Clear surgical glove pouch carves out high-end niche

At a time when most surgical glove pouches consist of paper webs that are cold-sealed together, ECI Medical Technologies is positioning its product at the high end by introducing gloves in a clear film pouch that's printed gravure in two colors.

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Since the gloves are premium-priced, the firm, based in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, needed packaging that would position the product accordingly and help the gloves stand out in hospital buyers' minds. "It's just the presentation we wanted," says general manager Bruce Haick. The material for both webs consists of 1/2-mil polyester laminated to a 2-mil coextrusion of low-density polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate. Webs are supplied by Phoenix Health Care Products (Milwaukee, WI) and provide a barrier to moisture and oxygen. At ECI, the two webs are heat-sealed together. A unique water-based heat-seal coating from Phoenix goes on clear but turns milky white when the peelable pouch is opened, furnishing evidence of a seal break. Differentiation has its price. The packaging materials ECI has developed cost roughly half again as much as traditional paper glove pouches, acknowledges Haick.

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