Resources & Articles

Types of Medical Packaging – Everything You Need To Know

For more than 60 years, Janco has worked with a wide range of industries. What we’ve found is that each comes with its own processes and challenges, however contract manufacturing for the medical industry requires a unique approach.

When outsourcing medical packaging services, companies will need to determine the kind of materials and packaging they need for their specific application. This can be determined before meeting with a vendor or during discussions with a vendor design team. Whether determining materials or adjusting designs, working with a skilled medical packaging vendor can guide you toward the right packaging solution.

In this post, we’ll cover the types of medical packaging and the materials used, as well as how a packaging design team can help you create a more efficient and user-friendly product.

Medical packaging cleanrooms

What differentiates medical device manufacturing and packaging from other types of packaging is the need for cleanroom facilities. Certain types of medical products have to be assembled and packaged within a cleanroom, which is a controlled environment where pollutants such as airborne microbes, dust, and aerosol particles are filtered out to provide the most sterile environment possible.

Janco has ISO 14644-1 Class 7 and Class 8 certified cleanrooms for medical device assembly and packaging services. They’re monitored and tested frequently to ensure that they meet required operating parameters. Plus, all of our medical processes are regularly assessed and verified by thorough internal, independent, FDA, and customer audits.

Before signing with any vendor, ensure they meet the cleanroom standards you need to safely manufacture and package your products.

What type of medical packaging is right for your needs?

Across each of these sectors, several different types of medical packaging are common depending on your unique needs. These include:

  • Trays: Medical packaging trays come in a range of different sizes and can be created from several materials. Because of the many ways that trays can be customized, they’re ideal for a range of applications, from syringes to medical devices.
  • Multi-Compartment Trays: This type of medical packaging is usually manufactured from a rigid material. Multi-compartment trays are the preferred type of packaging for surgical implants, sutures (nylon, polypropylene, silk, or polyester), and a range of other more sensitive surgical items.
  • Blister Packaging: Usually used to contain individual capsules inside of a box, blister packaging is used to protect medication from contamination before ingestion. Typically a peel-able layer is used as a cover, but depending on the nature of the material, blister packs can also be sealed with a push-through lidding used to access individual capsules.
  • Pouches: Medical packaging pouches are ideal for use when an oddly-shaped application needs to be contained.
  • Cartons: Most commonly used for products that need to be stored at room temperature, cartons are usually manufactured from fiberboards and come in a medical packaging box. You’ll typically find over-the-counter medicine, such as capsule pills, packaged in individual cartons.
  • Individual-Wrap Packages: This is a popular choice for single-use applications, such as packaging for syringes. Individual-wrap packaging is usually made from plastic, but this may vary. In some instances, blister packs are also used for extra support in medical needle packaging.
  • Shrink Wrapping: Typically made up of polymer plastic film, shrink wrapping is used for medical packaging when a device or item needs to be covered tightly. With heat applied, shrink wrapping creates a firm seal over whatever it is covering.

Medical packaging materials

Because medical devices and packaging often need to stand up to the stresses of sterilization, finding the right material is essential. Here are some of the types of materials used in medical packaging.

  • Plastic-Plastics are a diverse and versatile set of materials used for both film shrink wrapping and medical device trays.
  • Foam-Polyethylene closed-cell foams are great for medical applications because they are sturdy, easy to process, and are water resistant, among many other benefits. Foams are typically used in thermoforming medical trays.
  • TPU-Thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU, is a family of plastic films that are water, abrasion, and fungus resistant, as well as flame retardant. Available in a range of opacity, this elastic-type material meets standards for use in medical devices and complies with FDA regulations. Because it is puncture resistant and non-particulating, it is often used in packaging for protecting sharp, cutting items.

How medical packaging design helps your customer

A medical device packaging project is typically viewed as a success if the product is delivered safely and to specifications. We would argue design and ease of use are important as well.

Choosing a vendor with an in-house design team helps you come up with a packaging solution that not only meets all requirements, but is well designed, cost-effective, and easy to open and use during critical medical procedures.

For example, custom procedure trays (CPT) that are designed and built to hold instruments used during surgery are typically designed and set up for your specific procedure needs, with instruments placed in order of their chronological use.

Understanding not only how to get your product to market, but also how they will be used, helps you and your packaging vendor develop the best solution.

Medical packaging regulations and requirements

Packaging for the medical industry is heavily regulated to ensure the safety and sterilization of important products. You will need a vendor that can provide the right clean room capabilities, whether that’s sterile class 1 or ISO 14644-1 Class 8 class cleanroom.

Our team goes to great lengths to ensure we adhere to the standards and regulations that exist for the manufacturing of medical packaging. Our approach to material supplies ensures that you have access to foam or plastic materials suitable for non-sterile, or sterile class I, II, III.

Our medical manufacturing division includes ISO 14644-1 Class 7 and Class 8 certified cleanrooms and Janco is an FDA registered establishment.

Our medical packaging capabilities

Even within the medical field, there are several different sectors of medical packaging with varying needs. Our team has experience creating medical packaging for the following specialties:

  • Orthopedics
  • Vascular
  • Respiratory
  • Endoscopy
  • Laboratory
  • Cardiology
  • Ophthalmic
  • Spinal and Biologics
  • Dental
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Veterinary
  • Drug delivery

In need of medical device packaging?

Janco is proud to offer high-quality and cost-effective thermoforming and compression-molded services for the medical industry. Our team will work with you from concept and design to the assembly and packaging of your product to deliver the results you need.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.