Serialisation for pharmaceutical company packaging

Serialisation for pharmaceutical company packaging

Sometimes a tour of De Budelse leads to progressive insight and a request for complex printed matter. As a specialist in packaging, we love challenges, and we like researching solutions for new customers. Especially if that customer belongs to one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The outcome of this research leaves you wanting more.  

Printing QR codes with an inkjet printer 

DThe question arose whether we could print QR or 2D matrix codes on boxes made from microwave cardboard. De Budelse has this technology in-house. We print variable data on packaging using existing digital machines. The 1 millimetre thickness presented an extra challenge for this packaging. After some research, we found a solution that complies with all checks and GMP guidelines. 

Scan and approve QR codes

Accuracy is critical for pharmaceutical companies. That is why we have a scanner behind the printer that scans and approves the QR codes. Each box has a unique QR code. Within the European Union, this will become mandatory for pharmaceutical companies. It does not matter whether we have to print one box or a thousand. 

All functions under one roof

DAn inkjet printer and a scanner investment seems like a small step. The impact is huge. From now on, we can manage “printing – die-cutting – labelling – printing with unique codes” under one roof. This solution leads to both a satisfied customer and a satisfied manufacturer for the serialisation of folding boxes.

The words of a customer: Willem Koster (COO Vitals)

The words of a customer: Willem Koster (COO Vitals)

‘De Budelse has lived up to high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer’

Vitals ambition is to develop the most progressive food supplements. The quality and scientific substantiation of the ingredients are central to this. This ambition also includes a conscious choice for sustainability. “As a company, we are a strong supporter of the circular economy,” says Willem Koster, COO of Vitals. “That is why we opt for optimally recyclable packaging, and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint. That’s how we came to De Budelse, who now prints our bilingual packaging on Paperwise cardboard.”

Vitals never stands still. The company is continuously expanding its range, improving products and entering new markets. For example, we wished to further market our food supplements in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “We seized the opportunity of these expansion plans to make a step towards sustainability,” Willem Koster continues.

Biobased containers and boxes from agricultural waste

When choosing packaging, Vitals faced an important consideration: what is the most sustainable solution? “We opted for new, recyclable, biobased plastic containers,” Willem Koster explains. “They are packaged in boxes made of PaperWise cardboard. It is a CO2-neutral product made from plant residues left over after harvesting. Using agricultural waste as a raw material for paper and cardboard is environmentally friendly, and it gives farmers an extra source of income.”

we opt for optimally recyclable packaging and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint

Expectations fulfilled

Vitals inquired at PaperWise which printer was suitable for printing this sustainable cardboard packaging. A referral brought the company into contact with De Budelse. Willem Koster is very pleased with the collaboration. “De Budelse already had experience with PaperWise cardboard and seemed to have advanced collaboration possibilities. That was the deciding factor for us in choosing them. And let’s be honest: De Budelse has more than lived up to the high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer. Not only do they print the boxes in two languages, but they also arrange for the printing of the associated labels. And they took us on board from the very first design. It is really great for Vitals to have a single point of contact for all printed matter.”


Willem Koster notices that the collaboration with De Budelse has made further progress in the possibilities of managing files, ordering, storing and delivering printed matter. “In the long run, we will certainly make use of these opportunities,” he reflects on the future. “We would like to be more self-sufficient. For example, it works much more effectively if we adjust the designs, prepare them for production and place the orders via the automated system, without intervention from third parties. Once we have control by ourselves, it will be child’s play to make small adjustments and place orders.”


Vitals is pleased that De Budelse also attaches great importance to the unique combination of ambition and sustainability. “We are not a marketing company that sells hot air,” concludes Willem Koster. “Ambition is our starting point. We want to develop progressive food supplements that meet a need. The information we provide is crucial. A product will not be included in our range without a solid scientific basis. In addition, we want to take care of people’s health and the health of our planet. It’s great that those values are also shared by De Budelse.”

