A successful partnership for the development of sustainable medical transport cases

Article
Carlo Leijten
Account Manager
More articles by Carlo Leijten

Reducing carbon footprint and focusing on circular production

Sustainability is a high priority for us, as we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and focus on circular production. The expendable particle foam, also known as EPP, processed in transport cases and carrying systems, is a valuable addition to this, says Carlo Leijten, Account Manager Medical at Faes. In this article I tell you more about the development process for reusable medical transport cases for carrying stents and our cooperation with the particle foam engineers of HSV.

Lightweight transport case and other criteria

One of the market segments we serve at Faes is Medical. A customer in this sector wanted a transport case that had to meet specific criteria. The top priority was the weight: to simplify transport within a hospital, the box had to be as light as possible. Other criteria: the material had to be hygienic and easy to clean. The case had to be suitable for use as return packaging, and above all it had to offer optimum protection for the medical products it contained. The customer required that the transport cases be produced sustainably and that they be recyclable at the end of their life.

The results

The process resulted in this medical transport case made of EPP. The transport case is used as return packaging for the supply of stents in hospitals. A complete set of stents is delivered per patient, but not all parts in the case are used every time. Unopened packages are returned, where the cases are cleaned and reused in the logistics process. In addition, we have shortened the packaging cycle to five days, which offers further logistical advantages for the customer.

At Faes we have found that this type of foam is the most durable solution for transporting fragile medical devices.

Carlo Leijten | Account Manager Medical at Faes

Reasons for choosing EPP

EPP offers various advantages as an applied material. It can be made into any shape, which creates many possibilities to design a manufacturable product, but EPP also has material properties that offer many advantages during use and in the logistical process. At Faes we have found that this type of foam is the most sustainable solution for transporting vulnerable medical devices all the way to the operating room.

Absolutely the biggest advantage: the material is light but strong. EPP is more than 95% air, but still robust. The density of the material ensures optimal protection of fragile products — an absolute requirement for these medical devices. This foam is also hygienic and easy to clean. Moreover, HSV uses renewable energy to produce the moulded parts used in this transport case. And EPP is recyclable, as our customer explicitly requested. So EPP meets all the criteria and is a material of high value.

The feasibility of a product

HSV’s engineers have specific expertise in designing injection moulds, supported by knowledge of expandable plastics and the technical know-how needed to assess the feasibility of a product. This knowledge results in slightly different designs than we would make at Faes and provides valuable input for our own engineers. By tackling the project together, we can combine the expertise of both organisations and find the ideal product solution — a very pleasant experience.

EPP’s properties, including full design freedom and impact resistance, are a perfect match for the customer’s demand and we are absolutely aware of the sustainable advantages of this material. In this case, it was a product for a medical customer, but we also use HSV foam for logistics solutions in other sectors.

Sustainability is a high priority for us and we like to work with companies that share this priority and have a good track record in their commitment to a better environment.

Carlo Leijten | Account Manager Medical at Faes

Carbon footprint and circular production

As already mentioned, sustainability is very important to Faes. We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and focus on circular production. Therefore we like to cooperate with companies that share this priority and are committed to a better environment and in HSV we have found a sustainable partner.

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