Interphex Focuses on Counterfeit Prevention - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Interphex Focuses on Counterfeit Prevention
Interphex provided an opportunity to examine the latest pharmaceutical packaging concepts and packaging machines.


Pharmaceutical Technology


Vial coding. Applying permanent serialized codes on glass vials is possible with a laser-based system that transfers pigment from a proprietary ribbon to the glass without damaging its surface. Based on technology developed to mark windshields, the cleanroom-compatible equipment offers higher resolution than inkjet coding and can reproduce scannable bar codes including two-dimensional matrix codes measuring roughly 1/8-in2 . Codes cannot be scratched off or removed with heat, solvents, or acids. The system integrates into existing lines and consists of as many as six stations to apply as many as 400 codes/min ("Validate" nonablating high-contrast marking solution, ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., Cambridge, ON, Canada, http://www.atsautomation.com/).


An array of 10 fill nozzles permits the Bosch FSX 5100 high-speed nested syringe filler to fill as many as 500 syringes/min.
Item-level tagging. RFID. RFID is viewed by many, including FDA, as a technology with strong potential for carrying the mass serialization data needed to track and trace product and to create pedigree (i.e., chain of custody) records. Several exhibitors demonstrated the technology with various combinations of tags, smart labels, printer–encoders, printer–encoder–applicators, readers, bar codes, and software.

Tags carrying serialized item-level codes can be incorporated into standard and multipanel labels, inserts, and folding cartons ("RFID Package Integration," Nosco Security Protection, Nosco, Waukegan, IL, http://www.nosco.com/).

At least one container supplier can embed an RFID tag in the container base during injection molding. Embedding the tag reduces chances of damage and improves readability because of consistent orientation and the elimination of tag-to-tag contact. Tag-equipped bottles also can be encoded earlier in the packaging process, providing traceability from the filler forward instead of the labeler ("RFID Embedded Packages," Owens-Illinois HealthCare Packaging Inc., Toledo, OH, http://www.o-i.com/).


The compact Bosch FXS-2020 nested syringe filler handles nests of syringes to minimize unloading and reloading at speeds of 80 syringes/min.
The RFID Solutions Center at this year's show offered a working case-tagging demonstration of the "UHF Gen 2" (Impinj, Inc., Seattle, WA), a system capable of encoding, printing, and applying smart labels as fast as 40 cases/min. The system also identifies and rejects labels with nonworking tags and precisely positioned labels with 1/16-in. accuracy. An adjustable antenna maximizes tag writing capability ("SLPA7000 MP2" smart label printer–applicator, Printronix, Irvine, CA, http://www.printronix.com/).

The RFID Solutions Center also offered demonstrations of a 13.56-MHz item-level tagging operation. It featured tags and two readers: one to capture e-pedigree data and one to confirm rejection of product with an unreadable or incorrect tag (13.56-MHz tags and reject reader, Omron RFID, Schaumburg, IL, http://www.omronrfid.com/; data collection reader, Escort Memory Systems, Scotts Valley, CA, http://www.ems-rfid.com/).


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