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Innovative Integrated Packaging Solutions from ACG Worldwide

Today, packaging encompasses nearly every sphere of our life right from day-to-day items to industrial goods. It has evolved from the role of being a basic necessity to that of a value add. Not only does packaging help protect the contents reach the end-consumer safely, but also helps a consumer differentiate between two brands. Some of it is driven by the goliaths of branding, while some are born to comply with regulations laid down by authorities. A rising trend also indicates that consumers either prefer eco-friendly packaging or those made of recyclable materials. Faced with such and many more challenges, the global packaging industry has been pushed itself beyond its limits of innovation.

According to market researcher Lucintel, the global packaging industry is expected to reach an estimated $133 billion in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 5.3 percent over the next five years. In terms of cosmetics packaging, the report states that the sector is likely to gain steady profits due to various consumer trends, especially in emerging markets – to place the industry’s global value alone at $24 billion by the end of 2012[1].

ACG’s world of packaging

Set up by two brothers – Mr. Ajit Singh and Mr. Jasjit Singh, ACG Worldwide, or Associated Capsules Group as it was known then, began its operations in Mumbai, India, miles away from habitation. The company started with manufacturing only empty hard gelatin capsules shells, but soon found that the Indian pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t consume more capsules due to lack of cost-effective technologies. With the help of a strong R&D team, ACG not only developed innovative technologies and processes, but also successfully bridged the increasing cost gap. Thus began ACG’s gradual expansion into pharmaceutical machinery, which today includes fluid bed systems, tablet coating systems, encapsulation machines, tabletting presses, and many more.

Boosted by this strong growth, ACG ventured into packaging in an effort to become a ‘one stop shop’ for manufacturing and packaging solutions. Thus, in 1987, ACG established ACG Pampac - a manufacturer of blister packing as well as cartoning machines. Today, ACG Pampac not only delivers world-class packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry but also non-pharma. A few from the innovative range of blister packing and carton machines include:

BP 102 – A low-cost yet high-tech blister packaging machine. With an output of 240 blisters per minute, the machine consumes low power and allows a quick changeover.
B450 AD – A simple, economical & versatile deep-cavity blister packing machine that’s ideal for packing ampoules, vials, prefilled syringes, tubes and non-pharma applications like batteries, adhesives, etc.

K120i– A horizontal intermittent motion cartoner, ideal for single or multiple blisters in a carton, K 120i is great for ‘hands-free’ secondary packaging.

Hi-Cart - At 220 cartons per minute, this machine only competes with time. High-speed, reliable and most efficient cartoning machine available.

By the 2000s, ACG had become a major force in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. The company, in the meanwhile, realized the advantage of developing packaging films and foils itself to meet the industry’s challenging requirements. In 2004, ACG Worldwide set up a group company to cater to this requirement – ACG Pharmapack. Today, ACG-Pharmapack provides a complete range of high quality barrier-packaging films for the pharmaceutical, medical-device, personal care and food packaging sectors.

ACG Pharmapack produces pharmaceutical-grade & camera-inspected, calendared PVC films, PETG, Barex, PVdC coats, PVC/Aclar and many other complex laminates, all under a single roof. A few of its recent, innovative and award-winning products include:

Bio-D – Thanks to its five decade-long expertise and strong R&D set-up, ACG introduced a unique bio-degradable calendared PVC film, Bio-D, which is just as degradable as other eco-friendly film. These films render themselves biodegradable when they are exposed to active landfill environments.

Brandshield – A differential grated embedded image that offers an overt and robust anti-counterfeiting solution to companies, and a differentiation factor for their end-consumers.

Alukbliss – Recipient of IndiaStar, AsiaStar and WorldStar awards, Alukbliss is an innovative product identical to Cold Form Blister (CFB) foils in appearance with the barrier of PVC. Customized for higher barrier for sensitive products.

To complement these range of packaging solutions, ACG Worldwide established ACG Inspection in 2009. ACG Inspection is a full-service hi-tech vision inspection (Link it to http://ww.acg-inspection.com) system company offering blister inspection, label inspection, carton inspection, track & trace and other customizable camera inspection solutions. This product line serves as a testimony to the 100% quality levels that ACG maintains and also helps its customers maintain and exceed. Some of ACG Inspection’s products that cover primary as well as secondary packaging include:

Blis-i - Blis-i is the perfect answer for a foolproof, robust, easy-to-use product for blister pack inspection. It detects broken products, missing products, different products, etc.
Scan-i - A state-of-the-art scanning system to detect surface imperfections in aluminum foils; defects such as pin holes or pores.

Label-i - Using advanced morphological characteristics, Label-i scans product labels to ensure accurate monitoring of parameters like batch code, pharma code, bar code, etc.

Verif-i - A complete track & trace solution that monitors the entire process right from manufacturing to packaging. Not only does Verif-i serve as a protective layer of supply chain security and anti-counterfeiting, but also empowers end-users to authenticate the genuineness at the point-of-purchase via an SMS.

With such advanced systems and technologies, it ultimately is a value vs. cost argument. A lapse in ensuring maximum level of tracking and traceability could leave major pharmaceutical companies at the risk of huge loss to brand value, massive lawsuits & product recalls, and, most importantly, patient safety.

With such a wide range of solutions, ACG Worldwide does prove to be a one stop shop for packaging solutions. However, the common force behind these innovations and technological expertise has been ACG’s clear focus on R&D. With the help of a team of experts in various domains combined with the infrastructure of a R&D hub in India, ACG Worldwide has challenged the existing norms, created path-breaking processes and technologies and aims to continue to do so in the longer run.

[1] http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Packaging-Design/Global-packaging-sales-to-hit-133-billion-by-2017

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