Packaging serialization is increasingly becoming a required feat in all manufacturing processes. Here’s why and how you should make it happen in your own packaging business.[hr]
Product serialization has been a big thing for a long time. Supply chains have been in deep need for proper serialization methods and techniques over the last years’ all-increasing global reach of businesses. As Andre Pino pointed out in SAPinsider more than 5 years ago:[quote style=”boxed”]“You can’t completely avoid recalls and similar events in your supply chain, but you can optimize your processes to better respond to them. While pressures grow — including counterfeiting, diversion, authentication challenges, regulations, and mandates — supply chain globalization, outsourced operations, and disparate supplier processes heighten the risks. Companies across all industries are challenged to better collect, track, and trace the products and information that traverse their supply chains.”[/quote]
But how does that apply to the packaging chain? The interconnection of equipment, materials and components is deemed necessary, as well as a new and more adapted coding scheme. According to Mark Shaffer, (Domino’s Life Sciences Business Development Manager), on a Packaging World article:[quote style=”boxed”]“Successful printing of a serialized code involves a lot more than just a printer (…) We need to assess how the printer will be integrated, where the data will come from, and determine if the packaging materials are compatible with the chosen coding technology. If not, what changes are required?”[/quote]
Sanjay Patel, Vice President of the Global Supply Chain at Akorn Pharmaceutical, also recommended three essential keys in the said article: educating the stakeholders and the executive management on regulations and project complexities, setting up cross-functional teams, and identifying potential partners for early project stages.
The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which will start to be implemented over 2017, has pushed many companies toward a more integrated view of serialization. Apache Packaging was one of the first companies to develop a fully aggregated serialization solution within three different paths: the development of a compliance with the DSCSA requirements, the training of employees and collaboration with vendors, and a 7 steps manufacturing and serialization process.
The future of the trend is still uncertain, but many packaging businesses are exponentially adopting its best practices for an almost limitless source of benefits. It’s a difficult step to take, but, not unlike many others that have come before it, it’s a necessary one.[hr]
Sponsored by Derprosa, leading brand in biaxially oriented polypropylene films for packaging.[hr]