Synthon chooses tailor-made packaging for pharmaceuticals

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Synthon was looking for a new bulk packaging for its tablets and capsules that would increase ease of use and recognizability and reduce supply chain costs. CurTec developed tailor-made packaging that met all requirements.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Synthon started using CurTec packaging years ago. Derk Sanders - Director of Technology & GMP Implementation - explains how recognizable the 20 liter Wide Neck Drum was for their customers at the time: “The special shape and the screw lid in the recognizable Synthon house color ensured this. The container gave our products a face,” says Derk. “We were also very satisfied with the quality of the drum. It had the right wall thickness, was robust and did not affect the long-term stability of our tablets and capsules."

Tailor-made packaging

Although Synthon was satisfied with the Wide Neck Drum, the packaging turned out to be over-dimensioned for a number of applications. Synthon asked CurTec to develop a high-quality alternative with a lower price tag. The container had to be more widely applicable and just as clearly recognizable as the old packaging. Derk: “CurTec developed various prototypes for us. Ultimately, we opted for a nestable 20 liter Click Pack pail that could do everything that was beneficial for Synthon.”

Empty Click Pack pails waiting to be filled

Practical benefits

Synthon has been working with the new packaging for more than two years. What stands out in its use? “Thanks to the large opening, the packaging is easy to fill,” Derk continues. “An important advantage of the Click Pack pail compared to the drum is that PE liners are easy to empty and remove. The nestable container has no neck but a large filling opening and therefore the liners no longer have any resistance. Another advantage is the clear closing moment, which is important for our contract manufacturers. The container can only be closed and opened in one way and that provides clarity.”

Cost reduction through nestability

In addition to ease of use, the new packaging also contributes to a better environment and lower supply chain costs. Derk: “When we used to order drums from CurTec, a large number of pallets were involved. Click Pack is nestable and therefore takes up much less space during transport. Where ten pallets were once needed, there are now only two. So a considerable saving on transport costs.”

Filling a blister machine with a Click Pack pail

Bulk packaging with guaranteed quality

No matter how many benefits the new packaging provided, one requirement was decisive for the final choice: quality. The new container had to provide the exact same barrier against water vapor and air. “CurTec has tested the permeability of air and water vapor and equivalence has been demonstrated,” says Sanders. “The stability for pharmaceutical products has also been extensively tested and the container has passed with flying colors. CurTec has also been audited again, with success.

Delivery reliability, quality guarantee and the way in which a company organizes its processes are other important aspects. Changing packaging in a company that makes pharmaceutical products is not easy. The question is always: “Is it better, is it the same, or cheaper and therefore perhaps worse?” The way in which CurTec deals with quality fits in with Synthon's ideas. We want to guarantee this throughout the cycle.”

Read more customer stories from the pharmaceutical industry

Recognizable packaging

Synthon also likes to radiate this quality idea to the outside world. “Synthon wants to deliver quality and packaging must match this seamlessly: sleek, simple and effective. We looked at several other containers. CurTec stood out because of its design, detailed finish and the feeling you get when you pick up a container. That is difficult to put into words, but it does contribute to the quality experience,” says Derk. “We opted for a white container with a “ruby-red” lid. That is our house color and makes the container recognizable worldwide.”

Filled Click Pack pails are prepared for transport

The future: from transport packaging to bulk storage

The new Click Pack pail is used by Synthon for the transport of tablets and capsules. These are first packed in a double PE liner with a desiccant in between and then placed in the container. The containers are then sent to other locations in Europe where the tablets are blistered. Derk: “We will open a new factory in Chile in 2013. We may also want to use the container there for bulk storage of active ingredients. Protection against water vapor and air also plays a crucial role here.”

The first Click Pack was put into use in 2011. Since then, Synthon has not received any complaints. “We conclude from this that our customers are satisfied,” says Derk. “The new packaging meets the set quality requirements and delivers the desired savings. Moreover, it is distinctive thanks to its shape and color.”

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Synthon had packaging developed that could convey its quality and support its image. They reduced their supply chain costs and increased convenience for their customers. Would you like to know how CurTec packaging can contribute to achieving your business objectives?

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Synthon is a leading pharmaceutical company specialized in the development, production and distribution of generic medicines worldwide.

About Synthon