Crest Solutions, a leading solution provider to the pharmaceutical industry and Eisai Machinery U.S.A. Inc. one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical equipment manufacturers have together launched a compelling new track and trace packaging system that supports changes in local and international regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical industry. The PharmaMarker system integrates easily into pharmaceutical production and packaging lines to support more stringent industry regulations in the areas of coding and traceability of pharmaceutical products.
France (CIP13), Turkey (ITS) and California (E-pedigree) have already introduced their own individual regulation plans for the labeling and traceability of packages and other regions are poised to follow shortly. These regulatory changes will lead to a more secure supply chain management system in the area of pharmaceutical production and delivery to end-users. The PharmaMarker system has been developed to meet these challenges by coding, verifying and tracking up to 450 pharmaceutical cartons per minute to ensure that they can be fully traced along any point in their production lifecycle. The PharmaMarker system integrates easily into a production line either as a stand-alone product or as a component of an integrated packaging line. The PharmaMarker system marks the product cartons with a data matrix code which it then verifies to determine the pass or fail path which the carton then follows along the production line. Cartons that pass the verification station have their code details commissioned on Crest Solutions Protrack™ traceability software’s database which can be shared with regulatory or ERP environments, such as SAP.
Crest Solutions has been at the forefront in solving packaging management problems for pharmaceutical manufacturers for the last 12 years and is well positioned to understand the industry’s requirements. Frank Madden, CEO with Crest Solutions, said “The experience that we have gained from our extensive customer deployments and our collaboration with Eisai Machinery enabled us to develop the right product for the market. This system is capable of handling new track and trace regulations not only coming into place now but also those due in the future”. He added, “The cost to the Pharmaceutical industry and to patient safety is too great to be ignored, there is significant market potential for this product as companies need to comply with new regulations. We are very pleased with the interest shown already and expect to sign up a new customer shortly”.
Michael de la Montaigne, President of Eisai Machinery U.S.A. Inc., stated “The PharmaMarker is an easy-to- integrate, easy-to-validate solution for tracking and tracing pharmaceutical products, thus enabling manufacturers to immediately comply with ongoing regulations whilst also improving patient safety, counteracting fraud and creating a more secure supply chain. We are dedicating our resources and expertise in Vision and machine building while working strategically with our partner Crest Solutions, utilising their intuitive software which has helped make this an industry leading solution.”
Along with Crest Solutions’ line management and traceability software, combined with the machine manufacturing expertise of Eisai Machinery U.S.A. Inc., the PharmaMarker solution combines the high resolution in-sight vision system technology of Cognex and the industry’s leading coding and printing technologies of the Domino G-Series thermal ink jet printer to create a best-of-class solution for the pharmaceutical industry.
Kris Bierbaum, Manager Strategic Alliances, Cognex Corporation, said “Crest Solutions is a key Partner System Integrator (PSI) in our long term strategy to address the pharmaceutical industry. Eisai Machinery U.S.A.’s PharmaMarker uses our High Resolution In-Sight® vision system, which is the preferred platform for pharmaceuticals applications, due to its compact form factor and ease-of-integration. In-Sight® reliably reads, grades, and verifies printed data with unmatched and repeatable performance. Eisai, Crest and Cognex joint collaboration of industry expertise makes the PharmaMarker the ideal solution for companies that want a reliable and adaptable solution to meet regulatory changes without reducing existing production line parameters”.
Craig Stobie, Global Healthcare Manager at Domino, commented “We were very pleased that Domino was selected to supply coding devices for this solution. The number of emerging regulatory schemes for the coding, marking and labeling of healthcare packaging is one of the most significant challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector. Integrating seamlessly with Domino’s technologies for the healthcare sector — amongst which are the G-Series thermal ink jet and D-Series laser coding ranges — PharmaMarker is a highly proficient solution that addresses both immediate and longer term market requirements.”
PharmaMarker works by printing cartons with a data matrix code using a non contact thermal ink jet or laser print head. Cartons are then conveyed past a Cognex high resolution vision system to precisely verify label data and correct cartons pass to the next point in the production line while failed cartons are removed using its automatic reject system. The system employs Crest Solutions’ LineDirector™ software to manage all the peripherals on the line and Crest Solutions’ Protrack™ real time traceability software is used to accurately record event data for complete compliance with track and trace regulations.
Crest Solutions (crestsolutions.ie) and Eisai Machinery, USA, Inc. (eisaiusa.com) are currently in discussions with several companies to roll out the product globally. The PharmaMarker is available for demonstration and trials at Eisai Machinery USA’s headquarters in Allendale, NJ, and also at Crest Solutions facilities located in Cork, Ireland.