Braille on healthcare packaging

Braille on packaging: down to the last detail at De Budelse

Manufacturers of medicines are legally obliged to have the name of the medicine printed in Braille on the packaging. De Budelse is increasingly producing packaging for healthcare customers, so we are constantly working internally to improve this part of the process. With the investment of two new machines, we dare to say: De Budelse has mastered the application of Braille on packaging for medicines down to the last detail.  

Processes with risks 

How De Budelse applies Braille to packaging has evolved considerably in recent years. A few years ago, we used a combination of a punching machine and a set of dies.

Traditionally, we provided a multitude of packaging with the correct Braille script at the same time. This process was not without risks. There was a chance of error with every package.

We are continuously working internally to improve the process.

New machines

As a successor, we use a folding/glueing machine that can also apply Braille. With this machine, two rollers – with a Braille tape in between – are interlocked. We store the used Braille tapes in the warehouse. Wear and tear or incorrectly stored Braille tape increases the risk of errors, and we obviously don’t want that.

We recently acquired a machine to produce the Braille tapes ourselves. We now use a new tape for every print run, and we recycle the old ones.

Error reduction down to zero

De Budelse has also invested in a new folding/glueing machine that can apply Braille to a box in two places simultaneously. With one machine, we reduce the chance of error; with the other, we increase efficiency. Whichever machine we use: we always check whether the Braille is correct with Eye-C. This way, we reduce the risk of incorrect Braille writing to zero.  

PaperWise; cardboard from agricultural waste

♻️ De Budelse and sustainability: a successful one-two punch

Sustainability is high on the social agenda. A growing number of companies are introducing more nuance to this important theme. De Budelse also aims to take into account the environment and future generations. Sustainability is therefore not only firmly embedded in our business processes. We also have an eye for people and the environment when choosing raw materials and suppliers.

The question is: how sustainable is De Budelse? High time to take a closer look at sustainability from 3 perspectives. 

Wise with waste 

In terms of packaging, De Budelse uses various environmentally friendly types of cardboard. A good example of such a sustainable choice is PaperWise. The motto of this cardboard is ‘wise with waste’. In the eyes of the producer, nature has no waste. Certainly not in the agricultural cycle. After harvesting, stalks and leaves remain. PaperWise breathes second life into this agricultural waste. This is how the company manages to make printing and packaging more sustainable. After all, the production of this wood-free paper prevents unnecessary CO² emissions. 

Low environmental impact

With this approach, PaperWise actively contributes to greater social awareness in companies. De Budelse is drawn to the PaperWise mission and vision. Using these environmentally friendly types of paper and cardboard means we can substantiate our environmental objectives and contribute to a positive corporate image. The environmental impact of Paperwise is much lower than traditional paper from trees (47%) and recycled paper (29%). In short, we contribute to a more pleasant, cleaner world together with PaperWise.  

Sustainable entrepreneurship

♻️ De Budelse and sustainability: a successful one-two punch

Sustainability is high on the social agenda. A growing number of companies are introducing more nuance to this important theme. De Budelse also aims to take into account the environment and future generations. Sustainability is therefore not only firmly embedded in our business processes. We also have an eye for people and the environment when choosing raw materials and suppliers.

The question is: how sustainable is De Budelse? High time to take a closer look at sustainability from 3 perspectives.. 

Waste minimisation

How does De Budelse shape and define its commitment to sustainable business processes. In the past, waste was just a necessary evil in the printing industry. However, we are much more conscious of this these days. Our production capacity is set to ‘high volume, short runs’. This means we do not produce more than is strictly necessary. In combination with the smallest possible intervals, we succeed in keeping waste to a minimum.

FSC®-certified cardboard

The packaging cardboard that De Budelse uses is FSC® certified. The FSC® certificate guarantees that paper and cardboard come from responsibly managed forests. So, we can print and offer this cardboard to our customers in good conscience. We also consider the environment when recycling cardboard. For instance, we separate printed cardboard from non-printed cardboard.

