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Autobag invests in clean manufacturing

Global bagging specialist Automated Packaging Systems is dedicating 10,000 sq ft of its UK factory to a new clean manufacturing facility capable of producing a quarter of a billion bags and pouches every year, underlining its commitment to the food and medical sectors.

The new facility will operate under clean manufacturing procedures specially written for Automated Packaging Systems and designed to exceed high customer expectations. Colin Rashbrook, Automated Packaging System QA manager explains: "We have long held the BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials Issue 4, and are proud to have achieved the highest A-rating. But to best serve the medical device and food sectors we’re looking to set even higher standards."

Housed within the company’s European bag and pouch facility at Malvern in Worcestershire, the new clean manufacturing area has been fitted and laid-out to ensure that Automated Packaging System continues to meet and exceed the stringent quality and safety demands for food and medical devices.

"By segregating the manufacture of bags and pouches that hold food and products for sterilisation from those for industrial applications, we ensure standards are in line with end-product use. As a result we are a more effective packaging partner, able to demonstrate a complete understanding of the demands and pressures faced by individual customers."

A specially selected team works in the clean manufacturing area, with a dedicated cell leader. While their operating procedures are similar to those elsewhere on the Malvern site, the protocol for the clean area means tasks such as cleaning down are done more regularly and access restrictions, for example, will be applied more rigorously.

Within 12 months the clean manufacturing area will produce more than a third of all bags and pouches produced at Malvern, and output is projected to rise significantly on the back of significant growth from medical applications. The company’s new Autobag HD-E medical bagger has been widely acclaimed as the first really flexible, reliable, automated alternative to hand-bagging for medical devices requiring terminal sterilisation.

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