Brentwood - Creating new packaging possibilities

Brentwood is a leading manufacturer of custom thermoformed and injection-moulded solutions for medical device packaging, components, and housings for imaging and diagnostic equipment. The company's latest push to extend its capabilities - literally - enables it to thermoform long tray packages of up to 72in (182.88cm).

Brentwood entered the medical device packaging industry in 1978 and immediately began to push the boundaries of thermoformed tray manufacturing. Limited by the manufacturing capabilities of the period, the industry standard was to package catheters coiled in a reduced footprint tray. However, that design was not viable for catheters that could not be bent, such as those containing sensitive devices. It even caused those that could be bent to retain their coiled shape when removed from the packaging, never fully returning to the device's pre-packaged condition and rendering them unusable for certain procedures.

Recognising the need for a long-tray solution that would allow catheters to be packaged in an uncoiled state, Brentwood custom-built a thermoforming machine in 1979 for the production of rigid trays of up to 60in (152.4cm) in length. A cleanroom was built around that machine, and Brentwood's offering to the medical industry has continued to build and expand ever since. Today, Brentwood boasts a 30,000ft² (2,787m²) ISO Class-7 cleanroom that is equipped with the latest technology and certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality standards.

Brentwood prides itself in being an end-to-end provider, working with customers from initial concept to the validated product, with the goal of designing and developing packaging that satisfies the device manufacturer and end user. By combining extensive plastics knowledge with a wide range of materials and product-design experience, Brentwood engineers help customers develop the most efficient process and part design.

Long-tray forming

With the addition of a custom-designed Sencorp ULTRA thermoformer, Brentwood aims to package devices of all shapes and sizes. The brand-new system is the largest form-and-trim press ever built by Sencorp, capable of producing parts up to a full size of 72.0×24.0×6.5in (182.88×60.96×16.51cm). An application where this extreme length is often required takes Brentwood back to its roots: catheter packaging. The company is, again, leading the charge when it comes to ensuring the integrity of these devices by offering custom packaging at industry-leading lengths.

The ULTRA machine incorporates innovative features to increase efficiency and throughput:

  • a closed-loop, seven-zone inline infrared sheet-temperature-sensing system that constantly monitors sheet temperature to ensure accurate, efficient and repeatable production parts
  • a robotic pick-and-place system that allows the machine to automatically remove, stack and pack product
  • integration with Brentwood's quick-change master tooling system for fast and precise installations, reducing changeover time and set-up costs.

To complement the company's long-tray capabilities, Brentwood leads the industry in inline forming depth at 8in (20.32cm), ideal for deep tubs and bins that contain large devices such as implants and pumps. Transitioning these parts to an inline process from the typical sheet-fed production method allows Brentwood to provide customers with the most cost-effective deep trays in the industry. Inserts can be precisely formed to fit inside these packages, as well as in a modular design that can fit a variety of applications.

Additional capabilities

Brentwood's capabilities extend beyond packaging to injection moulding of medical components and heavy-gauge thermoforming of housings for imaging and diagnostic equipment. Injection-moulded components range from small caps and closures to intricate medical device components, and can be moulded using a range of materials. Diagnostic equipment enclosures are pressure-formed to achieve highly cosmetic parts with crisp surface features and intricate textures. These competencies enable Brentwood to work as a full-service provider to the medical industry, offering precise, innovative and reliable solutions

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Brentwood’s brand-new, custom-designed Sencorp ULTRA thermoformer is capable of producing parts up to very large sizes.
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