By Sofrigam S.A
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Around the World in 13 Days: Sofrigam’s temperature-controlled #EliteWorldTour
Rueil Malmaison, France: – Pharmaceutical cold chain specialist Sofrigam SA has set its new Elite range of cooling boxes the ultimate ‘field test’ challenge: to circumnavigate the globe while remaining under perfect temperature control.
At the end of a 13-day Odyssey covering more than 28,000 km, the Elite package arrived back in France, with its contents remaining at the specified cool chain range of +2°C to +8°C. This was despite having been subjected to temperature extremes above 30°C as it travelled in non-refrigerated vehicles across North America.
Social media event
The package was equipped with GPS tracker and temperature transmitter so that its progress and performance could be monitored throughout the journey, with real time social media updates via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter under the hashtag #eliteworldtour.
At each stage, the insulated box was carefully monitored: the temperature was systematically verified and the packaging solution unpacked to be checked by a quality control team. The condition of the external packaging, internal configurations and configuration of the insulating material, verification of the internal temperature and temperature recordings from the logger were all part of the control parameters.
Across Atlantic and Pacific
The journey began on September 13, 2017, when the Elite package left Sofrigam’s production plant in Arras, Northern France. The consignment was first flown to Sofrigam’s US subsidiary in Texas, a journey taking more than 48 hours. The box arrived in perfect condition. Following quality control and a change of eutectic plates in the packaging solution, the box was reshipped the next day to one of Sofrigam’s partners in Canada.
Following arrival in Vancouver, Canada two days later on 18 September, the insulated packaging solution was still in good condition with internal temperature having remained constant at +2/+8°C, in spite of transport and storage phases in environments without air conditioning during which the box was subjected to temperatures above +30°C.
The teams, which had frozen a set of eutectic plates beforehand, shipped it on the following day to China, where it arrived 48 hours later, on September 20.
The Elite temperature-controlled box was then flown back to the Sofrigam production site in France, arriving home on 26 September.
“Following quality control and temperature reading, our checking revealed the packaging solution had remained under constant temperature throughout, apart from a brief ‘cold peak’ in which temperature dropped below +2°C for a few hours at the start of the journey,” said Sofrigam Marketing Director, Laetitia Perche.
“This was due to poor preparation of the eutectic plates beforehand,” Ms. Perche explained.
“In all important respects, the Elite insulated box met this supreme challenge, to cover almost 30,000 kilometers over 312 hours around the world with an average external temperature of +25°C: It arrived home more grey than white, but the insulated packaging solution withstood storage, transits, successive loading and unloading all while maintaining a perfectly stable internal temperature. Elite certainly met the challenge!” said Ms. Perche.
Elite temperature-controlled box
Sofrigam recently introduced Elite as a range of reusable refrigerated boxes designed to ensure the transport of pharmaceutical products via the cold chain (+2/+8°C) for up to 168 hours, as qualified under the ISTA 7D summer and winter profile.
The Elite insulated packaging solution features high performance and highly resistant materials to ensure a perfectly maintained constant temperature and to guarantee a number of uses. The box is made from a very high performance insulating material: VIP, which provides three times greater insulation than polyurethane. The external packaging is made from polypropylene, a highly resistant, impermeable, washable material. The PVC internal lining allows the area in contact with the pharmaceutical products to be washed and disinfected.
“Elite is a refrigerated box that is easy-to-use because it is prepared in the same way whatever the shipping season,” said Laetitia Perche.
French-based Sofrigam S.A. designs and manufactures cool chain pharmaceutical shipping solutions and insulated boxes for the life sciences industries as well as for distribution and logistics companies.
The company was founded in 1979 by an industrial pharmacist and initially developed eutectic painkillers before specializing in the design and manufacture of insulated and refrigerated packaging, including pre-qualified insulated shipping and temperature management solutions. The company is headquartered in Ile-de-France with a production site at Arras.
Sofrigam offer solutions for the cold chain logistic problems experienced by the pharmaceutical industry. It offers a range of standard and made-to-measure thermal packaging products as well as customized services designed to achieve secure, cost effective and ecological cold chain logistics.
Sofrigam has become one of Europe’s leading cold chain specialists, sharing its expertise via seminars, publications and R&D collaborations. It also offers customized products and services designed to achieve cold logistics that are secure, cost-effective and comprehensively compliant.
Sofrigam partners with Ater Métrologie, a French-based ISTA and ISO 9001 certified laboratory that specializes in testing, validating and pre-qualifying temperature-controlled packaging and cooling systems. The laboratory carries out some 2,000 tests each year.