Blister Packaging: Consumer & Eco-Friendly

There can be a lot of boxes to tick when it comes to packaging. Depending on the product and the company, they might have specific considerations regarding the size and how durable a package needs to be. Not to mention the needs of branding and product showcase. However, we think that there’s one type of packaging that does a great job of ticking off all these boxes: blister packaging. 

Blister packaging is probably most notable as the type of plastic container your single-serve medicine comes in. It’s the plastic bubble affixed to a cardboard backing. It’s easy to open and helps control dosage. But its handiness doesn’t stop there. 

Blister Packaging Benefits

Blister packaging is handy for more than just medications. It’s used often for tools and items that are better served hanging than shelved. The rigidity of the plastic allows for security of the item, and the cardboard backing is dual purpose. It can provide more information, including instructions, about the product. And it provides an easy way for consumers to access the tool. 

But not only is blister packaging friendly for consumers, it’s also eco-friendly. Depending on your recycling guidelines, it can be as simple as removing the cardboard from the plastic and binning appropriately. 

Other benefits of blister packaging include cost savings in different ways. This style of packaging is ideal for showcasing a product with cost savings as the materials are relatively cost effective. Additionally, theft and tampering is driven down by blister packaging (and really, any thermoformed package) because consumers can view the product beforehand. They aren’t as tempted to open it. 

Best of all from an organizational standpoint, the airtight seal ensures a long shelf life and exemplary package performance over time. There’s no worry about the product becoming defective due to outside pressures. And if blister packs aren’t exactly what you need, check out Sunrise’s other custom thermoformed options as well. 

More Thermoformed Packaging Styles

In addition to blister packs, Sunrise can also create thermoformed trays and clamshells. Talk to a representative today to learn more about which style is right for your product!

Compliance Packaging Spikes Innovation In Medical Packaging

Compliance packaging is a friendly way to help consumers take their medication on schedule. And blister packaging provides the perfect platform for it. 

Let’s establish why compliance packaging is such an important issue today. If you’ve ever been charged with taking a medication daily, there have surely been days when you forgot about it. Whether that lead to unintentionally skipping a day or just a few hours, it has an effect. Or maybe you’ve been prescribed a device that you’ve been using incorrectly. Inhalers are notorious for misuse. With over half of the US population on some kind of medication for a chronic condition, nonadherence is a big issue. So much so that a 2008 Medco survey estimates that half of those people don’t adhere to the given guidelines for their medication. A year later, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation cited this as responsible for up to $290 billion in unnecessary costs every year. 

How Thermoformed Blister Packs Aid Compliance Packagingcompliance packaging with blister packs

As mentioned above, compliance packaging makes it easy for users to to take the right dosage at the right time. Here are some examples from the 2016 HCPC Compliance Package of the Year winner of how they used blister packaging in their design. 

The winner created packaging for a two week dosing regimen. The blisters are designed like a calendar, with each box making up two two-week packs. With red arrows leading the user from pack to pack, it’s clear how they should progress and take the dosage. The thermoformed blister packs ensure that the user doesn’t take more or less than is prescribed. 

In addition to keeping the dosage consistent and accurate, blister packs play another role. With the aging baby boomer market, packaging accessibility becomes a consideration.  Being able to open pill bottles requires dexterity and hand strength… Something we tend to lose as we age. Blister packs allow for users of varying strength and dexterity access with ease. 

Implications in Other Industries

While the term is usually applied to the pharmaceutical or medical packaging industries, compliance packaging measures can apply everywhere.  Making retail packaging that’s easy to use, regardless of hand strength, is a standard to which all packaging should be held. Designing labels and lids for thermoformed packaging that inform and educate users is a great use of space. 

What measures has your organization taken to create a compliance packaging approach?

Custom Blister Packaging Gets Smart

It’s not enough for custom blister packaging to provide security, support visual elements, and address security concerns. It has to be smart, too. 

To be fair, this idea of ‘smart packaging’ has been around for a while. It evolved out of ‘active packaging.’ Active packaging simply refers to some kind of function beyond containment of a product. Something as simple as an expiration date meets this criteria. As technology embeds itself further and further into the fabric of our lives, from smartphones to AI systems, this expectation of engagement extends to packaging. Intelligent or smart packaging refers to some method of information transfer between users and packaging. 

You’ve probably heard the word ‘smart’ appended to other things. Smart phones, most commonly, but also smart houses, smart cars, etc. When it comes to packaging, it has just as many possible variants. Moisture control. RFID tags. Oxygen control. The list goes on. But when we talk about custom blister packaging, there are some interesting immediate applications we’re seeing in the real world. 

Custom Blister Packaging for PharmaceuticalsThermoformed blister packaging

IMC is one company leading the way when it comes to smart packaging, specializing in pharmaceuticals. These kinds of specialized packages need to combine branding and functionality seamlessly. Custom blister packs meet the bill. 

