After my lecture yesterday about the necessity of serialisation for the food industry in relation to the criminal world, I promised to have a look at what several exhibitors at Interpack are showing and demonstrating.
Due to the huge presentation of related technology at the Interpack, I had to make a selection.
In this instalment we will look at the systems of Atlantic Zeiser, Schreiner ProTech and Securikett Ulrich & Horn GmbH. Further Bosch CPI software and Mettler-Toledo for food safety.
Unfortunately two interesting developments aren’t shown at Interpack, but I decided to end this article with a description of the StellaGuard from Covectra and the prediction of NSF International in regard to its Eye Succeed wearable technology.
Many pharmaceutical manufacturers face challenges in adapting packaging lines to new requirements in a timely manner while maintaining productivity. These requirements involve not only the obligation to serialize, but, in many cases, tamper-evident functionality as well. To answer these challenges Atlantic Zeiser introduces at Interpack 2017 (Hall 16, Stand A47) its newly developed track & trace system MediLine T&T.
With the MediLine T&T, serialisation, tamper-evident and checkweigher requirements can be adhered to in a single, workflow-optimised step. The system comes with integrated checkweigher and tamper-evident labeller. The integrated interface to the MedTracker software allows the process-reliable serialisation of filled folding cartons.
The company claims that the design of the new MediLine T&T was developed with an eye to the current GMP guidelines and thus addresses such concerns as easy accessibility, line clearance, and convenient cleaning. The selection of recipes and the intuitive controls for all functions are performed with a central touchscreen. The MediLine T&T, equipped with a cartridge-based printing system, reaches production speeds of up to 350 folding cartons per minute with a print resolution of 600 dpi. If required, the monitoring camera and sensors ensure reliable ejection into a collecting bin that can be emptied during operation. Another labelling unit, such as one for toll stickers or Bollini, can be integrated, as also other printing heads and cameras, for p.E. affixing helper codes.
And then there is the integrated interface to the MedTracker software. The modular construction of the software allows implementation through entire lines, production facilities, or entire companies. MedTracker is a generic database application with the full functionality of a production management platform that allows all process steps and functions of hardware modules or entire packaging lines that are necessary for serialization to be defined, monitored, and adapted relatively freely, at any time, and usually without programming effort.
The security provided by serialization of anti-counterfeiting and track &trace products requires particularly careful implementation in order to ensure that all relevant information, from serial number, contract data to service history, is consolidated in a digital file.
As serialization alone hardly offers any protection because it is easy to copy and counterfeit, Schreiner ProTech (Hall 7a / B02) uses for counterfeit protection a seamless integration of the features required for authentication.
Complementing the 2D codes typically utilized for product identification, a digital copy detection pattern is integrated into nameplates, logistics tags or other product labels in a way that is nearly invisible. The solution enables users to easily scan and analyse all the relevant security features and to reliably authenticate the product by means of a 2D scanner or smartphone app. Laser engraving is an available option for directly and effectively marking components with authenticity features.
In addition, Schreiner ProTech offers integrated track & trace solutions enabling clear identification of products in terms of their identity, origin, destination or other characteristics. As a result, product diversions, re-imports or the exchange of original goods and documents for fakes can be reliably detected and shipping processes optimized. Available options include database supported online value-added services using mobile devices.
Securikett Ulrich & Horn GmbH
The very latest security label from Securikett (Hall 10 / D57) features a dual RFID/NFC chip in addition to a QR code.
Conventional scanning of a printed QR code with a mobile phone or scanner is combined with the RFID and NFC technology. It facilitates both simple handling of logistics tasks (RFID), as well as user-friendly communication with consumers (NFC).
Thanks to RFID, just one scan is all it takes to capture and read out the data for an entire packaging aggregation. Printed QR codes or NFC chips (13.56 MHz) are more commonly used for consumer communication. This is already activated for some smartphones. A dialogue with the CodiKett internet platform is established within a matter of seconds.
This means that the unique codes used by CodiKett can be verified in various ways over the internet: by scanning a code and using RFID or NFC. The CodiKett system processes the data for packaging aggregation (CodiPack), track & trace (CodiTrack), and evaluations (CodiAnalytics). In this transparent supply chain, grey trade and smuggled products can be easily identified and traced.
This new solution can be tested live at Interpack. Two different products are tagged with the new all-in-one label. Scanning the product code initially reveals the information stating which product it actually is. After activating the code in the packaging process (live on the spot), the user can track which product is in which packaging and vice-versa.
