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News

Security seals for medical endoscopes

Schreiner Group : 03 July, 2009  (New Product)
Schreiner Prosecure has provided tamper evident holographic seals to Karl Storz for use on their medical endoscopes to help doctors be sure the cases haven't been opened
Security seals for medical endoscopes
Endoscopes by Karl Storz are used around the world. Endoscopic diagnostics and surgery allow physicians to view internal organs and perform minimally invasive procedures. As techniques advance rapidly in line with new technologies, physicians regularly attend medical seminars, workshops and conferences to keep abreast of the latest developments. The high-tech endoscopes and related products used at these professional events around the globe are supplied by Karl Storz—clean and safely packed in special cases. A new closure seal by Schreiner ProSecure now guarantees that the products arrive intact and clinically clean, and reduces logistic requirements in the process.

A few facts and figures suggest the dimension of the savings the company achieves by using the new seal. Karl Storz ships up to 5000 of the special cases containing high-end endoscopes to its customers per month—but not all of these cases are actually opened and the contents used. Up to 30 percent are returned unopened by the events’ organizers. Nevertheless, the contents of each returned case required in-depth technical inspection and thorough cleaning. This complex, time-consuming and costly process tied up valuable human and material resources. To make the process leaner, Karl Storz commissioned the specialists from Schreiner ProSecure to develop a seal that would reliably indicate that the case had been opened.

Although the product cases are used many times, they always have to arrive at the customer’s location in impeccable external condition. Therefore, Schreiner ProSecure developed a seal with an attractive security hologram which can be applied to the thin aluminum strips of the cases. “The major challenge was that the seal had to provide totally reliable adhesion and exclude any possibility of non-destructive tampering or peel-off. In addition, any adhesive residues left on the opened cases had to come off by simple washing to make the cases ready for reuse quickly,” said Thomas Völcker, marketing and sales director at Schreiner ProSecure. Therefore, Schreiner ProSecure adapted the adhesive used for this product specifically to these requirements. “Our R&D testing lab proved the reliability of the self-destruction effect. In addition, the aluminum substrate is easy to clean after peeling off the label, and there are no residues left,” said Uwe Zeller, deputy head of technical inspections and congress logistics at Karl Storz.

For reliable and easily visible indication of any attempt to open the case, the security seal has an integrated void effect. It is triggered as soon as the seal is lifted off the substrate and exhibits a conspicuous checkered pattern. To ensure that this effect is also activated when the case is forcibly opened or in a jolt, Schreiner ProSecure has provided the label with an additional separating perforation.

Thanks to the new security seal, Karl Storz avoids any unnecessary cleaning and inspection effort, now checking and cleaning only cases that were actually opened. As a result, the company benefits from clearly leaner processes and lower inventories, as unopened cases can now be used again immediately after their return. This tailor-made solution also visibly documents Karl Storz’s high quality standards. “The seal significantly optimizes our workflow,” emphasized Zeller. “And our customers perceive it as a seal of quality for endoscopes that have been duly inspected.”

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