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


At least one track-and-trace system uses both RFID tags and two-dimensional bar codes for serialized item-level data. RFID tags are applied to items, and a reader captures information and sends it to the controller. The controller in turn activates a laser coder to mark a two-dimensional code on the label. Then, bottles are loaded in cases and an RFID case tag is applied. By collecting RFID data as bottles are loaded, item- and case-level data can be linked in the database. Next, cases are stacked on pallets, and an RFID pallet tag is prepared and applied, and pallet data are linked to the case- and item-level information (marking and coding solutions, Domino Amjet, Inc., Gurnee, IL, http://www.dominoamjet.com/; "TIPS Serialized Product Tracking" solution, SYSTECH International, Cranbury, NJ, http://www.systech-tips.com/).


An automatic recognition feature in the tooling allows PTI's VeriPac 225/BLV nondestructive blister-packaging leak tester to identify and set up for a new blister format quickly.
Personal RFID readers also are becoming a reality with the advent of inexpensive modules that plug into devices such as cell phones, PDAs, or point-of-sale terminals (RFID-enabled cellular phone, Nokia Corp., Helsinki, Finland, http://www.nokia.com/).

Security on pills. Using inkjet on individual pills with an alphanumeric or two-dimensional bar code takes serialization a step further. The machine provides positive pill handling and can be built with 4, 8, or 12 lanes. A vision system with a camera for each lane provides 100% inspection. Each lane also has its own reject system, so an individual lane can be halted without stopping the whole machine (noncontact pill-printing equipment, Efficient Automated Machine Corp., Long Island City, NY, http://www.eamcorp.com/). Hardware and software for serialized coding on cartons and nonwoven lidstock also are available (integrated systems for track and trace, Luciano Packaging Technologies, Inc., Somerville, NJ, http://www.lucianopackaging.com/).

Phase-jitter modulation (PJM). Item-level tagging poses numerous challenges, including 100% reading of multiple tags simultaneously and capturing information from several tags in close proximity to one another and in various orientations. PJM technology, which transmits data as very small phase changes in the powering field, solves both these problems and accelerates tag reading and writing to 600 items/min. Tags have both a high- and low-power mode so that touching tags can be read. Tags come in a variety of form factors including 25- and 35-mm diameters and three rectangular sizes (16 28, 25 26, and 76 45 mm) in paper-face, wet-inlay, dry-inlay, and in-mold configurations. Security features include a unique chip identification that is issued and locked during manufacturing, password-controlled write access modes, and a lock pointer to prevent changes to locked memory cells. A three-axis, eight-channel tunnel reader can write unique 96-bit identification numbers at a rate of 3000 tags/min. Tag reading is even faster at 15,000 tags/min (PJM technology, Magellan Technology Pty Limited, Annandale, Australia, http://www.magtech.com.au; "eGate.RF" tunnel reader, Balogh U.S.A., Brighton, MI, http://www.baloghrfid.com/) 13.56-MHz PJM tags, UPM Raflatac, Fletcher, NC, http://www.upmraflatac.com/).


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