Shawpak thermoforming machine helps overcome supply chain issues

Jan. 24, 2023
Its Rigid Blister Machine lets customers in the medical and pharmaceutical arenas produce their own trays on demand.

By Bruce Geiselman

Shawpak, a U.K.-based medical packaging machinery company, has launched sales of its new Shawpak Rigid Blister Machine that allows medical and pharmaceutical companies to produce their own trays on demand.

Shawpak is best known for its line of rotary thermoforming machines that form, fill and seal both rigid and flexible packs from plastic film. However, this new machine creates the trays used to produce blister packs, and the filling and sealing takes place in a separate process.

The Shawpak Rigid Blister Machine can create die cut rigid blister packs of up to 600mm by 280mm, or 23.6 inches by 11 inches, with a maximum web width of 620mm and an index length of 300mm.

“It’s actually making bigger trays,” Lucie Markgraf, sales and marketing administrator, said. “On our rotary thermoforming machine, we’re kind of limited to size, obviously, because they’re compact machines.”

A single blister can be produced at the maximum size or any combination of blisters can make up the 600mm width. Narrower materials can be loaded into the machine, down to a minimum width of 250mm, according to the company. The machine forms the blister, die cuts the outer profile, disposes of the waste using a conveyor system, and automatically stacks thermoformed trays using a lifting mechanism that can stack to a height of 100mm. 

Shawpak introduced the machine to meet the demands of medical and pharmaceutical customers who have become frustrated with supply chain problems in obtaining thermoformed trays for packaging. The tooling can be quickly changed, allowing customers to make a variety of tray sizes at their packaging facility instead of relying on supply chains to provide the trays. It also eliminates the need to store surplus inventory of trays for months, which takes up space and ties up cash, according to Shawpak. Making the trays also allows for better quality control.

The machines are built in the U.K. at Shawpak’s engineering facility in Derby, England.

Bruce Geiselman

[email protected]


Shawpak USA, San Diego, 858-412-5167, [email protected]

About the Author

Bruce Geiselman | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Bruce Geiselman covers extrusion, blow molding, additive manufacturing, automation and end markets including automotive and packaging. He also writes features, including In Other Words and Problem Solved, for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He has extensive experience in daily and magazine journalism.