SilverQuilt SQ6: Advancing multi layer technology in the cold chain

SilverQuilt SQ6: Advancing multi layer technology in the cold chain

Following on from the success of our market leading SilverQuilt™material, we have continued to develop our range of multi-layered materials to create SQ6.

SQ6 is the latest development in our product portfolio. Its innovative composition is thinner, yet retains high performance. With its unique combination of 6 layers, SQ6 is designed to negate radiation, convection and conduction in a superior way to conventional insulation materials.

Providing more protection due to its insulating and highly reflective layers, SQ6 protects against rapid temperature changes, such when a pallet is exposed to direct sunlight, as well as extending the protection period against extreme ambient conditions.

The product incorporates an outer scrim which reinforces its toughness, dimensional stability and durability to facilitate handling. We have designed SQ6 with operational challenges in mind to help keep products safe during all stages of the supply chain.

Dharmesh Chauhan, Commercial Director at TP3 Global, commented: “We’re extremely delighted to be releasing this innovative product to the market. With its unique composition, the SQ6 can meet and exceed customer demands on all fronts, overcoming cold chain breaks, improving operational challenges and providing market-leading performance to ensure the integrity of our clients’ cargo is kept intact.”

This space-saving cover will save you time and money due to its 19mm lightweight, compressible nature. It will eliminate your storage and handling concerns and allows you to increase loads during pallet transportation.

SQ6 is a result of our state of the art TP3 Technical Centre, which allows materials to be tested beyond the identification of an R-value. The data our facility provides will support customer decisions on deciding whether SQ6 is the correct insulation material to match your needs

We understand the importance of optimising the amount and types of packaging our customers use. Our expert, technical team are always at hand to help provide answers to any questions you might have surrounding SQ6 or our range of temperature protective materials. Our team of experts can help you decide which material is best suited to your business requirements and budget. For more information please contact a #TP3GLOBAL expert today.


ABOUT TP3 Global

TP3 Global (A Softbox company) is the manufacturer of the globally recognised market leading SilverSkin™ range of pallet covers. With operations in EMEA, the Americas, India and Asia Pacific, we are strategically positioned to serve our customers on a truly global basis. 

We are suppliers to global leading pharmaceutical, healthcare, logistics and perishable industries which has allowed us to build long standing collaborations and development of market leading products.

TP3 Global manufactures a full range of single-use and re-usable thermal protection products for all modes of transport for pallets and parcels. As pioneers in materials technology, we are constantly seeking to develop the next break through product.

In January 2018, Softbox Systems, a global award-winning temperature control packaging innovator, acquired TP3 Global to further expand its worldwide presence and strengthen its product portfolio. Softbox has been designing and producing high performance passive temperature control packaging systems for over 20 years, and offers consistent quality from strategically located global manufacturing sites throughout EMEA, Americas, India and Asia Pacific.

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    TP3 Global receives Royal recognition by winning the Queen’s Awards 2018 for Enterprise

    TP3 Global receives Royal recognition by winning the Queen’s Awards 2018 for Enterprise

    Birmingham, UK, 23 April 2018 – TP3 Global, a leading global innovator and provider of thermal protection for temperature sensitive cargo, is pleased to announce it has been awarded the 2018 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its globally-recognised Silverskin™ brand.

    The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the United Kingdom’s most prominent business awards, which commend enterprise excellence. TP3 Global won the recognition for outstanding growth in overseas sales over the past three years. SilverSkinTM has become a major brand in the market, recognised, approved and used by the leading pharmaceutical companies around the world. TP3 Global has seen rapid growth thanks to a strong focus on providing consistent quality and innovative solutions to a worldwide client base.

    Clive Wheeldon, President of TP3 Global, commented: “We are extremely proud to achieve the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for international trade. Our commitment to providing market-leading products, innovation and high-quality customer service has resulted in working with the industry’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

    We continue to invest heavily in R&D, global footprint and customer service ensuring we stay at the forefront of the market. We are delighted to see many of the world’s pharmaceutical companies utilise SilverskinTM to maintain the integrity of their products in their supply chain. Our team is very proud to have won a prestigious Queen’s Award that recognises our on-going commitment to innovation and excellence for international trade.”

