Group Reports Progress on an Open Serialization Communication Standard

Published on: 

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-09-07-2016, Volume 11, Issue 9

The Group is focusing on standardizing data exchanges between the enterprise serialization management function and product packaging lines.

The Open Serialization Communication Standard (Open-SCS) Group, which held a meeting in Princeton, NJ recently, reports that it is making progress toward its goal of drafting core serialization standards to facilitate data exchange for packaging line serialization and aggregation.

Open-SCS was established in 2015 by pharmaceutical manufacturers that include Abbott, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Roche and Teva, as well as such vendors as Antares Vision, OCS, Omron, Optel Vision, Systech, TraceLink and Werum IT Solutions. Working together with the OPC Foundation, the group’s goal is to develop an open-source standard in the packaging serialization global name registry, and an associated set of subscription-based work products.  

The open standard and work products are focused on standardizing data exchanges between a healthcare provider’s enterprise serialization management function and its product packaging lines. This includes interfaces between packaging levels of automation (equipment, line, plant) and distribution centers, warehouses, and contract manufacturing organization partners. 


The Open-SCS initiative is designed to enhance interoperability across serialization activities and the systems performing these activities from the equipment level (Level 1) and packaging line (Level 2) to site operational management (Level 3) and enterprise serialization functions (Level 4).

The group is currently working to create communication specifications between Levels 3 and 4 layers (plant and enterprise repositories), leveraging its combined experience deploying serialization platforms and interfacing with all common repositories and ERP solutions. Vendors are encouraged to contribute to the group's definition of use cases, while operating companies gain free access to advanced packaging serialization user requirement specification (URS) for the proposed use cases. The standard, once published, will be free for anyone to use. The group’s next workshop will be held on September 2016 in Germany.