Impressive sustainable potential

Impressive sustainable potential

How digital inline printing pays dividends - for the environment and businesses

The cost of waste, both financial and environmental in blister packaging lines are often hidden and sizeable.

It is not only a question of how much CO2 can be avoided, but in many cases simply looking at the issue of sustainability reveals previously hidden costs. Digital inline printing in pharmaceutical blister production provides an excellent example of how these potential savings can be harnessed more effectively – for the benefit of businesses and the environment.

Three values below illustrate the potential quantities at stake:

Over 70 percent waste reduction by switching to on-demand printing or late-stage customization, eradicating overproduction

80 percent reduction of CO2 footprint through the elimination of transport and storage of large quantities of blank or pre-printed foil as well as by scaling back waste disposal

90 percent reduction of inventory and pre-printed foil, minimizing the risk of disposing outdated or expired production materials

With digital inline printing, sustainability is included as a standard.

Can sustainability goals drive investment decisions?

These are compelling arguments and measurable benefits. But how much weight do they carry when it comes to investment decisions? “For the pharma industry, the interest in on-demand printing and late-stage customization is often driven primarily by the desire to make production leaner and more agile, increase asset utilization, and drive forward digital transformation”, says a Hapa expert. “That’s all well and good, but in most cases the important aspect of sustainability is completely overlooked.” That may be attributable to the belief that protecting the environment inevitably costs money. The fact that acting sustainably regularly pays dividends – including for businesses – is less well known.

But the less-tangible benefits are rarely discovered by business analysts. Hapa’s sustainability expert believes that a radical change of direction is happening in the industry. “The number of requests for advice on this subject has been increasing for some time.” Companies are being exposed to growing pressure from the public, legislators, and their owners and shareholders. Stakeholders expect and, in some cases, are demanding measurable progress on the issue of sustainability.

How does Hapa respond in such cases? “In order to calculate the true value of late-stage customization compared to mass production, we examine customer-specific data on a case-by-case basis.”

Data-driven waste anlysis

In most instances the required data can be sourced, for instance from ERP systems, at short notice. But numbers alone are little use without a formula. So how does Hapa transform the numbers into customized solutions for reducing CO2 emissions and waste? “As an industry and technology leader, in the last 20 years we have installed a large amount of digital printing systems in the pharma sector. This is a unique wealth of experience. The new generation Hapa systems are also capable of providing real-time statistics, giving customers year-on-year contributions to their sustainability goals.”

“We have developed highly sophisticated and increasingly standardized calculation methods. They produce accurate forecasts of the potential savings. On this basis, we can clearly demonstrate to our partners that sustainability drives business success and benefits the environment.”

High time for a digital uplift Digital trends in pharmaceutical packaging