    The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise first began in 1966. They are awarded to businesses for outstanding achievement in four categories International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and also for Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

    TP3 Global’s commitment to continuous improvement – ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 Certification

    TP3 Global’s commitment to continuous improvement – ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 Certification

    As innovators of the market, we continually strive to improve all aspects of our business. Our long standing commitment to quality and environmental responsibilities have been well documented, proven by having achieved both ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004.

    We are delighted to announce that we have once again proven our high levels of standards, and successfully upgraded our previous certificates to ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 standards. Furthermore our industry leading Technical Centre is now included within the scope of both ISO certifications, which underwent major investment in 2017. 

    ISO standards are reviewed every five years and revised if needed, this helps ensure they remain useful tools for the marketplace. The challenges faced by business and organisations today are very different from a few decades ago – the 2015 edition has replaced the previous 2004 & 2008 versions to take this new environment into account. Particularly it now puts a greater emphasis on leadership engagement and to address organisational risks and opportunities (known as risk based thinking) in a structured manner.

    Nashpal Marwaha, Global Operations Manager commented: “ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 are the latest internationally recognised quality and environmental standards. Our certification demonstrates our commitment to continually improve our management systems to ensure compliance with these standards, and provision of quality thermal protection products and services by TP3 Global.




    SilverQuilt: Next generation thermal protection for temperature-sensitive cargo

    SilverQuilt: Next generation thermal protection for temperature-sensitive cargo

    The SilverQuilt™ achieves superior temperature protection for valuable, sensitive cargo, such as controlled room temperature (15°C to 25°C) pharmaceuticals, due to its specialist composition of multi-layered materials, and is able to protect freight within predefined temperature limits for extended periods during breaks within controlled supply chain lanes. SilverQuilt’s enhanced performance can provide protection for both +15°C to +25°C and +2°C to +8°C pharmaceutical products.

    SilverQuilt’s unique construction insulates all areas of the pallet effectively, particularly areas that are at the highest risk of rapid temperature change, such as edges and corners. Its highly reflective outer skin protects against rapid temperature build up when in direct sunlight, extending the protection time when on the tarmac. The superior thermal protection provided by SilverQuilt’s layered construction also extends the periods of protection against cold ambient conditions.

    In addition to providing quality thermal protection with reduced temperature exchange, SilverQuilt™ is water resistant and provides resistance against theft. It can also be shipped and delivered cost-effectively due to its compressible design.

    Peter Lockett, director at TP3 Global, said: “Breaks in the cold chain are a serious issue for the pharmaceutical supply chain, with valuable stock often sitting on the tarmac for hours at a time. With the introduction of SilverQuilt™, pharmaceutical manufacturers can take a balanced approach, matching cost-effective protection with well managed supply chains.” 

    Prior to its launch, SilverQuilt™ underwent testing as part of an extensive research and development process at TP3 Global’s advanced technical centre in Redditch, UK. The material was subjected to hot and cold environmental chamber testing, virtual cold chain simulation and thermal resistance (or R-value) testing. The test data, which was compiled by TP3 Global’s team of packaging technologists, will now be available to customers who undertake a risk-based approach in order to comply with Good Distribution Practice (GDP).

    SilverQuilt™ joins TP3 Global’s existing range of qualified thermal protective covers, including SilverSkin™, a range of single-use covers primarily used during air, land and ocean freight.

    Peter continued: “Our existing products, such as SilverSkin™, have achieved a solid reputation in the market, being tested, approved and now used by many of the worlds leading pharmaceutical manufacturers. SilverQuilt™ is the next logical step to support customers looking to protect controlled room temperature (CRT) freight with a high-performance cover solution with tighter control limits of +15°C to +25°C. The higher performance enables customers to consider the combination

    of controlled lanes and thermal covers for +2°C to +8°C shipments, which was not possible with lower performance thermal covers.

    With logistics providers improving the quality of controlled supply chain lanes, there are more options to utilise more cost effective thermal protection on palletised cargo.”

    “The launch of SilverQuilt™ arrives at an exciting time for our business, as we continue global expansion and further establish ourselves as one of the leading providers of thermal protection solutions.

    “The additional launch of the TP3 Technical Centre this year has increased our capacity to test materials beyond the identification of an R-value. The data this facility provides will support customer decisions on which insulation materials suit certain lanes, support them in taking a risk-based approach towards GDP and provide documented evidence for quality assurance and best practice.” 