Blister packs allow custom-fit cavities to adhere to a cardboard or other sturdy packing. It allows users to see the product while giving package designers some leeway with the hard backing. And this is what draws IMC to custom blister packs. While traditional pill bottles–even with smart bottle caps–the space to embed electronics or other elements necessary for smart packaging is limited or non-existent. With blister packaging, it’s easy to encase something in the backing. Whether it’s an electronic designed to monitor dosage or help users with the product, it offers a different kind of experience. 

One of the more practical reasons for this kind of smart packaging is that adherence to prescribed routines is a major issue for patients and doctors. HealthPrize Technologies estimated in 2016  that such non-adherence lead to $637 billion losses in treatment for chronic conditions. Adding functionality that can, for example, remind users when to take their medication could lead to a decrease in  major medical events. 

Custom Forming & Smart Packaging

Thermoforming in any incarnation–trays, blister packs, or clamshells–can work with the demands of smart packaging. Easy to customize for any product, all of them offer a high degree of branding and functionality. Contact a representative today to learn more!

Custom Thermoforming Packaging Options

When it comes to thermoforming packaging, there’s more than meets the eye. 

It’s the ultimate in custom packaging, as the pliable plastic is molded specifically for products. This perfect fit is part of what is driving the market for this specific type of packaging. In fact, PRNewswire estimates that the thermoformed plastics market will hit over $16 billion dollars by 2015. Demand will increase from industries as diverse as healthcare to automotive to construction, driven by this style’s unique properties. So what’s so special about this style of packaging?

Thermoforming Packaging Options

There are a few styles when it comes to thermoformed packaging.  Each one has different applications and advantages, and work differently for different products. Here’s a quick rundown: 

Custom Thermoformed Trays

Highly versatile as well as usable, thermoformed trays are precision-formed to provide the highest level of protection for products. They can even be created with a locking mechanism to ensure that nothing shifts or breaks in transit. These custom trays can be inserted and heat-sealed into boxes or binders to hold not only your products, but companion content as well. USB drives, discs, manuals, you name it. It’s important that your customers experience your products in an ideal setting, right? Custom thermoformed trays create that ideal setting, anywhere and everywhere. 

Thermoformed Blister Packaging

Originally used for packaging aspirin, blister packaging is a lightweight, easy-to-open option for custom thermoformed packaging. Blister packaging is comprised of clear plastic housing your product and adhered to a backing like cardboard or foil. While the idea of easy-to-open packaging might not be at the top of your list of considerations, it’s proving to be a main motivator for some shoppers. Driven by the aging baby boomer market, usability is an increasingly large concern, especially for healthcare and medical devices. 

Custom Thermoformed Clamshells

Clamshells are an increasingly popular option for items that customers want to see before buying. For obvious reasons, it’s not always in the best interests of retailers and producers to have customers opening their products, fidgeting with them, and then walking away. By encasing products in clear plastic, customers can see the exact product they’re looking to purchase. And by making the packaging securely tamper-proof, they know that it’s in perfect condition. We recommend adding a printed insert as well for your branding and more marketing real estate!

Learn More About Thermoformed Packaging Options

Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging has years of experience in this market. Contact a representative today to find out what style can work for your product!

 

Thermoformed Blister Packaging

The unique needs of different industrial markets can be daunting. If it’s a product shipped overseas, there are international regulatory standards. Some might include considerations of sanitation, creating a completely sterile environment, and more. Luckily, we have something up our sleeve that can usually meet these needs: thermoformed blister packaging fits the bill. 

What is Thermoformed Blister Packaging?

Thermoformed Blister Packaging

The connection between thermoformed blister packaging and use in the medical industry goes back to 1947. Basically, when blister packs were created to house aspirin. While its usage has expanded past storing tablets, it is still a popular option in the healthcare industry. 

To create blister packs, plastic is heated and molded to form cavities and adhered to a stiff backing, like cardboard. The product is then encased and protected in this form-fitting, see-through environment. The surface adds a level of security as well as marketing opportunities. 

Due to its secure nature, thermoformed blister packaging is relatively tamper-proof (at least, it is very easy to tell when a product has been disturbed or ripped open). This takes on especial importance when it comes to healthcare packaging. 

Thermoformed Packaging Uses in Different Industries

While thermoformed blister packaging was originally designed to hold aspirin tablets, it is also used for medical devices themselves. As we mentioned above, housing devices in a sterile environment is of paramount importance in healthcare.  Professionals need to have confidence that their tools are ready for use in any emergency…and if there is any evidence of tampering, they can make a quick decision to use a different one. Blister packaging allows for those evaluations without intense scrutiny. 

Additionally, blister packaging can be extremely lightweight. This means that products can move easily into depressed regions from acts of nature, war, or any other disaster. Moving quickly in an emergency means that any packaging needs to be quickly identifiable and removable as well. The clear product display aids the former; a variety of easy-to-open backings make the latter possible. 

Other Blister Packaging Opportunities

It’s a popular choice for all the above reasons, but we also love that it provides a surface for enhancing the product itself. Customers and users cannot only see the product (and without messing with the packaging), but companies can call attention to certain features or interesting aspects of the product. Like the specific features that set yours apart from the competition. 

