By Sofrigam S.A
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Sofrigam adopts advanced technology to revolutionize thermal testing
The new technology will give Sofrigam deeper insights into the basic thermal properties of its polyurethane insulating materials, external cardboard of insulated boxes or fabric coverings used in its insulated pouches. It will also be able to verify the evolution of the thermal conductivity of these materials over time.
When combined with powerful new Smart CAE testing software, this will allow Sofrigam to develop even more efficient, robust and synergistic insulated packaging solutions.
Validating temperature-controlled solutions
Sofrigam’s strong Quality Team was already systematically checking the raw materials used for packaging, as well as the end products (insulated boxes and packaging solutions), working in close collaboration with the thermal testing laboratory Ater Métrologie to test, qualify and validate its temperature-controlled solutions.
Now, the laboratory’s acquisition of the thermal wavelength flow meter, a device for measuring the thermal resistance and conductivity of any material, allows Sofrigam to go further in using thermal wavelength technology to scientifically measure the thermal quality of every component of its insulated packaging.
The wavelength meter, also known as a thermal flowmeter, measures the thermal performance of any insulated material, as Thibault Pech, an R&D engineer within the Ater Métrologie laboratory, explains:
“The wavelength meter consists of two plates which sandwich the insulating material. Each plate is set at a different temperature, of between -10°C and +90°C inclusive. If you want to know the thermal conductivity of a material at +5°C for example, you set one plate at +10°C and the other at 0°C. Once the balance is reached, the thermal flowmeter will measure the thermal flow exchanged between both plates and calculate the thermal resistance of the material.”
‘The thermal wavelength technology represents a powerful new tool that will allow us to assess in detail the inherent quality of every components of Sofrigam packaging solutions,” said Pech.
ISO 9001 quality control
The new technology allows Sofrigam to implement a quality control process alongside its packaging solution manufacturing process to respond to the requirements of ISO 9001 certification, requiring high quality organizational methods, and management of non-conformities.
“Sofrigam has always paid special attention to the quality of its heat-sensitive packaging solutions and the materials used to make them. The use of a thermal flowmeter is a further step forward in the drive for continuous improvement in our company,” said Sofrigam Marketing Director, Laetitia Perche.
“Sofrigam manufactures temperature-controlled and cool chain packaging solutions for the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry. These big names regularly audit our production site, which is another reason for us to pay special attention to the quality of our packaging solutions,” said Ms. 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.