    Pharma supply chain specifiers urged to look beyond ‘R Values’ to measure thermal protection

    Pharma supply chain specifiers urged to look beyond ‘R Values’ to measure thermal protection

    Specifiers working in the pharmaceutical supply chain have been urged to ‘look beyond R values’ when specifying thermal protection solutions.

    The advice, from TP3 Global, one of the world’s leading suppliers of thermal pallet cover solutions, is designed to help specifiers make informed choices in the absence of any formal industry standards for thermal protection solutions.

    The continued increase in the availability of temperature-controlled distribution lanes within the global pharmaceutical supply chain has seen a corresponding growth in thermal protection solutions in recent years. Thermal protection covers are viewed by many in the pharma supply chain as a more cost-effective option compared to temperature controlled packaging and a viable way of mitigating the effects of inevitable ‘breaks’ within controlled lanes.

    However, whilst the development and qualification of temperature-controlled packaging solutions has robust and recognised standards to which specifiers can refer, such standards for thermal protection solutions have not yet been developed, which makes comparison between different products difficult.

    Kevin Valentine, Chief Technical Officer at TP3 Global, says that specifiers have fallen back on using R values, but that these must be accompanied by other criteria. “R value is the common measure of performance assessment being requested by customers deploying thermal protection solutions, however it should be considered as only part of the story.”
    He continued: “The R Value is a measure of a material’s ability to resist heat transfer by conduction, with the higher the number equating to more protection,” he says. “There are a number of risks with just using R values, including problems of confusing imperial units with International Standard of Units (SI) and also with the different test methods being used.”

    However, Mr Valentine says the key issue is that thermal covers are designed to protect against three sources of heat exchange, radiation, convection and conduction, with R values only measuring the latter.

    “R values do not take into consideration the importance of both convection and radiation, which specifically relates to potential breaks within controlled distribution lanes,” he says.

    “Exposure to direct sunlight is a major source of radiated heat transfer and is a threat within any break in a controlled lane. It is not uncommon for the temperature in direct sunlight to be 15-20oC hotter than the ambient temperature within the shade. A break in a controlled lane on a warm summer’s day could see a pallet exposed to direct sunlight temperatures of 50-60oC, even in temperate regions. A thermal cover’s ability to reflect radiated heat is of major importance, as is its potential to emit heat, known as the emissivity value.”

    Testing conditions can also play an enormous role in determining the ultimate R value, says Mr Valentine. “A material tested with a 25mm air gap between its surface layers and the testing device will show a higher R value in comparison to a material with no air gaps. Thermal conductivity of materials can also change at different temperatures. The R value of a material can differ by as much as 10% when tested at hot (above 25oC) or cold (below zero) temperatures. It is very important for specifiers to understand which method of test has been used.”

    He concludes: “I would urge specifiers to look beyond R values during performance assessment. It is important to fully understand the limits of R values, the performance data being used and its origins, as part of the performance assessment and implementation of thermal protection products. This will help reduce risk and improve quality, whilst also reducing costs within the distribution of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products.”

    Thermal Cover Test Data – Is it GDP Compliant?

    Thermal Cover Test Data – Is it GDP Compliant?

    We’re generally aware that test data is crucial to supporting the risk based approach of GDP (Good Distribution Practice). However, data can be like statistics – it can be developed to tell you what you want to see! With a variety of potential thermal cover vendors available in the market place, how do you know what to look for?

    Globally Compliant GPD Test Data

    It would be impossible to provide test data for all occasions, pallet types and product loads, there are simply too many variables and complexity. The three step approach is commonly used when appraising procurement and selection of thermal covers.

    Three Step Approach

    • 1. Obtain base test data from vendors, ideally triplicate testing
      2. Carry out local site tests to establish preferred solutions
      3. Commission independent chamber testing, and/or carry out real life testing through supply chain lanes.

    Vendor Test Data
    The lack of global guidelines on testing of thermal pallet covers results in a variety of test data presented to the market place that is hugely difficult to compare. However, the initial information provided should help to take the first step of selection.

    Although vendors want to communicate how good their solutions are, credible companies recognise that they have to supply ‘worst case scenario’ data to give full reassurance to QA and supply chain managers.