Robert Bosch Packaging Technology
Robert Bosch (Hall 6 /A30-C58) is showcasing a machine for yogurt packaging that connects to CPI (Connected Packaging Industry) software transferring information to the IoT (Internet of Things) Cloud. It can manage serialization from the allocation of serial numbers to the last aggregation step.
Examples at Interpack include CPS (Carton Printing System) modules, which print data matrix codes onto folding cartons, verify the codes and tamper-evident seals.
The CPI software integrates the CPS modules into the company IT and detailed information about each machine, line or process status is provided by the Condition Monitoring platform to record data in real-time, allowing maintenance staff to react before cost-intensive process deviations or down-times occur.
Mettler-Toledo (Hall 11 / B55) shows ProdX 2.0, an advanced software solution that enables manufacturers to get a 360-degree view of line performance. Designed for use on food lines, as well as in pharmaceutical and chemical processing, this new and improved data management software package connects product inspection equipment across the entire production line into a single, unified network. In doing so, it is able to collect in-depth data about productivity and product quality issues, such as foreign body contamination, and access it in real time from one centralised location.
To ensure optimum product inspection documentation for manufacturers, ProdX 2.0 is able to manage data from a wide range of product inspection machines, including x-ray systems, metal detectors, check-weighers and, for the first time, vision inspection equipment. It is even capable of storing x-ray and vision inspection images of rejected packs to allow further analysis of rejection incidents by operatives at a later date.
ProdX 2.0 is available as a turn-key starter pack that can be easily installed on standard-sized production lines and existing network equipment, as well as an expandable base pack that can be scaled to manufacturers’ specific size and connectivity needs.
Covectra debuts StellaGuard
Covectra’s new StellaGuard Label uses smartphone technology to provide real time authentication and traceability. Although not represented at Interpack, but debuted in March this year at Interphex, an event for Pharmaceutical & Biotech Professionals in New York, I thought it interesting enough to include this development in this article.
The label is embedded with stars that are arranged in unique and random patterns and contain a serialized GS1 2D barcode, thus enabling real time authentication and serialized pedigree tracking through the use of a mobile app developed by Covectra.
The StellaGuard label can be applied to virtually any package and material, and was developed by Covectra in anticipation of the EU’s 2019 Falsified Medicines Directive requirement for tamper evident seals on all pharma and OTC primary packages. The security label is integrated with Covectra’s EPCIS Certified AuthentiTrack database, which now is managing over 2 billion serial numbers. This enables the StellaGuard label to be used not just for rapid authentication, but also for diversion detection and isolation as well.
StellaGuard offers two layers of protection, leveraging the benefits of a barcode and connecting it with an image of a random pattern of “stars” embedded in a label, providing instantaneous authentication and copy-detect protection. Since barcodes can be easily copied, this new solution makes counterfeiting virtually impossible.
Using smartphone technology a user can scan the 2D barcode with a mobile device, and a photographic image is taken with the smart phone. The app’s software then identifies and validates the barcode. Upon authentication, product information and customized marketing messages can also be displayed by the brand owner.
Eye Succeed wearable technology
In all the items above we have read that the systems will be, or have to be, connected with smart phones or in general handheld devices. According to NSF International, an independent, accredited organization, which test, audit and certify products and systems as well as provide education and risk management, advances in wearable Smart Glasses will outpace handheld technology.
Eye Succeed is a wireless device connected to the internet with a camera and two-way audio communication and video communication so the user can see and speak to the person at the other end. The wearable technology has an integrated display in the right hand corner, a full field of view of everything around them, while guided by the viewfinder.
Speaking at the annual conference, “Evolution meets Revolution” held in London in March this year, Tom Chestnut, senior VP, Global Food Division of NSF International, said that by the end of the year, manufacturers will see ‘transformational’ wearable technology in the consumer market, which will overtake sales of handheld devices, as Smart Glasses have the potential to transform food safety risk management through automation and interconnectivity”.
“Look at how the iPhone has evolved today. If you compare that to wearable devices, and the timeframe it took from the first iPhone to iPhone 7, that software development is going to be three to five times faster than the handheld devices we have today,” he added.
“We are going to be empowered through the use of wearable technology and that is going to be fascinating and somewhat scary. Right now, we are in the infancy of it.
“It’s called the augmented reality ‘ripple effect’. People will be able to do their jobs faster, with fewer errors, better safety, higher customer satisfaction and wearable technology will have a significant influence on everything we do.
So that’s the end of my first Interpack story. I hope I gave you all enough to think about.