August 18, 2010
DOMINO POISED TO DELIVER PHARMACEUTICAL TRACEABILITY
Product identification and traceability specialist Domino is confident that its enhanced portfolio of coding and marking technologies respond fully to impending legislation mandating full traceability in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
With Turkey having implemented a scheme earlier this year and France’s CIP13 scheme scheduled for start-up on January 1, 2011, the issue of product authentication via serialisation at unit of sale level is certainly concentrating the minds of the global pharmaceutical community right now.
“What’s key is that it’s not just manufacturers operating within the geographical limits of the legislatures implementing schemes that are affected,” explains Trevor Nichols, Market Sector Manager at Domino UK. “Producers will have to comply with the traceability schemes of any market they’re supplying to, irrespective of where they are based. Turkey and France are in the vanguard but proposals for other markets – including Brazil, China, Greece, Serbia, South Korea, Spain and some US states - are also under discussion, along with a pan-European scheme being championed by EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations).
“As a result, manufacturers will be obliged to allocate considerable investment and undertake significant modifications to add new print and verification capabilities to their existing lines,” he adds. Indeed, according to Domino, up to 80% of currently-installed coding devices will eventually be rendered obsolete by traceability requirements – due either to incompatibility with the requirement to produce serialised numbers or inability to do so at acceptable speeds.
“Proposed schemes vary from market to market but virtually all will require a combination of a 2D Matrix code plus multiple lines of alphanumeric text incorporating product code, batch number and expiry date,” explains Nichols.
These requirements have been pivotal to the development of Domino’s offering for the pharmaceutical sector - in particular its G-Series range of TIJ (thermal ink jet) printers and highly versatile D-Series plus range of industrial scribing lasers, both of which have been designed to easily integrate into new or existing lines.
Importantly, the G-Series affords specific advantages to manufacturers seeking to fulfil the new track and trace legislation by enabling 2D codes, including ECC 200, and other machine readable formats to be printed. In addition, manufacturers can make savings when compared to traditional TIJ offerings, thanks to Domino’s specifically developed high contrast inks for data matrix codes.
Similarly, Domino’s D-Series plus range of scribing lasers supports different kinds of application needs, including unique numbering and 2D codes – thereby guaranteeing flexible, secure and readily available coding and identification solutions from product to pallet.
Says Nichols, “While the specifics of applications may vary by manufacturer and market, Domino has taken steps to ensure that it can offer solutions for every requirement. As a company, we have worked closely with customers and industry bodies such as EFPIA and GS1 to ensure that we’re fully conversant with all the latest developments and can counsel our customers accordingly.
“The fact that we have such a wide choice of technologies in our portfolio – continuous, thermal and piezo ink jet as well as laser – means that we’re able to do this from a completely objective stance, matching Domino’s offering to the corporate, geographic and site requirements as appropriate,” he affirms.
One of the fastest routes to compliance with supply chain security schemes for existing manufacturing operations is to install a complete, automated module that both applies and verifies codes in a single pass. This frequently sees Domino collaborate with specialist suppliers of inspection and automation technologies to provide a complete, validated package.
Again, according to Nichols, Domino is particularly well-placed thanks to its broad range of technologies and close association with key manufacturers in the sector. “We are equally capable of working as lead or partner within any consortium to ensure delivery of specific print, scan and inspection solutions that meet customers’ individual needs,” he concludes.
Posted on Tuesday 5th October 2010