    Monitor Positions

    The positioning of calibrated temperature monitors is critical to data presentation and can make considerable impact to any performance data presented.

    Temperature change is most rapid at the corners of the pallet where there is little surrounding mass to protect it. Hot temperatures and direct sunlight cause the top corners of the pallet to change temperature more rapidly, cold temperatures, where cold air is heavier and falls to the lower points, causes the bottom corners of the pallet to change more quickly.

    Calibrated temperature monitors positioned in the top and bottom corners will demonstrate the highest rate of change and ‘worst case scenario’.

    Product Temperature verses ‘Outside The Packaging’ verses Ambient Temperatures

    Although the product temperature is most critical, it can be a challenge to position monitors next to the product inside the packaging. The closest position available is often outside the packaging (often a cardboard box) but under the thermal cover.

    The temperature outside the packaging (but under the cover) will usually be quite different than the product temperature and show a greater rate of change. If there is a requirement to keep this air temperature at the same temperature as the product, a great level of insulation will be required to achieve this, thus increasing the cost.

    Because monitors are often positioned outside the packaging, it’s important for the vendor to show performance in these positions when presenting test data, again in the upper and lower corners.

    Monitors positioned to record the ambient data should also be used so that a relationship between inside and outside can be viewed.

    Mass Percentage

    Mass is another critical element that can impact highly on performance data being presented. Extensive discussions over the years with customers and prospects have concluded that 20% mass is acceptable as an initial benchmark. This provides enough mass within the load to retain some thermal energy load that can be measured. Using empty boxes makes it difficult to measure any load apart from air space, which is known to change temperature far more rapidly than any product mass.

    Mass Type

    Different types of product mass have a variety of temperature changes rates. Drums of API powder will hold temperature for longer than packages of blister pack solid dose for example. As it would be challenging to test all the various loads that would be appropriate to each product load, the industry will accept testing of neutral mass as an initial test medium.

    The mass should be spread equally across the pallet load e.g. equal numbers in each box, and represent 20% mass through the pallet capacity.

    Pallet Size

    The larger the pallet, the more product mass can be added, and the better the thermal performance. To observe ‘worst case scenario’, the test pallet should be one of the smaller and shorter sizes commonly used, e.g. Euro Pallet (800mm x 1200mm) at approximate 900mm – 1000mm high.

    Pallet Cover Configuration

    Most users of ‘single use’ reflective pallet covers use just the top only, far less use both the top and base to completely encompass the load. Test data should be available for both configurations. Top only configurations work well in hot ambient threats, especially where the main threat is from the sun. Where there is cold ambient threat, better protection is gained using the top and base.

    Chamber Test verses Direct Sun Testing

    Chamber testing facilitates a controlled environment to carry out benchmark tests, keeping variables to the very minimum. Chamber tests also allow the user to see what happens to the load in a shaded environment such as the warehouse, truck or aircraft, where the main threat is the change of ambient air temperature.

    When carried out professionally, outdoor direct sunlight testing will demonstrate the thermal protection provided against the harsh light spectrum transmitted by the sun. This will help determine the performance given during breaks in the supply chain such as the airport ramp time, transport between warehouses etc.

    It would be ideal to see both chamber and direct sunlight tests if possible.

    Gradual Temperature Build’ verses ‘Impact Stress’ Chamber Testing 

    During supply chain transportation, temperature change can often be rapid, e.g. from the aircraft or warehouse to a hot or cold ramp station etc. For this reason, it is advantageous to see ‘Impact Stress Testing’ where the test pallets are positioned directly into a test chamber preconditioned to the prescribed test ambient (e.g. +40C, -10C).

    This also eliminates the potential variance between different test chambers on their ’temperature build time’. Some chambers are designed to rise at 0.5C per minute, others can rise at 2.0C per minute. This would naturally have quite an impact on the temperature change of the product if starting from an ambient temperature.


    Because of so many variables in the supply chain, calibrated chamber testing is crucial to any ‘Performance Qualification’ (PQ). Direct sunlight trials will support indication of performance in ‘real world’ situations.

    Quality Assurance professionals should be aware of any possible variables in the test process that can impact test results so that fair comparisons can be made in the initial selection process.

    Get in contact to discuss and request test data specific to you here.

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