GEN Pharma and VISIOTT Collaboration: The Start of an Era in Pharmaceutical Traceability
Location: Ankara / Turkey
The Story of Traceability – Chapter 1
Once upon a time, when pharmaceutical traceability throughout the world had not improved, GEN a company that conducts its operations with awareness to innovations, began working on traceability with VISIOTT in 2007. Who could have predicted that the two businesses, which had previously collaborated on IT consulting projects, would go on to play significant roles at the outset of the era of pharmaceutical traceability?
In February 2008, the Republic of Turkey officially started the pharmaceutical traceability process. The pharmaceutical traceability procedure, implemented throughout the country’s supply chain in 2010, is a “first” globally.
Prior to this date, the benefits of traceability were highlighted when media organizations and pharmaceutical industry dynamics began to discuss traceability advancements. For serialization, the initial stage of traceability, GEN and VISIOTT collaborated while taking into account customer health and brand reputation.
A Prerequisite for Digital Traceability: Serialization
Serialization is the process of giving each manufactured product a special serial number and applying that number to the packaging using a variety of techniques. The serialized 2D code application method is the most affordable, well-liked, and eco-friendly.
In the case of drug serialization, the Republic of Turkey has officially decided to use data matrix code. Before the traceability rules were made public, official authorities informed the stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry. Experts from VISIOTT and GEN had come together before the application was realized and discussed the solution to be developed for serialization.
For the needs of the industry, the most appropriate technique was used by VISIOTT to handle the issue, especially when it was unclear where the data matrix code would be applied on the packaging of imported pharmaceuticals. This method is known as print and apply. Engineers created the VISIOTT Print and Apply Data Matrix System, which is implemented on the GEN production line. Labels containing data matrices and readable information are automatically produced and attached to medicine containers, and their accuracy is verified using vision inspection technologies. Unverified items are departing the line via the reject system.
The VISIOTT Horizontal Manual Aggregation Station MAS-100 was created and installed in the GEN production line to enhance warehousing and shipment management. The hierarchy between the transport units was built in this manner, and the aggregation process is accomplished. The software of VISIOTT Plant Manager (Level 3) is used to notify the authority, which is the last step in traceability. This process proved the applicability of a complex and rational solution beyond time.
Integrated Success of Data Matrix and Aggregation
The cooperation between VISIOTT and GEN would be long-term as the regulation became more clear. While it was uncertain where the data matrix will be used for imported pharmaceuticals as of 2010, our country’s pharmaceutical packaging began to be made in line with the data matrix
“How can we take the data matrix applied to the next level for space-allocated packages and present it in a single system that also performs automatic aggregation?” The VISIOTT Carton Serialization with Switch System was created by VISIOTT engineers after some brief consideration. Data matrices can now be used on product packaging thanks to inkjet technology. Those with data matrix applications are automatically evaluated using vision inspection technology, and products that aren’t verified are rejected.
The data matrix and aggregation stage are linked with VISIOTT’s creative switching system because, after data matrix printing, product hierarchies are created automatically. In order to execute parcel-pallet aggregation, the switch mechanism divided the product between the bands in accordance with the contents of the package. To put it briefly, this method enabled automatic line aggregation and direct printing on the box.
It was unusual at the time to organize the serialization and aggregation process so efficiently. Thanks to VISIOTT Plant Manager, process management, reporting, and notification requirements were also fully achieved. With this innovative software, Level 4 integration of GEN with its foreign partners was also completed.
Even when aggregation wasn’t required, GEN lines used aggregation stations designed by VISIOTT engineers. Process management and monitoring of warehousing and shipping activities were made simpler as a result.
Do You Think The Story Is Over?
The GEN production facility was now a model of the “future” as a result of the installation and commissioning of the systems. Supply chain actors and other stakeholders started working on system revision as a result of the widespread usage of pharmaceutical traceability. On the other side, GEN was planning its own future with a perspective beyond its time.
The collaboration between GEN and VISIOTT, which began at the dawn of the information age, has developed into a project partnership that creates the first traceability system technologies in the world. The story of GEN and VISIOTT, who collaborated on numerous projects over the years, is still being written… Stay tuned!