THE CHALLENGE Temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, vaccines, human organs and blood are vulne..
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Temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, vaccines, human organs and blood are vulnerable to thermal damage during shipment, especially when long distances and extreme climates are involved. How can shipping companies ensure the effectiveness of these life-saving drugs and biologics? Mechanical temperature control, such as refrigeration, is an expensive and sometimes impractical option. Typical cooling materials – ice and dry ice – have limited temperature ranges and can lose their effectiveness within 24 hours, even in a well-insulated container. Lack of precise temperature control puts lives at risk and costs the life sciences industry billions of dollars a year in spoiled products.
Ken Maltas, Director of Engineering for Sonoco ThermoSafe
number of PureTemp formulations used in ThermoSafe’s line of temperature-control shipping solutions (PT -25, PT1, PT 4, PT18, PT20, PT23 )
number of steps involved in preparing a returned Greenbox for reuse, including label and tape removal, replacement of damaged components, cleaning, irradiation and final inspection.
average number of Greenbox shipments sent to Iraq and Afghanistan for U.S. State Department each month.
number of trips made by “Iron Box,” the nickname given to one of the first Greenboxes sold to Coldchain Technology Services. The 12-inch container was retired from service in September 2014, six years after making its first trip.
In 2007, Entropy Solutions developed the Greenbox packaging system to ensure safe transportation of temperature-sensitive products. The key component: PureTemp phase change material, a plant-oil-based compound engineered to maintain payloads at a variety of narrow temperature ranges for up to five days without electrical power.
The Greenbox passive thermal management system is a multilayered solution to the challenge of temperature control. It’s essentially a box in a box in a box. The outer layer of corrugated plastic is durable, reusable and recyclable. The patented Thermal-Lok outer insulation utilizes nanotechnology to significantly limit the transfer of thermal energy, hot or cold. Finally, the right combination of panels containing PureTemp PCMs surround the payload and keep it at the proper temperature.
The result: Temperature-sensitive drugs can be reliably shipped long distances through harsh environments at a lower cost than traditional methods. The Greenbox, acquired by ThermoSafe in 2010, has been redesigned to further enhance performance. It is available in a number of sizes and configurations, covering temperature needs between -40C and 70C. Sonoco ThermoSafe offers four other packaging solutions powered by PureTemp: Via, Envoy, Certis and PalletShipper. Via, introduced in 2014, features a modular design that allows customers to easily convert from a reusable system to a one-way configuration. Sonoco ThermoSafe also offers custom-made packaging solutions powered by PureTemp.