TAUNTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Harpak-ULMA announced the expansion of its North American initiative to help medical device manufacturers improve their flexibility and packaging operational performance in response to skilled labor disruptions and associated potential quality issues.
Building on the 2018 launch of a multi-year, multi-phased technology roadmap to bring digital transformation to its customers, Harpak-ULMA is stepping up its deployment of smart, connected packaging platforms that leverage reality experiences augmented, real-time performance and quality monitoring of digital twins and sophisticated robotic automation of pre- and post-primary packaging.
While individual packaging solutions are largely defined by the characteristics of the device, the degree of protection required and the overall cost of the solution, we enable medical device packagers to capitalize on an evolving variety of advanced packaging concepts and sterilization, as well as smart and connected machines. , and sophisticated automation such as collaborative robots (Cobots), said Kevin Roach, president and CEO of Harpak-ULMA.
Roach also announced the appointment of Nick Kirichkow to lead the initiative as Medical Devices Product Line Manager. “Nick’s extensive experience in medical device process engineering, based on his past roles at leading medical device companies such as Baxter and Abbott, gives him an intimate knowledge of industry challenges and needs. medical devices.”
“Smart, connected packaging platforms help medical device packagers do more and move faster under adverse and rapidly changing conditions, such as those recently introduced by the pandemic,” Kirichkow said. “The agility and flexibility that smart and connected operating models provide has been highlighted by the dramatic market upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While manufacturers seek a degree of operational normality, those who continue to rely on past operating practices may quickly find themselves losing competitive ground. Smart, connected packaging platforms, combined with advanced automation, help producers adapt more easily to new shared realities: they are easier and faster to integrate, maintain, scale or reuse,” he said.
Harpak-ULMA recently announced that it is integrating augmented reality (AR) capabilities for service instructions, staff training and remote support into its platforms. “Harpak-ULMA’s combination of market and technological expertise is a major asset. Unfortunately, too many medical packaging operations suffer from inflexibility, inconsistent data, duplicate work, rigid processes and poor scalability,” Kirichkow said.
“While COVID-19 has highlighted these limitations, it has also accelerated the adoption of digital and automation-focused technologies that reduce the risks associated with reliance on manual labor and process variation. The availability of skilled labor continues to be a major issue for manufacturing executives, so advances in more sophisticated vision and robotics systems are bringing these end-to-end automation solutions right into the line. the focus of executives when scaling up packaging operations. Harpak-ULMA has had significant success deploying such capabilities to help companies meet the explosion in demand for medical kits and syringe packaging caused by the pandemic,” he said.
Kirichkow highlighted Harpak-ULMA’s strengths in process controls and monitoring, both of which create tremendous value for medical device companies. “Process controls such as vision inspection (for product and printing), detection of product height in packaging, and automatic rejection are highly valued capabilities in device packaging operations. medical. Process monitoring improves real-time visibility by enabling trends and alerts for critical parameters and supporting track and trace requirements, improving overall data integrity. Calibration is another key value added by OEMs. Machines that arrive pre-calibrated with access points for routine calibration are highly sought after,” he said.
Roach expressed his high expectations for Kirichkow’s hugely important role. “Nick brings a demonstrated level of expertise and leadership, as well as a strong focus, to this important initiative.” Roach explained, “The demand for specialized and intelligent packaging solutions is exploding, driven by a few key market developments: a growing patient population with acute and chronic conditions, rising healthcare infrastructure spending and the rapid pace of technological advances in medical devices. It is also important to recognize growing environmental concerns, which are driving a need for more environmentally friendly packaging solutions. All of these create significant demand for the type of innovative packaging solutions in which we excel.
For more information about Harpak-ULMA medical device packaging, visit Medical Packaging Machines – Harpak Ulma (harpak-ulma.com) or call 800-813-6644. Harpak-ULMA is the North American branch of ULMA Packaging, a global leader in OEM packaging with a large global customer base in the medical, GC and industrial markets.
Harpak-ULMA is the North American branch of ULMA, a billion-dollar industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for food, medical, bakery and industrial products. Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems using Rockwell Automation controls and information platforms to deliver increased efficiency, availability, and throughput, as well as improved packaging quality and reduced garbage. Reliable, well-designed solutions reduce customers’ total cost of ownership, help them overcome the challenges of an aging and changing workforce, and improve maintenance expense control through competitive parts sourcing. In addition to offering the ULMA primary packaging system and complete automation solutions, Harpak-ULMA is the exclusive North American distributor of G. Mondini traysealers and RAMA secondary packaging machines. Harpak-ULMA joined the Rockwell Automation Partner Network in 2018 as part of its initiative to create and deploy smart, connected packaging solutions.