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Crest Solutions and Eisai Machinery have launched a track-and-trace packaging system that supports changes in local and international regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical industry.

The Pharmamarker system integrates into pharmaceutical production and packaging lines to support more stringent industry regulations in the areas of coding and traceability in pharmaceutical products.

France (CIP13), Turkey (ITS) and California (E-pedigree) have already introduced their own individual regulation plans for the labelling and traceability of packages and other regions are expected to follow shortly.

These regulatory changes will lead to a more secure supply chain management system in the area of pharmaceutical production and delivery to end users.

The Pharmamarker system has been developed to meet these challenges by coding, verifying and tracking up to 450 pharmaceutical cartons per minute to ensure that they can be fully traced along any point in their production lifecycle.

The system integrates into a production line either as a standalone product or as a component of an integrated packaging line.

The Pharmamarker system marks the product cartons with a data matrix code, which it then verifies to determine the pass or fail path that the carton then follows along the production line.

Cartons that pass the verification station have their code details commissioned on the Crest Solutions Protrack traceability software’s database, which can be shared with regulatory or enterprise resource planning environments, such as SAP.

‘The Pharmamarker is an easy-to-integrate, easy-to-validate solution for tracking and tracing pharmaceutical products, thus enabling manufacturers to immediately comply with ongoing regulations while also improving patient safety, counteracting fraud and creating a more secure supply chain,’ said Michael de la Montaigne, president of Eisai Machinery.

The Pharmamarker solution combines the high-resolution In-Sight vision system technology of Cognex and the coding and printing technologies of the Domino G-Series thermal inkjet printer.

According to Kris Bierbaum, manager of strategic alliances at Cognex Corporation, the company’s high-resolution In-Sight vision system is suitable for pharmaceuticals applications thanks to its compact form factor and simple integration.

In-Sight reads, grades and verifies printed data.

Craig Stobie, global healthcare manager at Domino, said: ‘The number of emerging regulatory schemes for the coding, marking and labelling of healthcare packaging is one of the most significant challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector.

‘Integrating seamlessly with Domino’s technologies for the healthcare sector – among which are the G-Series thermal inkjet and D-Series laser coding ranges – Pharmamarker is a highly proficient solution that addresses both immediate and longer-term market requirements,’ he added.

Pharmamarker works by printing cartons with a data matrix code using a non-contact thermal inkjet or laser print head.

Cartons are then conveyed past a Cognex high-resolution vision system to precisely verify that label data and correct cartons pass to the next point in the production line, while failed cartons are removed using its automatic reject system.

The system employs Crest Solutions’ Linedirector software to manage all the peripherals on the line.

In addition, the company’s Protrack real-time traceability software is used to record event data for complete compliance with track-and-trace regulations.

The system is available for demonstration and trials at Eisai Machinery’s headquarters in Allendale, New Jersey, and at Crest Solutions’ facilities in Cork, Ireland.

Crest Solutions

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