packaging’s aesthetic.
The more sophisticated the tamper-evident design, the more complex the packaging line processes must be.
For some time we have seen how laboratories and brands have directed their efforts towards achieving solutions that, alas, have turned out to be wholly ineffective after implementing them in the packaging lines. Moreover, these measures did not reach the required levels of security; the reasons for this are varied, but generally speaking, the mistakes have been caused by a lack of coordination between laboratories, packaging providers and machine manufacturers during the design process.
Once they have implemented tamper-evident systems to comply with regulations, businesses in the packaging sector can go back to their routine, facing the challenge of conforming to the efficiency ratios set by their manufacturing strategies. Some of the consequences are the following:
Those companies that have invested in new systems to dispense tamper-evident labels report they have suffered decreases down to 10% in their efficiency ratio. The key to reduce that percentage is to improve the label solutions, as well as the adhesive coefficient, in order to find the right balance between safety and speed.
When it comes to including solutions with adhesives, the laboratories have been compelled to invest in additional equipment, to slow down the speed of the lines and to deal with less-than-suitable materials for clean environments. This system has also increased the total cost, since, as well as the additional operations, folding cartons have a larger volumetric development given that they require an additional flap. This does not only affect the cost of the folding carton, but also has a negative impact on the sustainability goals set by businesses.
In their search for absolute security, some laboratories have opted for solutions that are impossible to package with multiple flaps, volumetric designs that are difficult to fold, etc. These options have been a nightmare for production engineers, who have not been able to package the products using their machines. Complexity is not always necessarily what is best. Opening systems with a rational design based on knowledge of the clients’ packaging machines can offer a more holistic solution that fulfils their needs at every level.
To be perfectly honest, there is no solution that ensures perfect cost-effectiveness, however, this equation can be solved with optimal results. Technical knowledge of the materials, the experience developed in the study and implementation of the solutions, the collaboration with packaging-machine manufacturers, and a never-ending effort to improve our tamper-evident security solutions, have jointly enabled the introduction of outstanding measures. Now is the time for efficiency, and we should all get on board.
At Essentra Packaging, we help our clients achieve that positive balance. Our experience with different companies worldwide, added to a team of experts, highly qualified in every field, ensure excellent results in our clients’ projects.