Nolato: Innovative Packaging Solutions for Pharmaceuticals and Dietary Supplements

Nolato | Anci Petersson
Nolato | Anci Petersson

In the robust field of healthcare, technology plays a significant role in advanced packaging to ensure the delivery of safe, effective, and reliable healthcare products. Medical technologies meet the evolving needs of healthcare to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. These adoption of digital health technologies is rapidly increasing, driving innovation and growth in the medical technology sector.

With this innovative approach, Nolato contributes to make the delivery of all medications safer and easier for patients. The team here has a long experience in developing and manufacturing primary plastic pharmaceutical packaging, providing flexible global customer logistics.

In its reply, we at Healthcare Everything interviewed the team members of Nolato to know the diverse range of devices used to address the unique needs of patients.

Join us in this journey, as below are the highlights of the interview:

Can you tell us about the history and mission of your company?

Nolato (acronym for Nordiska Latexfabriken i Torekov) was founded in 1938 in Torekov, Sweden. Since 1984, it has been listed on the Stockholm Nasdaq and has grown both organically and through acquisitions to become a global conglomerate.

Although headquartered in Torekov, Nolato now operates predominantly outside of Sweden. With 6,700 employees, the company spans three continents and operates in 13 countries. Nolato specializes in designing and producing polymer products and systems, leveraging its extensive technical expertise.

It strives to be a top choice for customers seeking sustainable design and production solutions, emphasizing the circular economy.

Nolato offers comprehensive customer services, covering the entire value chain, including development and high-volume production, and entered the medical device component manufacturing market in 1957.

How did you get started in the healthcare packaging industry?

Nolato’s Medical Solutions business area specializes in developing and manufacturing complex product systems, components, and advanced packaging solutions for medical technology, pharmaceuticals, and dietary supplements.

With a diverse range of experience across industries, Nolato provides a unique perspective to each client relationship. Nolato creates customer-specific products and solutions based on individual needs and requirements by leveraging advanced technologies, sustainable solutions, and cost-effective manufacturing. From concept development to high-volume production, Nolato supports its customers in the medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors, offering services from idea inception to validation, quality assurance, and full-scale production.

Nolato has two primary packaging manufacturing sites, Nolato Cerbo in Sweden and Nolato Jaycare in the UK, both with a rich history in the industry and offering custom and standard packaging solutions.

What types of healthcare products does the company typically package? What kinds of services does the company offer?

With our long experience in developing and manufacturing primary plastic pharmaceutical packaging, we offer a wide range of standard products, development of design and moulds for customized packaging, clean room production in accordance with GMP, drug master files for product registration, high level technical documentation as well as international technical process support and flexible global customer logistics.

Our product ranges, suitable for the pharmaceutical industry are developed to meet the widely divergent requirements of the industry in terms of product performance, shapes and sizes. Through innovative research, development and close cooperation with our customers and external partners, Nolato contributes to making the delivery of all medications safer and easier for patients. Nolato Pharma packaging offers a full range of primary plastic packaging for both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, covering mainly solids, creams, and customized solutions for ophthalmic and crimp bottles.

How does the company ensure the safety and cleanness of packaging materials?

The ongoing investment in new technology and the continuous focus on Lean development at our production sites mean that we are constantly improving both our services and our manufacturing processes. Knowing the extensive requirements of our customers we focus on providing a high level of compliance and documentation with our products.

We ensure safety and sterility through thorough internal processes covering production, testing, storing, and shipping. It is our policy that all the products and services from us must comply with the highest standards and protocols, which in practice means always delivering the right quality, in the right quantity, at the right time. We achieve this through our employees′ professionalism and training, our quality control systems and by our on-going investments in the latest technologies. We also place strict demands on our suppliers regarding sustainability, quality, hygiene and secure deliveries.

Our highly automated production of injection blow moulded and injection moulded plastic products conforms to strict hygiene requirements (ISO class 8 in general) to prevent product contamination. In the event of higher requirements, such as the manufacture of products for sterile use, we can manufacture products in ISO class 7 cleanrooms.

We employ Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) when producing packaging for pharmaceuticals, ophthalmic and VMS (Vitamin and Mineral Supplements). This includes full batch documentation whereby traceability of products and raw materials is part of our standard procedures. Batch documentation is retained for at least six years, and a wide of our products are listed in a type III Drug Master File with the FDA. Unique products can also comply with the requirements of ISO 13485 and CE, UN, Kitemark and NF.

