Taking human errors out of medical pouch production

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Roger Renstrom Brian Urban, left, and Kent Hevenor at SencorpWhite Inc.'s booth at MD&M West in Anaheim.

Anaheim, Calif. — SencorpWhite Inc.’s two new automated sealing systems for medical pouches aim to eliminate operator error, increase throughput and incorporate track-and-trace capabilities.

Development of the CeraTek-brand automated pouch sealing systems — 12-APS for single flow and 12-APM for multiple flows — took about one year.

“Pre-production interest has been unbelievable, considering we launched the product ‘quietly’ while we finished testing,” said President and CEO Brian Urban during an interview at Medical Design & Manufacturing West in Anaheim. SencorpWhite will ship the first production APM and APS packaging systems during 2016’s third quarter.

Under proprietary terms, “they will ship to different large medical device manufacturers in the United States,” Urban said. “We are also in the process of finalizing specifications for systems shipped to Europe.”

Human error is considered a weak point in the packaging process. “Most packaging-related recalls can be traced back to mistakes made by operators involved with packaging, labeling and/or inspection,” Urban said. The APS and APM solution “is more automated that a manual sealer and more cost effective, smaller, quicker to change over and flexible than a traditional form-fill-seal system.”

Life science applications account for about 50 percent of SencorpWhite sales and encompasses all product lines, Urban said. “We expect our CeraTek medical sealing line to grow significantly in the next two-years based on the APM/APS products.”

Connell Limited Partnership of Boston, a family-owned trust, acquired SencorpWhite on Nov. 1.

“Connell provides the support necessary for SencorpWhite to quickly commercialize technological developments like the APM/APS, allowing us to capitalize on emerging markets and opportunities that we were not able while growing organically.” Urban said.

Urban said Connell’s investment will allow the company to capitalize on new products. Examples include the WillCall Rx automated pharmacy fulfillment interface and the radio-frequency-identification systems of growing importance for supply chain applications ranging from packaging to storage and retrieval.

SencorpWhite employs 160 and occupies 155,000 square feet in Hyannis, Mass.

Sencorp manufactures machines to make blister and clamshell packages for consumer, medical, food, cosmetics and electronics applications. The White side of the business makes equipment for storage and retrieval. Sencorp Inc. and White Systems Inc. merged in December 2008.