Addressing 20 Years of Medical Device Packaging Challenges—And Preparing Customers for the Next 20 Years

Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging is a leading global producer of sterile-grade medical device and pharmaceutical packaging.

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  • 1995 Oliver added pouching capability to its medical packaging product offering
  • 1996 Oliver expanded into Europe
  • 1997 Tolas introduced IsotechTM bag for the transfer of bulk components into barrier isolators
  • 1999 Tolas introduced TPT-021C, creep resistant heat seal coated 1073B Tyvek lidding
  • 2000 Tolas introduced pouches on a roll to support automation
  • 2000 Dispos-a-vent® pouch introduced to support combo pharma devices that need EtO sterilization
  • 2001 Tolas introduced Pocket pouch
  • 2002 Tolas introduced Zone-Coated roll stock
  • 2005 Oliver Medical introduced Ovantex®
  • 2007 Oliver Medical developed a sales office in China to serve Chinese market
  • 2007 Oliver Medical launched On Site
  • 2008 Oliver Medical moved to a larger facility in Europe
  • 2008 Oliver Medical installs first advanced vision system on coating line
  • 2008 Oliver Medical and Tolas Healthcare become Oliver – Tolas Healthcare packaging
  • 2009 Oliver-Tolas introduces OstasisTM pouch
  • 2011 Oliver-Tolas expanded footprint of GR medical manufacturing
  • 2012 Oliver-Tolas doubled size of European operation
  • 2013 Oliver-Tolas will start up manufacturing in Suzhou China
  • 2013 Oliver-Tolas will double size of Feasterville, PA site




For more than 30 years, Oliver-Tolas has offered an extensive line of products ranging from pouches, lids, and rollstock to specialty products designed to solve specific packaging challenges.

“Customers come to us to solve problems,” says Jerry Bennish, president of Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging. “Over the years, there’s been an increased emphasis on quality. Customers are more conscious of packaging failures, whether it is a sterilization-driven problem or a quality issue. The cost of a failure in the market is too great.”

Even in today’s cost-sensitive environment, Oliver-Tolas is able to meet customers’ quality demands with novel approaches. “We give recommendations on alternative approaches, providing specific data on material performance. We work together with our customers to address cost pressures, looking at the overall packaging system while mitigating the risk of failure.”

Jeff Murak, vice president of sales and marketing, encourages medical device manufacturers to ask for help when they need it. “It is important that medical device manufacturers seek out the packaging experts—they are a great resource to address challenges,” he says. Oliver-Tolas offers customer support through its On-Site Package Engineering Service and its Answer Team.

Oliver-Tolas’s team of experts has seen many changes in the last 20 years that have impacted sterile medical packaging. “Some of these changes were dictated by ISO 11607 and the guidance it provides relative to sterile barrier design, material selection, and validation,” says Kevin Zacharias, technical director. “Another dominant theme is the push toward increased scrutiny of spending with respect to packaging materials. I anticipate that in the next 20 years, these trends will continue and become even more dominant with a focus on patient safety, which will drive demand for safer, cleaner, more cost-effective sterile packaging designs and materials. Throw sustainability into the mix, and there will be a need to challenge the status quo and provide innovation not seen in the past 20 years in the areas of materials and processes.” Bennish adds that DuPontTM Tyvek® will maintain its long-standing position in the industry as the leading material offering within the sterile packaging field. Tyvek® provides outstanding resistance to microbial penetration, superior tear strength and puncture resistance, and reduces packaging related failures.

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