Water-based ink

Ink is indispensable for printing. In the past, these inks contained harmful chemicals, alcohol and solvents. De Budelse has banned these hazardous raw materials from the production process. Instead, we have consciously chosen water-based ink. Furthermore, the raw materials and ancillary products (including lubricants and adhesives) that we use are food-grade. This means they contain a special certification for the food industry.  

Energy use

Finally, sustainability also plays a prominent role in energy use. First of all, the lighting of the work and manufacturing areas is based on the most economical LED technology. We use the heat released by the running machines to heat the production areas.

Vial packaging

Tailor-made packaging and inserts for vials 

The use of vials is increasing significantly. Vials are small glass or plastic containers that could contain biological medicines. These vials are particularly vulnerable during internal or external transport.

This is why they require solid packaging and practical inserts to protect them and make the production process even more efficient. 

Product development

As a company, De Budelse has built up an excellent reputation as a packaging specialist for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. We have been producing packaging and leaflets in our print shop for both sectors for many years. Our “Product Development” department continuously focuses on tailor-made solutions for the packaging and protection of vials. In this creative process we collaborate closely with our customers.

Providing protection

This fruitful collaboration has led to a basic range of cardboard packaging to provide optimal protection for the vials. The size of the packaging is obviously determined by the number of vials it must contain. With regards to the inserts, customers can choose between 2 variants; a loose insert or a machine-glued insert that automatically opens when unfolded.

The “Product Development” department is constantly thinking about tailor-made solutions

All disciplines under one roof

Thanks to its packaging and inserts for vials, De Budelse again demonstrates its strength as a specialist for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. In Budel, all the required disciplines are gathered under one roof; developing, printing, punching and gluing. The production process complies with strict GMP guidelines that are firmly embedded in the fully comprehensive quality system.   

Personalised customisation

The technical draughtsman of De Budelse would like to join forces and work on tailoring the cardboard basic box and insert to your personal wishes. In doing so, we will definitely take corporate branding and your company’s production process into account.

Cardboard showing your best side

Also for food supplements, herbs and food

It can be done; replacing plastic with cardboard. De Budelse is developing a process that will make cardboard airtight as well as moisture resistant and greaseproof. To be used for food-safe applications or as eco-friendly packaging for food supplements, food, (dried) herbs and the like. In collaboration with a number of partners, this cardboard packaging is currently being tested in various sectors. The first results are promising.

Moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard is an excellent, versatile and food-safe alternative to plastic. You can use it at various levels for many products. It prevents the loss of moisture so that moist foods such as pak choi, snack cucumbers or fruit retain their flavour and texture. But did you know that this type of cardboard is also a perfect, eco-friendly packaging solution for food supplements, pet food and herbs?

Cardboard blisters, pouches and sample packs

De Budelse is currently testing the first moisture resistant and greaseproof packaging in collaboration with a number of partners from the food supplement and food industry. It is being tested as to whether the cardboard is sufficiently moisture resistant and whether the packet is glued airtight. This is where the biggest challenge lies; in gluing the boxes in such a way that it results in a sealed, airtight packaging. 

The cardboard test packs are alternatives to plastic blisters, pouches, pots, bowls and trays for various types of food supplements as well as human and animal food.

A great example would be Tenetrio; a German distributor of pet food. They asked for an environmentally-friendly packaging to be used in the distribution of cat and dog food sample packs. De Budelse got to work and developed special moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard gondola boxes. Tenetrio’s reaction was overwhelming.

As a result, they further reshaped their ecological vision and (as the first customer of De Budelse!) replaced all plastic in the sample packs with greaseproof cardboard.

Fully compostable

Once the test results from the food supplement industry are positive, De Budelse aims to replace all plastic with environmentally friendly moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard that carries a composting at industrial and consumer level certificate. After use, this type of cardboard composts in a completely natural way, for example in the vegetable garden.

A few more facts; all packaging materials, including the moisture resistant and greaseproof cardboard, are processed by De Budelse in a food-safe manner and according to BRC guidelines. Moreover, as there are no limitations in design and creativity each product can be given an attractive appearance while leaving an eco-friendly footprint showing your best side on all levels.