Unique Thermoformed Clamshell
Although some may recognize packaging as the forte of VisiPak, the company prefers to expose their complete manufacturing capabilities which expands beyond the packaging industry. "Our experience within the industrial markets allows us to leverage our packaging engineering and design expertise, adding value for our industrial clients by functioning as part of their design team," said Jeff Barket, Director of Sales and Marketing for all the Sinclair & Rush divisions. To this end, an existing industrial account approached VisiPak with a unique challenge.
VisiPak has supplied tubes to nSpire Health, Inc. since 2004, and when nSpire Health required a container package for very different purposes, VisiPak stepped up to the plate. nSpire Health was using a container package or filter box as a production component part and not as a retail or consumer package. VisiPak design engineers were challenged with developing a functional container based on an existing design. The problem with the existing product was an annoying inconsistency. The existing design included a tray or base and a lid, which required an air-tight seal. It seems often the lid was not successfully sealed and leaks occurred. Apparently, the material of the base tray was not compatible with the material of the lid during the welding process.
This is where the VisiPak experience of manufacturing clamshells proved highly valuable. The use of material in roll-stock form is the norm in thermoforming operations and, by converting the design into a single clamshell piece, the lid was immediately eliminated. The clamshell case would fold at the hinge serving as the lid, effectively closing the container. The radio frequency (RF) welding process is successful as the material is welded to itself, forming the required air-tight seal.
The story could end here, but there is more to tell. VisiPak design engineers proved to be flexible in using their experience in conjunction with existing design work of other engineers. Rod Whittier, Thermoformed Products Manager for VisiPak stated, "The fact that VisiPak was already an approved supplier resulted in quick action, which became highly valuable to both our companies. In addition, by taking the time to learn the function of the filter box, the interaction with its environment and the practical applications, VisiPak design engineers went beyond their packaging experience and presented a solution that benefits both companies."
After producing the thermoformed clear plastic filter container, a secondary process is required to punch holes in strategic locations for functionality of the filter. VisiPak also provides assembly and fulfillment services so once the secondary operation is completed, the parts are assembled, sealed (RF welded), and labels are applied. Finally, a tab is applied by adhesive to the outside of the clamshell case providing a means to insert and withdraw the filter box.
By switching suppliers, nSpire put money back in their pocket. The elimination of the lid stock was a significant improvement in more ways than one. Not only did it reduce some of the tooling costs, but the end products sealed in a more effective manner. A 25% savings on the cost of the part will cover the tooling investment in just one year, and if quantities remain the same, several thousand dollars will be retained in the second year.
About nSpire Health Incorporated:
nSpire Health offers an extensive, continuously growing product line. nSpire Health is the exclusive provider of PiKo® home lung health monitors, Pocket™ asthma care, KoKo® spirometers, ZAN® measuring instruments and HDpft™, the most accurate and precisee pulmonary function testing systems worldwide. Innovative technology redefines accuracy every step of the way - from the PiKo lung health monitors to the KoKo Spirometers and HDpft line of comprehensive pulmonary function laboratories, nSpire delivers superior products and services in the quest to advance the early detection and treatment of respiratory illness. For more information on nSpire Health, please visit http://nspirehealth.com.