Pharma production facility installs vision solution for complete traceability

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Pharmaceutical traceability system integrator, Advanco, has recently installed a complete tracking solution for a facility in Turkey for one of its key global pharma manufacturers. The solution was designed to fulfil the second phase regulation of the drug tracking system and the packaging tracking system as defined by the Ministry of Health of Turkey.

With more than 60 million medicine boxes manufactured and distributed each year from the facility, accurate and reliable code reading were essential to achieve the required levels of traceability.

Designed as a pre-shipment product traceability solution, Advanco had developed an Optical Box, comprising a Cognex In-Sight ID reader and an innovative light distribution system to provide the most suitable environment for multiple code reading. Cognex’s ID readers with the advanced vision technology are capable of consistently reading multiple codes within one field of view, as well as distorted or blurred codes. Following a successful trial period, 10 work-stations complete with Optical Box were integrated.

Each medicine box has a 2D Data Matrix code printed onto the surface using an inkjet printer. The boxes are then shrink wrapped in batches of up to 25 and placed manually into the Optical Box. In just 1.4 seconds, the Cognex In-Sight 5615 ID reader decodes all 2D codes in a single action. The information is processed by Advanco’s ARC software and is displayed for the operator. Any defective products trigger the alarm and are removed. This procedure not only ensures all packages ready for shipment are fully traceable, but also leads to improved production processes for both code marking and wrapping operations as any defects can be addressed immediately.

The code reading solution has ensured high read rates for all products, even when the 2D codes have been obscured by the plastic shrink wrap. In this way, all 2D codes are fully readable before leaving the facility.

Following the success of this project, further installations are currently planned with the customer. In addition, the Optical Box traceability solution is due to be rolled out to other pharmaceutical companies across Turkey and the rest of Europe.

Dr Olgun Yenersoy, managing director of Advanco commented: ‘Having tested many other vision cameras on the market, Cognex’s extensive range of cameras and ID readers offers unrivalled code reading capabilities, with each product being both reliable and easy to integrate. Our continued partnership with Cognex provides us with the latest in advanced vision technology which in turn, ensures our customers comply with stringent industry regulations regarding product traceability.’

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