The Pharmaceutical Industry has used plastic injection molding for decades to initially convert metal products to plastic, then to use engineered resins for daily use items. Syringes, fluid transfer and delivery, and simple single use packaging are just the tip of the iceberg for using plastics for pharmaceutical purposes. The use has become more custom-tailored as their prevalence has become the dominant option available. Are you considering a new custom injection molding project for the pharmaceutical industry? If so, you need to give engineered plastics a consideration for your material of choice.
Why Use Plastic Injection Molding for Pharmaceuticals?
Plastics aren’t a new material to use for household products, or for the medical industry in general. In fact, plastics have been used for decades for pharmaceutical products to deliver medicines. How far back can you remember when you bought a prescription from the pharmacy that didn’t come in a plastic bottle? You may not be able to. Pharmacists have used plastic bottles with safety caps for decades to administer oral tablets. The option to also buy over-the-counter medicines in a blister single-use blister pack has also been around for quite a while. Plastics have been used for a long time, and for good reason.
Plastics Offer These Pharmaceutical Benefits:
- Low Cost – Manufacturing plastics for pharmaceutical applications typically can be done in a generic fashion that doesn’t require specialized materials. Pill bottles, which may be the easiest to think of application, are a simple product that can be made quickly by the millions. Plastics also offer less labor-intensive manufacturing, low-cost raw materials, and their lightweight offers lower cost shipping.
- Flexibility for the Application – Plastics are very adaptable and flexible for their end-use. They can be colored as needed to meet a specific demand, they can be formulated for high or low temperatures, and they can also be designed to accommodate corrosion intensive products. With thousands of engineered-resins currently available, a specific resin can be chosen for your pharmaceutical needs.
- Incredible Strength vs. Weight – Plastics back be designed in a thin-walled application, and still be incredibly strong. In some cases, they can be stronger than a comparable metal and still have better properties against corrosion with less secondary processing requirements.
- Precision Tolerances – The medical industry in general requires very precise tolerances to ensure safety. Pharmaceutical applications are no different. Plastic injection molding can offer equal or better precision to comparable metal products to meet pharmaceutical and medical standards.
- Custom Finishes – Plastic injection molding can incorporate many different finishes in your product without the need for secondary processes. Logos or embossing can be added to the injection mold to create custom identifying touches, additional colors can be added, and most of the options don’t require extra work to achieve the same result. That can open up creative options without adding cost.
How Are Plastics Used in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
There are hundreds of uses for plastics in pharmaceuticals currently. They use the advantages of low cost, decreased weight, and high strength to deliver the best results for the application. Some of these uses look like:
- Fluid Transfer Bags
- Packaging (could be blister pack for single pills, etc.)
- Diagnostic Tools (such as a stethoscope, small hammer, etc.)
- Bottle Caps
- Plastic Tubing
Pharmaceutical products can also take advantage of new ideas to incorporate sustainability into new or redesigned products. For instance, many plastics are recyclable after their intended use. Your new product could incorporate a 100% recyclable plastic that will ensure it can be used again and again to reduce pollution. Your new product could also be made with a bio-based plastic that is able to return to its base components over time. Biodegradable plastics are another strong option to consider to make an environmental impact with your new product.
The current level of technology, and the engineered-resins available, make most ideas available for plastic injection molding. The pharmaceutical industry requires quality and on-time delivery. SEA-LECT Plastics prides itself as one of the leaders contributing to the progress in the pharmaceutical industry. Injection molding has distinct advantages, but choosing which manufacturing option is best for your new project may be hard to decide. If you need advice on a future project, SEA-LECT Plastics is here to help. We have an elite team that designs for injection molding, rapid prototyping, and produces world-class products under the same roof. Give us a call at (425) 339-0288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to offering support and advice on your next project. SEA-LECT Plastics is an ISO 9001:2015 certified facility that incorporates a Total Quality Management (TQM) atmosphere into our daily mindset. Your products will be made by an elite team with a single goal of exceeding your expectations.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.