Boehringer Ingelheim

Introduction

The Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) group is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with around 140 affiliates and a total of more than 47,000 employees. Since its foundation in 1885, the family-owned company has focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Background

The Respimat® Soft Mist™ Inhaler is a next-generation inhaler that generates a slow-moving soft mist which is easy to inhale and delivers the drug effectively and reliably into the lungs of patients with asthma or other pulmonary diseases. It is mechanically driven and therefore does not rely on harmful aerosol propellants for atomization. The medication is stored and introduced into the inhaler via a cartridge which consists of a plastic container enclosed in an aluminum shell.

Challenge

The plastic container is blown inline from two materials produced in a co-extrusion blow molding technique. After the extrusion process, the very thin inside layer has to be detached from the stiffer outside layer without damage, so as to guarantee pressure compensation during use.

Solution

In several development steps and in collaboration with the team at BI, Creaholic went from the concept generation through process-development, mechanical design and pre-testing to finally perform test runs on the production line and prove the efficacy of this innovative process to separate the two layers and so ensure the correct operation of the device. This procedure is known as CCO (cut, crack, open).

Results

The process has proved very successful in real-world deployment, and in fact in 2014 Boehringer Ingelheim invested more than €100 million at its Dortmund site to expand production capacity for the Respimat inhaler to 44 million units per year.

Testimonials

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim, which we could experience in an intensive collaboration and during several projects since 1999.
Gerald Mathe / Jörg Spreitzer /

Link

experts.respimat.com