Efficient serialisation with print codes and RFID

Via a data cloud

Advertisement
As part of a pilot project for the South Korean pharmaceutical manufacturer Daewon Pharm Co. Ltd, Turck, the Mülheim-based automation specialist, jointly implemented a complete solution for the serialisation of medicine packs together with various other partners. Barcodes, data matrix codes, OCR text recognition and RFID are used for identification. In a cloud-based solution, all data on the recorded medicine is made available from production to storage. cpp spoke to Frank Rohn, Head of Process Automation Sales at Turck, about the project details.

Efficient serialisation with print codes and RFID

Via a data cloud
As part of a pilot project for the South Korean pharmaceutical manufacturer Daewon Pharm Co. Ltd, Turck, the Mülheim-based automation specialist, jointly implemented a complete solution for the serialisation of medicine packs together with various other partners. Barcodes, data matrix codes, OCR text recognition and RFID are used for identification. In a cloud-based solution, all data on the recorded medicine is made available from production to storage. cpp spoke to Frank Rohn, Head of Process Automation Sales at Turck, about the project details.
Mr. Rohn, Turck has implemented a pilot project in Korea for serialising medicine packs. What did it actually involve?
Rohn: The pilot project we implemented with various other partners for the South Korean pharmaceutical manufacturer Daewon Pharm is an excellent example of automated serialisation for pharmaceutical products. This involves a lot more than the actual identification with barcodes or RFID tags: the data not only has to be available at individual points in the system but also in a network, which in the final expansion stage runs through the entire production and distribution chain. Serialisation is currently implemented right up to when the drugs are stored in the Daewon warehouse. In the final stage, wholesalers and each individual drug store can also be incorporated in the system and the data cloud.
Which other partners were involved in the pilot project and what was their contribution?
Rohn: The main contract partner for the project was Hanmi, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, which made a major contribution in terms of know-how and experience gained from implementing its own RFID system. Thanks to RFID, Hanmi revolutionised its distribution system, which also enabled the company to branch out into the U.S. market. Its subsidiary Hanmi IT, in particular, had already acquired relevant experience through the “Keidas” supply chain management system, which was developed in-house and which provided a basis for the Daewon pilot project. The software can record all production management operations – from the start of production to packaging, shipment and goods receipt, right through to the sale of the products. All information for this purpose is made available via a data cloud for all supply chain members throughout the production and distribution chain. The other project partners were South Korea Telecom (SKT) for the data cloud and Agathon, the consultancy firm, which supported us by validating the computer system.
What exactly was your role?
Rohn: Turck Korea provided the entire automation part of the project. We developed and built complete machines which print, affix, check and read the necessary codes and tags on different packaging units. These machines – the integrated labelling machine and the so-called Turck / Hanmi RFID bulk reading machines – communicate with the Keidas system, in which the production and packaging processes are displayed. We were able to use a large number of products from our portfolio for these machines: besides inductive sensors, cordsets, power supply units, VT250 HMI controllers and BL20 fieldbus gateways, the installation also included products from Banner Engineering, our optical sensor partner, such as photoelectric sensors and emergency buttons as well as cameras and vision sensors.
How does the serialisation process work at Daewon?
Rohn: We first of all integrated labelling machines directly in the production process in order to provide the drug packages with an RFID tag, which is identified with the appropriate serial number. The boxes are also provided with a 2D code and plain text containing the same information. The RFID tags and the print quality of the data matrix codes and labelling are checked directly in the machine. The RFID bulk readers are additionally available for checking multiple packs later in large cartons, both in the production section and in a version for manual operation. The machines use RFID to identify all packs in a carton simultaneously, even when it is closed. RFID provides a major benefit here compared to barcode technology: in bulk read mode, RFID can read the entire contents of a carton – up to 500 individual tags. The read process starts automatically as soon as a carton enters the machine. A total of ten RFID antennas detect all the tags in this carton. One antenna moves inside the machine in order to exclude any duplicate readings or unread packs. Following the identification stage, a barcode and serial number label are printed, then stuck onto the outside of the carton for further identification and shipment. Multiple palletised cartons are identified using RFID tags which are fitted to the pallet. All read devices are connected to a computer over an Ethernet connection, so that the real-time data of the pharmaceutical products is always accessed via the central data cloud to enable it to be assigned continuously. This end-to-end identification extends right through to shipment to the drug store as well as the customer sale.
Why are optical and radio identification processes used at the same time?
Rohn: This is precisely the strength of our serialisation solution: it’s the combination of these two identification processes that ensures a powerful and reliable overall solution. Both technologies – optical identification using a barcode, data matrix codes or OCR text recognition and RFID have their advantages. If you just compare the costs for tags and label printing, RFID is around ten times more expensive than data matrix identification. However, as the pilot project has clearly proved, RFID is the less expensive variant if the total cost of ownership, including labour and equipment, is considered. Furthermore, RFID offers benefits in terms of process speed and reliability: identification is faster and today as many as 500 tags in a closed carton can be read simultaneously. Optically based processes manage no more than 200 tags and they also require line-of-sight contact in every case. The cartons inevitably have to be unpacked. However, as most recipients at the end of the supply chain, i. e. the drug stores, don’t have an RFID reader, optical identification is required as well.
What lessons have you learned from this project?
Rohn: Firstly, all project partners were able to demonstrate jointly that serialisation and end-to-end traceability of medicine packs are possible – from the manufacturer to the user. Linking all data centrally in one place eliminates the risk of data synchronisation errors and the other drawbacks of asynchronous solutions. The pilot project enabled Turck to gain considerable experience in serialising pharmaceutical products. The know-how acquired with fully automated machines in particular, as well as with regard to the specific requirements of the pharmaceutical sector or when handling projects of this magnitude in collaboration with several partners, is of immense value to both Turck and our customers. In Korea alone there have been ten follow-up orders and discussions are currently taking place concerning similar projects in many countries. In this respect, the projects have helped us underline our claim to be a worldwide automation partner for our customers and not just a component supplier.
www.cpp-net.comOnline search: cpp0216turck
“We can detect 500 tags in a closed carton”
Advertisement

All Whitepaper

All whitepapers of our industry pages

Current issue

Titelbild cpp chemical plants   processes 2
Issue
2.2019
READ
ARCHIVE
Advertisement
Advertisement

Industrie.de Infoservice

Vielen Dank für Ihre Bestellung!
Sie erhalten in Kürze eine Bestätigung per E-Mail.
Von Ihnen ausgesucht:
Weitere Informationen gewünscht?
Einfach neue Dokumente auswählen
und zuletzt Adresse eingeben.
Wie funktioniert der Industrie.de Infoservice?
Zur Hilfeseite »
Ihre Adresse:














Die Konradin Verlag Robert Kohlhammer GmbH erhebt, verarbeitet und nutzt die Daten, die der Nutzer bei der Registrierung zum Industrie.de Infoservice freiwillig zur Verfügung stellt, zum Zwecke der Erfüllung dieses Nutzungsverhältnisses. Der Nutzer erhält damit Zugang zu den Dokumenten des Industrie.de Infoservice.
AGB
datenschutz-online@konradin.de