US patent granted to FlexFilms for breakthrough BOPET film

Flex breakthrough for Alu Alu blister packs

A United States patent covering entire categories of formable films that includes one or more BOPET film layers used in Alu Alu blister packaging granted to Uflex

FlexFilms, the global film manufacturing arm of India-based global film and packaging company Uflex, has been granted a United States patent covering entire categories of formable films that include one or more BOPET layers used in Alu Alu blister packaging. The patent US 10131122 was issued to Flex Films (USA) Inc on 20 November 2018 for a period of 20 years, giving a competitive advantage to the film’s business of the company over its opponents in the cold-formed pharmaceutical packaging industry.

With the patent issuance, the company gets exclusive right of manufacturing and sale of this special BOPET film in US, Europe, and India. The patent includes the uniqueness of forming characteristic of BOPET film in Z direction during packaging application. With this innovation in pharma packaging and particularly for Alu Alu blister laminate structures, BOPET film has completely replaced the potentially carcinogenic PVC. When PVC is recycled or reprocessed, it releases poisonous gases like dioxin and hydrochloric acid which are hazardous for human health. Also when PVC comes in direct contact with sunlight, it gives off chlorine gas.

Whereas the special patented polyester film can be recycled and reprocessed and is 100% environment-friendly. This BOPET film also replaces 25-micron BOPA film, the processing of which is difficult due to its intrinsic property of moisture absorption that makes it de-laminate from aluminum foil. The new BOPET film, developed by Uflex’s Film Business and patented by Flex Films USA, delivers a huge saving on carbon footprints and energy. Another added advantage that this BOPET film has over PVC and BOPA is that they can be easily printed with many different types of inks.

Even today, it is can be difficult to read the details of drugs printed on the aluminum foil of blister packs, but with the compatibility feature of BOPET film with different types of inks used in printing, communication of relevant information of drugs contained in blister packs becomes printable and readable. In addition, Flex says that the new BOPET film opens up many avenues to evade the menace of anti-counterfeiting.

Pramod Sirsamkar, president, Technical & New Product Development (Films), Uflex Ltd who along with the R&D team invented the film stated, “We are pleased to strengthen our intellectual property protection with the addition of this patent. Our R&D team had consistently worked to invent our now patented special polyester film that since its launch last year has changed the landscape of medical packaging reducing the dependency on BOPA and PVC films use in Alu- Alu laminate blister packs. This patent undoubtedly would be a game changer for our business and will prove to be an asset not only for us but also for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Pleased at the grant of the patent, Anantshree Chaturvedi, vice chairman and CEO, FlexFilms International said, “We have believed that healthy competition always benefits customers the most. The patent awarded to us gives us the right to protect our innovation and stop others from copying, reverse-engineering or selling our product without our permission, thereby reducing our risks and ensuring best product delivered to our customers. This silver bullet now gives us protection for a pre-determined period, allowing us to keep competitors at bay and lead the path as always.”

FlexFilms is the global film manufacturing arm of India’s largest multinational flexible packaging solutions company, Uflex Limited. With State-of-the-Art film manufacturing facilities in all the 4 major continents Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa, its combined production capacity stands in excess of 337,000 MT per annum.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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