Tjoapack investment triples its bottling capacity

8 Jan 2018

Companies outsourcing their packaging requirements - particularly those in the generics market where reducing time to market is crucial - look set to reap the benefits.

Following a major investment late last year, contract packaging organisation (CPO) Tjoapack, has launched its new bottle packing line at its facility in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands. The new line, which took one month to install and validate, triples the CPO’s capacity using high-throughput technology and caters for the growing demand for bottle packing services in Europe.

Tjoapack investment triples its bottling capacity

Capacity and capabilities

Tjoapack, which specialises in primary packaging for solid dosage forms, unit dose packaging and secondary packaging, now has 19 packaging lines for blisters, wallets and bottles and supplies to customers in over 40 countries across Europe, North & South America, Asia and Africa.

Dexter Tjoa, director corporate strategy at Tjoapack said: “The investment has hugely increased our capacity, meaning we can now process 13,000 tablets per minute on our bottling lines. This will be of huge benefit to companies outsourcing their packaging requirements to us, particularly those in the generics market where reducing time to market, and therefore cost, is crucial."

Has the company simply added an extra line to increase capacity or has it replaced all lines with greater efficiency machines? Mr Tjoa explained: "This initial investment was to increase our capacity to cater for the growing demand for bottle packing services in Europe.

"We have an ongoing investment plan in place that will see us continue to add additional lines as well as make improvements to our existing lines this year. This investment allows us access to the latest packaging technologies and will help us to continue to improve supply chain efficiencies for our customers. As we move through 2018 we expect to see the demand for outsourced packaging solutions increase and we will continue to innovate and invest in both our capabilities and capacities.”

Software and efficiencies

The company has also revamped its software. "During 2018, we’ll be implementing new enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, warehouse management systems (WMS) and manufacturing execution systems (MES), as well as upgrading back office applications. By introducing new tools for better communication and collaboration across teams, we can increase productivity and generate efficiencies across our operations.

"Tjoapack has a history of innovation, including being one of the first companies to implement full track and trace from blister to pallet in 2008. We continue to be strong believers in the use of technology to improve supply chain processes and ultimately get products to patients as safely and efficiently as possible," said Mr Tjoa.

Packaging trends and the future

Now, at the beginning of 2018, many thoughts are focused on the future and what it holds for the industry. So, which of the packaging formats do Tjoapack clients currently favour and does the CPO see this trend changing anytime soon? As far as packaging oral solids is concerned, "the European market still favours blister packs, although in the Nordic countries bottling is also becoming increasingly popular," explained Mr Tjoa.

He added: "Although we don’t see this changing in the immediate future, we do expect to see more integration of sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices into packaging to make it ‘smart’. The introduction of smart packaging could help to improve patient adherence and monitor safe storage of medicine in the home, which could be invaluable in terms of patient safety.

Customer benefits

CPhI Online - being keen on bringing suppliers and buyers together - asked Mr Tjoa whether the company's increased packaging efficiencies translate into reduced costs for its clients. Mr Tjoa said: "As a wide variety of factors can affect the cost of packaging, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. At Tjoapack, we are continuously trying to improve our processes and continue to invest in our automation and digitisation capabilities to provide our customers with competitively priced services.

"We like to work with our customers on a long-term strategic basis and use our knowledge of packaging and supply chain management to help them plan their operations in a cost-effective way. For example, packaging format, shape and size can all have an impact on the cost of supply, so it’s important to consider it early on in the development process.

"We also offer services, such as postponement packaging, whereby our clients can delay packaging supply for a specific market until the last minute, reducing waste product and generating cost savings as a result."

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