Linda Interviews Rob from TOWER Cold Chain Solutions about the KT400D-60

The interview transcript can be found further down the page.

The world of cold chain solutions is having to adapt to ever changing conditions and requirements globally now more than ever before. From my unique position as CEO of Cold Chain Platform and my contacts within global cold chain companies I am constantly shown new and innovative services and products that will benefit the pharma sector.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk with Robert Paterson, Commercial and Operations Consultant - Asia Pacific for TOWER Cold Chain Solutions where we discuss the KT400D-60 which in my opinion is one of the most innovative products currently on the market.

The KT400D-60 has solved the problem of using dry ice within the cold chain and can consistently maintain products at -80°C to -60°C for more than 120 hours without a dry ice top-up. Thereby reducing breakages, staying compliant and with a load time of under 60 seconds reducing the exposure to dry ice.

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions is UK based and have a history of creating innovative solutions. They were among the first to market with phase change materials and registered a patent over 20 years ago for a built-in data logger on all their products.

I hope that you find the interview interesting. I appreciate Rob and TOWER Cold Chain Solutions for being my first guest. If you have any innovative cold chain and logistics solutions for the pharma industry, or if you are looking for a solution for your pharma products, please feel free to contact me.


Linda Heeyang Kim

Founder and CEO

Interview Transcript

Linda: Hi Rob, how are you today?

Rob: I’m very well, thank you Linda. How are you going?

Linda: I’m good. Today I’d like to discuss TOWER’s unique deep-frozen solutions. Before we talk about that, could you please introduce yourself and TOWER Cold Chain Solutions?

Rob: Sure, thank you. Well my name is Robert Paterson and I’m the commercial operations manager for the APAC region. I work for a company called TOWER Cold Chain Solutions. The company is a UK owned business that leases or rents passive reusable temperature controlled packaging solutions.

Today you know looking forward to speaking with you regarding the deep frozen solution that is offered using dry ice that’s the KT400D-60 which as I say I’m looking forward to speaking with you about.

Linda: I understand that KT400D-60 can maintain temperatures between -60°C and -80°C without dry ice refill for more than 120hrs. So it looks like a very innovative packaging solution from TOWER, can you tell me more about it?

Rob: Sure. As you say, it’s a unique and very innovative solution. We have a unique cardboard pack out which suspends the product away from the dry ice providing that deep frozen temperature. The internal temperature range is between -60°C and -80°C and as you mentioned is maintained for minimum of 120 hours without any human interaction.

The unit itself is very highly robust and during transit which is one of the big advantages there’s no intervention required so once the product’s been placed inside the lid’s closed the unit sits at that temperature range for a minimum of 120 hours.

Linda: So, what are the key benefits for logistics companies and pharma companies?

Rob: There’re many benefits to the products, Linda. I suppose one of the key ones is the fact the KT400D-60 solution is pre-conditioned, pre-configured and it’s ready to ship when the unit is dispatched from one of our hubs. When it arrives in its place of origin where the product is to be placed inside, the product load time is minimal. It’s under 60 seconds which means there’s minimal exposure to warmer temperatures for the product. There’s no dry ice top up during transit.

So again, there’s no risk of any compliance failure where the units, sorry, products being exposed to warmer air during the top-up process, there’s none of that. The product is suspended inside the unit with the dry ice around all six sides which means that during transit there’s a reduced risk of breakages due to inconsistency in temperature. And also due to movement where the primary receptacles may crash together during transit, may fracture or break.

The load space and temperature, is as I’ve mentioned, is consistent throughout transit, and what’s another key factor is very much that the unit is fully compliant. It’s a fully reusable container and the internal structure that we use is recyclable.

Linda: Especially many CMOs and pharma companies are looking for reliable deep-frozen solutions to ship such as drug substances or cell lines or compounds, so your solution seems perfect.

Rob: Exactly. The fact that the unit is pre-conditioned, ready to ship, it’s a deep frozen solution, it’s ideal for those organizations. The unit is very easy to use with the, you know, adding the consistency of payload temperature and below -60°C temperature in excess of 120 means that there’s an increasing demand for this packaging solution throughout the CMOs and pharma marketplace.

Linda: So is this solutions also suitable for areas where dry ice is not easily available?

Rob: Absolutely. As we’ve touched on a couple of times today, the KT400D-60 unit is pre-conditioned or can be pre-conditioned and pre-configured ready to ship from point of dispatch from one of our hubs so put that it means it’s ideal for countries and locations where dry ice may be not easily available. Add in the speed of product load below 60 seconds means that it’s ideal. Yes, it’s very much so.

Linda: Let’s talk more about the unique packaging design, specifically the built-in data logger. Do you also provide a temperature monitoring service?

Rob: We do, we do, Linda. One of the key factors or one of the unique points with all of the TOWER packaging solutions is that they have an internal temperature probe which records the internal temperature, of what’s going inside, inside the payload area. There is a display screen on the outside of each of the units, and that display screen shows key temperatures.

So it shows the current and existing temperature that the unit is operating at internally, it shows the warmest that temperature has been and coldest that temperature has been since the unit was configured. So immediately any person coming into contact with that TOWER packaging solution can see what the unit is, what’s going on inside the unit.

When the unit arrives back to one of our hubs, we download the data and within  that data we also provide not only the internal data that’s been going on within the payload area the temperatures with the various data stamps every 15 minutes is the sort of normal date stamp period or frequency,  we also have a monitor just on behind the display screen which records the external temperature.

The client and our customers have a clear picture of what is going on inside during the transit period of the unit but more importantly what temperatures that unit was exposed to during its journey.

Linda: Rob, I understand that your packaging is re-usable and rentable. So, for example, for customers in Korea, how would they use this packaging?  Can you explain more about your rental program?

Rob: So each of the TOWER units is leased for a minimum of seven day lease with an additional fee per day, so the costs are known from outset as to what the customer is going to be paying. Secondly, with regards to the your customers or people based in Korea, the units are dispatched and conditioned ready to go ready to use.

So there’s very easy when they arrive at their destination for loading the lid or the doors are opened depending on what solution you’re taking. Product is placed inside, closed, security tag adhered to the lock, and the unit can be sent on its way, so it’s a very easy, very usable, packaging solution.

Linda: Is it right that over 30 global logistics and pharma companies are already utilising this packaging,  and there have been zero outages and zero breakages?

Rob: Yes. We’re shipping globally and there have been so now more than 12 months and with no outages or breakages. And this also includes where some of our 3PL and specialist courier clients have been packing the KT400D-60 themselves. It’s a very simple very easy to use packaging solution.

Linda: So this is truly unique in the market?

Rob: Correct. I mean we hear that many of our competitors are trying to build and prepare something similar but currently as far as I’m aware no one’s managed to come to the market with a fully compliant, below minus 60, packaging solution with more than 120 hours validation, and most importantly with zero human intervention. So truly, truly, unique yes.

Linda: Okay, thanks Rob. It’s been really interesting to learn about TOWER Cold Chain Solutions today. Thank you for your time.

Rob: Thank you Linda. It’s been a pleasure, always a pleasure speaking with you, and especially to talk about the below minus 60 packaging solution we have. Thank you so much.

Linda: Thank you.