Easy access to tablets

Packaging Professional magazine
15 Sep 2008

A one-piece polyethylene flip-top closure for cylindrical tablet or pill containers that consumers can open with one hand is in development.

German pharmaceutical specialist Kutterer, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, has designed the cap so that the thumb of the hand holding the container can press a recessed grip on the closure to release the top. The hinge and spring system, meanwhile, keeps it connected to the pack.

This prevents users from misplacing the cap and aids those who might have difficulty manipulating it with two hands.

Many pill caps currently on the market are unscrewed or are cork-like for pulling off, requiring two hands to open. Although other hinged flip-top closures are being manufactured.

The new closure from Kutterer will integrate a dessicator chamber to prevent contents from becoming damp, a tamperproof seal and a spring to hold the tablets in place.

Kutterer has worked on the design with Austrian injection moulding tool manufacturer KTW-Kunststofftechnik – its main mould supplier.

Project Leader at Kutterer Horst Schorner says, ‘The mould requires a technical know how that had yet to be established. This was easier to achieve through cooperation with a specialist’.

'The first prototype quickly showed that, due to pharmaceutical regulations, there were restrictions regarding the raw material to be used, which had various effects on the functionality of the cap,’ explains Schorner.

The team has so far tested prototypes for storage, machining capability and handling, with further trials underway.

The design is being modified to achieve mass production within three years.

This is a European EUREKA project. British businesses participating in R&D can apply for EUREKA status. The SME programme Eurostars provides funding (www.eurostars-eureka.eu). The UK EUREKA office is within the Technology Strategy Board.