303-271-0986 info@doranix.com

Sterile Pouch Printer

Whether you supply medical products or you own a dispensary, you need reliable packaging that conforms to all industry and government standards for safety and compliance. You also need hardware that can accommodate specialty packaging requirements.

We feel that our ThermaPrint64 sterile pouch printer fills the bill on every level, and it produces clean, legible print time after time, even on those big jobs.

What is a Sterile Pouch?

There are several types of sterile packaging. The most common are the DuPont™ Tyvek® peel pouches used to protect gauze, surgical instruments, and other medical accessories. Other common types of sterile packaging are the retort pouches used in food storage and materials for packing vulnerable items that need to be stored in dry facilities, refrigeration units, or freezers.

They’re used for disposable:

  • Wound coverings
  • Facial protectors
  • Fluid management supplies
  • Hazardous drug protection
  • Infection control wearables
  • Surgical tubing

The products that require this type of container are those that need to be kept germ-free and dry. That means you need a thin profile and materials that can stand up to extreme temperatures, are leak-proof, and have a substantial printing area that holds ink well without bleeding or smudges.

In addition, they should contain no fiber tear or particles and be:

  • Constructed from medical-grade paper
  • Puncture and abrasion resistant
  • Easy to open while remaining tamper-proof
  • Sealable

Our ThermaPrint64 printers and inks are ideal for these applications, and they won’t damage the sterile pouches at any time during the printing process.

Barrier Packaging Basics

Sterile pouches are a type of barrier packaging. There are several types that are manufactured to meet specific standards for safety and to maintain the sterility of items that require protection from fluids or environmental contaminants as well as maintaining separation from other items.

Roll Stock for Packaging Medical Devices

There are five types of sterile packaging that have particular handling and printing requirements.

Barrier film: Barrier films have been with us since the turn of the 20th century. They provide the same kind of protection as other types of barrier packaging, but you can see through them to view the contents inside. They were originally made from 100 percent biodegradable cellulose, but have been manufactured from a variety of plastics since the 1950s.

These films can be created with special properties through chemical combinations or layering various types of barrier film during production. Requires a printer that can produce clear text or images without damaging the material or smudging.

Barrier packaging: Any packaging material that’s used to create a water- and air- seal between the contents and external storage environment. Many have an inner compartment that’s heat-sealed for added protection, which is why care is needed during the printing process.

Laminates: This type of packaging is created by layering and bonding a combination of materials. Laminates can be heat-sealed, air-tight, and purpose-made. The outer layers are usually chosen for their printability and protective qualities, while the innermost layer of polyethylene (PE) or a similar chemical is used to create a strong seal.

Foil lamination: This adds an additional .000285- to .0003-inch layer of aluminum between laminates to provide added protection from sunlight and air. It’s a little more expensive than plain laminate, but it’s stronger and more effective.

A less expensive alternative is to metalize the laminate by applying a thin layer of aluminum to the outer surface of the packaging. Either way, you need a printer that can apply enough heat to get the job done without affecting the material itself.

Tyvek: Created by the DuPont corporation nearly 40 years ago, this packaging material is used in medical packaging, building site protection, and to manufacture Haz-Mat suits.

Of these, the most common use is for medical packaging. You’ll find Tyvek pouches, lids, and FlexPaks in clinics. hospitals, and doctor’s offices around the world. One hallmark of this material is that it’s breathable while acting as an effective antimicrobial barrier.

Due to the sensitive nature of their production and use, they require careful handling during the print process.

What to Look for in a Sterile Pouch Printer

Printing sterile pouches is a job that shouldn’t be left to standard office printers and inks. Sterile pouches are used mainly for food storage and in medical settings. Our ThermaPrint64 printers are able to handle the most delicate printing requirements with materials up to ~0.040 inches. They’re also configurable to manage onblong or custom packaging of various sizes and shapes.

Thermaprint64 Setup

In addition to maintaining sterility, your packaging should stand out. That means accommodating various fonts, layouts, and designs. We have the technology to meet all of these requirements with confidence. Whatever your demands or requirements, you can depend on our printing equipment and accessories.

How Sterile Pouch Printers Work

In order to obtain professional results, care must be taken during the printing process and handling after the project rolls off the press. To achieve this, the barrier or laminate roll must be printed before the material construction is completed and filled. Ideally, this means using a method called Flexographic printing and a color limitation of eight colors. This can be done with either side-by-side line printing or process printing to produce images. The limited color choice does not affect the end results, as process printing can attain an almost unlimited color palette.

Sterile pouches and bags are usually heat sealed using a three-sided sealing (3SS) process, which is done before the package is filled. The top is hermetically sealed after the contents are placed inside. Seals can range from 1/4 – 1/2 inch and are welded together using high heat. They can be closed by the filler, closed by the end-user, or made resealable.

Our printers can also be configured to work around features like:

  • Side gussets
  • Hang holes
  • Lips
  • Tear notches
  • Fitments, like screw caps or tube attachments

Printing is conducted in several stages.

First, laminates or pouches are loaded into the feeder, either singly or as a continuous roll. This type of feed is faster and more accurate when properly configured. The addition of thermal printing further guarantees accuracy and speed with resolutions of 300 dpi or higher. Our printers allow configurations that are intended to handle most customizations and labelling requirements.

Once printing is completed, each unit or individual pouches can be cut into custom shapes as needed. Larger orders can also be auto-sorted and stacked for your convenience.

Specifications and Features to Look for in a Thermal Printer

Our goal is your complete satisfaction. First, you should consider your own requirements for packaging so you can discuss the project with your printing professional during a consultation. That way, the printer can have a deeper understanding of how to proceed and provide the expected results.

Next, you want to consider speed. You need a printer that can stand up to industrial-level projects and fast turnaround times. The ideal speed is about five inches per second.

You also want to take a look at the print quality. Many medical applications require smaller print that’s legible and impervious to smudges or smearing. This will ensure that medical professionals, suppliers, and patients have all required labelling information on the label, and that it remains legible during packing, shipping, storage, and dispensation.

Lastly, you need to consider the print environment. Many production facilities are filled with dust and other environmental contaminants. That means choosing a printer like the ThermaPrint64 that can perform to standards in almost any manufacturing environment while protecting the integrity of the packaging.

If you’re using a packaging material like Tyvek, other considerations must be taken into account. These items are usually produced on a large scale, meaning that each and every package must contain a unique identifier and custom designs. Our high-tech printers are fully programmable to meet such specific requirements without sacrificing speed or print quality. This includes bar codes, product numbers, ingredients, and complex graphics. Many medical suppliers or facilities require custom fonts, logos, and other specifications.

Sterile pouches and medical packaging is subjected to high temperatures during the sealing process. They may also be subjected to extreme temperatures during shipping and storage. Print and ink quality must stand up to these conditions in a consistent manner.

Most importantly, all of this must be done in a way that protects the integrity of the packaging. These requirements should be consistent regardless of order size or urgency. We’re confident that the ThermaPrint64 printer will live up to these standards.

Final Thoughts

Your packaging is part of your brand. Customers want reliable, consistent performance from materials that protects the contents inside while still looking good on the outside. We take pride in our ability to fulfill the needs of vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers in a range of industries. When you’re looking for a sterile pouch printer, we’ve got you covered.