Whatever your industry, thermoformed blister packaging provides a great platform to consider for your product. Contact us today to get started!

 

Wrap Rage is a Thing

VaporTrail-225It’s pretty common knowledge that thermoformed packaging is tough to open. Especially if the edges are factory sealed, or there aren’t easy-to-understand opening instructions. I thought it was just one of those things. You know, like ‘dogs chase cars’ or ‘bees sting.’ But now I know it’s not just a thing, it’s a Thing.

Wikipedia defines Wrap Rage as “the common name for heightened levels of anger and frustration resulting from the inability to open hard-to-open packaging.” It’s further defined as any packaging that claims to be easy-open but is, in actuality, nearly impossible. Such was the case of a vacuum-packed sausage for columnist Lori Borgman. She had to go through two sets of shears to get at her dinner.

Speaking of shears, products are even banking on wrap rage for their marketing plan. A cursory examination of one wrapragecure.com will eventually reveal itself as an advertisement for a product called the Open It™, a fancy-schmancy scissors for opening blister packaging. However, the irony is not lost on me that the Open It™ itself is encased in one of the tightest thermoformed plastic bubbles I’ve ever seen. A chicken-or-the-egg scenario if I ever saw one.

Open It_the wrap rage cure

Image: Bed Bath and Beyond

But even Borgman, sausage sufferer extraordinaire, admits that blister packaging is a necessary evil. Why? Because it’s still one of the top theft deterrents on the market. Or rather, in it. Blister packs and retail go together like peanut butter and jelly. Gold standard. As much as we may dread the eternal struggle that comes from purchasing a blister-packed product, we know that the reason the product was even there to purchase is because that plastic bubble protected it.

Products in stores aren’t supposed to be easy to open! Hello! It’s a sad fact that folks will steal anything not nailed down. I knew someone back in high school that stole display frames from eyeglass stores. For Display Only printed on the plastic lenses and all! But much the way animals know to avoid electrified fences, we humans know not to bother with stealing blister packaged items. The battle too exhausting, the sound too loud, and the risk too great. Therein lay the beauty of custom blister packaging.

Not too mention the reasonably low cost of thermoformed plastic packages means that virtually any product can enjoy the protection. Because people steal low ticket items too, let’s be honest.

So even though wrap rage is a thing, we all accept it. And there are options to making even hard-to-open packaging into easy-open. (Clear instructions being a biggie.) So next time you nick your thumb trying to open that pair of headphones, replace that expletive with a hearty Thanks, Blister Packaging! You’re just doing your job! I get it!

Custom Thermoforming for Point of Purchase

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Custom thermoforming is incredibly effective for point of purchase display, beauty, cosmetic, medical, pharmaceutical blister packaging, clamshell, electronic, and other manufacturing industries. Custom thermoforming is very cost effective for high volume orders and repetitive runs. Once your custom tooling is complete for custom plastic packaging, following orders are trouble-free to setup and speedy to turn.

EarSkinz Custom Thermoformed Packaging

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This vibrant custom thermoformed packaging for EarSkinz highlight a wonderful product. The tray assists to tell the story of what the product is, silicone ear bud covers in this case. This design utilizes the smooth and boundless potential of thermoformed plastic trays. An enormous advantage of this custom thermoformed package for EarSkinz is the elimination of extra exterior wraps, boxes or sleeves which diminishes waste, helping the bottom line for EarSkinz. The custom designed tray is covered in front by a clear co-polymer film which is easy to open for the purchaser. Finishing out the packaging is a back label which offers instructions which helps the front to stay clean and stylish.

Blister Packaging Benefits

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Custom blister packaging offers excellent display advantages and tamper evidence in retail.  Branded artwork is considerably easily done with blister packaging, since the concept of the item involves a blister card, it makes sense for you to print with dazzling graphic design! The thermoformed cavity is then heat sealed onto each card holding the product in place.

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For security, the blister pack keeps products secured from their exterior environment. However, since they are easier to open than clamshells, there is still a chance of tampering. Although blister packaging does not safeguard the product itself, it does protect the consumer; therefore any evidence of tampering is obvious to the consumer. Custom designed blister packaging is an extremely popular choice for general consumer goods packaging.

Combination: Turned Edge Blister Packaging

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This is a turned edge product that carefully and strategically utilizes custom thermoformed blister packaging in order to create a unique and comprehensive packaging solution. An informative piece that covers the benefits and uses of crops from Minnesota Grain in Eagan, this packaging solution is not only a great marketing piece, but it provides the recipient with real time samples of each item in order to recognize and truly learn about what they have to offer. They say in order to make money you have to spend money, and in this case, Minnesota Grain has done that by making a solid investment in educating their clientele and potential buyers. The thermoformed plastic acts as a blister with the turned edge flat, making it possible to show a variety of grain samples. The placement of each blister is in line with the accompanying descriptive text. As both a turned edge manufacturer and custom thermoformer, we love projects like this that use our strengths!