Vendors showcased serialization solutions at Interphex 2013, as an air of urgency to put compliance measures in place this year has developed for pharmaceutical companies.
“It’s real, it’s here, it’s happening,” said Mike Salinas, director of manufacturing technology, M&W US, Inc., noting that non-compliance will jeopardize existing markets, as countries develop their various coding requirements, and California deadlines for a supply chain e-pedigree beckon in the US.
While the California law requires 50% of product coded by manufacturers by Jan 2015, companies by Dec. 2014 will be required to identify which products will be coded in this first phase and the technologies employed, Salinas said.
Though planning for and implementation of the solution at the line level at drug firms has picked up steam, there remains a lot of work to do at the enterprise level including with EPCIS-standard systems supporting data- sharing with trading partners, show exhibitors and attendees reported.
“Making effective use of the data with trading partners will be the hard part,” said Salinas. He observed that the infrastructure for reading the codes amongst supply chain partners might not be in place to meet the deadlines.
ESS Technologies demonstrated a turn-key serialization solution with its TaskMate Robotic Case Erector/Loader integrated with the Xyntek-Antares Tracking System Software and Omnivision 360 Tracking System. As bottles are carton, case, and pallet- packaged, they are coded and inspected, with shift register-tracking, as product at each stage is aggregated to its higher pack level with unique serial code.
A multi--function Fanuc 200iC robot automates the carton or bottle pick-and-place, case pick and place for case erecting, and presentation to a Cognex camera for code inspection.
Jean-Pierre Allard, serialization solution manager, Optel Vision—which offers its TrackSafe Suite for pharma serialization-- presented on the scope of development required for solution implementation, global standards including GS1’s system, the status of global requirements, label art work considerations, IT implementation and architecture, and time lines for integration and validation. Optel's solution was demonstrated by NJM in bottle serialization and cartoning.
Mettler-Toledo is showcasing a serialization solution developed with PCE that leverages Mettler’s product handling technology, and is offered in standalone mode or in conjunction with a Mettler check weigher.
Also on display were Seidenader/Korber Medipak serialization and e-pedigree solutions covering unit serialization, through the aggregation with higher pack levels, and including the warehouse level, and a data management system for multiple lines.