With rigorous in-line quality control, packaging is checked during the production process using various technologies, such as in-line camera inspection and leakage test systems that can validate both containers and caps for deviations. With a computerized and automated system, we are able to detect and eliminate practically all defects e.g. black spots and deviations in wall thickness. Other important parameters, such as opening force, axial strength and dimensions, are also checked continuously during production.

Can you walk us through the company’s production process, from initial design to final delivery?

Understanding and meeting customers’ packaging needs is vital to our success. We prioritize functional designs that meet safety requirements and enable seamless handling on filling lines.

By managing the entire process in-house—from design and development to manufacturing and logistics—we maintain control and ensure quality and reliability at every stage. Our dedicated tool shops and skilled staff enable us to build, adapt, and refurbish tools quickly for high production quality and delivery reliability.

We provide comprehensive secondary operations such as printing, labeling, assembly, and optimized packaging, along with logistics support and irradiation management. With a well-established project structure and experienced staff, we collaborate closely with customers to develop and deliver optimal packaging solutions efficiently.

From idea to validated, high-volume production.

For Nolato, the cornerstones of the development phase include:

  • 3D prototyping
  • Tool simulation
  • Lean project management
  • Assembly design
  • Risk analyses
  • Research planning
  • Tool procurement
  • Process validation

We are fully equipped to take over existing designs and tools and integrate them into our production. Being a part of the Nolato Group means that we are always close to a source of extensive technical know-how in a wide range of interrelated business areas. Together with our in-depth knowledge of various plastic moulding techniques, the group’s resources allow for secure, validated high-volume production.

Can you speak of any recent innovations or developments in your company’s packaging materials or technology?

Nolato’s commitment to sustainable development has its origins in fundamental work within health and safety and the environment. In the 1990s, Nolato was quick to introduce certified environmental management systems (ISO 14001) at its production plants.

In the 2000s, work was developed and intensified in several areas to include a clearer strategy and long-term sustainable development targets. This included sustainability work linked to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We generate environmental and business benefits by developing innovative own and customer products with a smaller carbon footprint and/or contribute to a circular economy.

Nolato offers a full range of caps and bottles based on bio-material (sugarcane) as well as mass-balanced options, supporting a reduction of CO2 emission by around 90% of the raw-material part of the product.

The Nolato sites are only using 100% renewable energy in the production of its bottles and caps, ensuring an additional positive impact of the CO2 emission.

How does your company differentiate itself from other healthcare packaging companies in the market?

Why Choose Nolato Pharma Packaging

Wide Product Range and Expertise: Our extensive product range, experience, and expertise make us the top choice for primary packaging solutions.

Commitment to Sustainability

Nolato is dedicated to sustainable development, adhering to international guidelines and standards. We are a signatory to the UN Global Compact and committed to the 1.5-degree target for zero emissions by 2050.

Security and Global Presence

With modern production units in Sweden and the UK, backed by the Nolato Group’s global operations, we offer product safety, expertise, geographical coverage, and backup sites for enhanced security.

Delivery Reliability

Our hallmark is short delivery times and maximum reliability, providing reassurance to our customers. Our customer service team is committed to delivering excellent service.

Customer Satisfaction

We value partnerships with our customers, working closely to develop user-friendly, cost-effective, sustainable, and safe packaging solutions. We focus on meeting customer requirements and expectations regarding quality, quantity, and timeliness.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the healthcare packaging industry today?

Current packaging challenged by sustainable targets – pushing for changes in material, facility lay-out, etc. to meet Net 0 targets of the market.

Timely supply.

Low level of interest of innovative solutions for bottles and caps – focus on running in current available machine lines.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who desire to venture into the industry?

Ensure you have the correct technical abilities to support the high requirements. Stable production equipment, machines, etc as well as a high level of quality understanding of the industry.

Please share any client testimonial or award that highlights your company’s position in the market.

Ecovadis – For the second time in a row Nolato Cerbo has been rated Gold under the criteria of EcoVadis’ system for assessing companies’ sustainability efforts. Nolato Cerbo received even more points than last time, placing it in the top two percent of the best companies globally. The company gained among the best result of any company in the plastics sector.

EcoVadis’ assessment is based on management system indicators and criteria on the environment, working conditions, human rights, ethics and sustainable purchasing. EcoVadis is an internationally recognized organization working with sustainability and has developed an assessment methodology that’s used by approximately 65,000 companies worldwide. The methodology is based on international principles and standards, including the UN Global Compact and the ISO 26000 social responsibility standard.