Aggregation Solutions | Track and Trace Aggregation Technology

Aggregation Applications

Using aggregation solutions for more efficient track and trace operations

Aggregation Applications
Track and Trace Aggregation Benefits

Track and Trace Aggregation Benefits

Simplifying the shipping of products requires aggregation to a higher packaging level. If the parent-child relationships are stored via the serial numbers during aggregation, it is also possible to track individual packages across the supply chain. Each aggregated group is assigned a parent code, creating an e-pedigree for each item. Cases or pallets can be further aggregated into shipping containers.

 As pieces are added or removed, the association between the individual item and the aggreg...

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Simplifying the shipping of products requires aggregation to a higher packaging level. If the parent-child relationships are stored via the serial numbers during aggregation, it is also possible to track individual packages across the supply chain. Each aggregated group is assigned a parent code, creating an e-pedigree for each item. Cases or pallets can be further aggregated into shipping containers.

 As pieces are added or removed, the association between the individual item and the aggregated code can be altered. This is managed through data entry on the software interface. Movement of each product is recorded from its creation on the production line, through to the warehouse of a wholesaler, and eventually the point of sale where the product's authenticity can be verified. Our PCE Line Manager software features a highly configurable aggregation process that supports manual and automated aggregation of pharmaceuticals. We also offer standalone or integrated aggregation solutions designed to fit into your existing production process.

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360° Aggregation Technology Solutions

Aggregation of round products presents a challenge, as reading codes on a round surface is always difficult and reading multiple codes from a layer of vials requires additional hardware. One solution to this challenge is to print a helper code on the cap. The cap marking can be visible or invisible but requires additional hardware. The advantage of this solution is that multiple vials or bottles can be aggregated in one aggregation step.

This also increases process security, as the product is ver...

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Aggregation of round products presents a challenge, as reading codes on a round surface is always difficult and reading multiple codes from a layer of vials requires additional hardware. One solution to this challenge is to print a helper code on the cap. The cap marking can be visible or invisible but requires additional hardware. The advantage of this solution is that multiple vials or bottles can be aggregated in one aggregation step.

This also increases process security, as the product is verified in the aggregated container. Another solution is to read and aggregate products item-by-item as they are packed into the aggregated container. Our Smart Camera 360 captures a 360° view of the product, locating the code and verifying its content. Containers are immediately placed in a case, and the serial numbers are aggregated together.

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360° Aggregation Technology Solutions
Integrated Aggregation Solutions

Integrated Aggregation Solutions

Integrated aggregation solutions are the optimal choice to adding the track and trace aggregation scenario to semi- and fully automated production lines. By retrofitting case packers or palletizers with the appropriate components, manufacturers can meet aggregation requirements without significant line changes or re-engineering of production processes. 

The components of the integrated aggregation solution are designed for easy and space-saving integration and can be added to either existing or n...

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Integrated aggregation solutions are the optimal choice to adding the track and trace aggregation scenario to semi- and fully automated production lines. By retrofitting case packers or palletizers with the appropriate components, manufacturers can meet aggregation requirements without significant line changes or re-engineering of production processes. 

The components of the integrated aggregation solution are designed for easy and space-saving integration and can be added to either existing or new production equipment. We work with customers and their 3rd party equipment suppliers to deliver production equipment with integrated aggregation capabilities, delivering the benefits of aggregation without having to sacrifice production space. Our expertise has allowed us to successfully add aggregation to hundreds of production lines in a variety of different production scenarios. We will work with you to find the most effective solution for your processes. 

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Manual Aggregation

At METTLER TOLEDO PCE, we work closely with the customer to understand the package, application and regulatory requirements in order to choose the right setup and configuration of the needed camera technology and components. It may end up being more effective to use a manual aggregation workflow instead of an automated one. Our manual aggregation systems support a minimum of two aggregation levels (such as case to pallet), and can be expanded to support more if necessary. 

Whether you choose  ite...

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At METTLER TOLEDO PCE, we work closely with the customer to understand the package, application and regulatory requirements in order to choose the right setup and configuration of the needed camera technology and components. It may end up being more effective to use a manual aggregation workflow instead of an automated one. Our manual aggregation systems support a minimum of two aggregation levels (such as case to pallet), and can be expanded to support more if necessary. 

Whether you choose  item-by-item or multi-item aggregation options, we have the expertise necessary to deliver the right technology for your specific workflow. Everything from the configuration of our software to the cameras or scanners required to verify and record your aggregation data is selected to deliver an efficient and cost effective aggregation solution. 

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Manual Aggregation

FAQ's

What is the difference between a serialization and aggregation system?

Serialization and aggregation both rely on the use of unique numerical identifiers, but they are different in scale. Serialization functions on the level of an individual packaged item. Aggregation takes those individual items and bundles them together into a single reference code. Aggregation functions on multiple levels – a group of individual items become a case, cases become a pallet, pallets become a full container, etc.

Download the White Paper to Aggregation

Download the White Paper to Serialization

What products require aggregation?

For pharmaceuticals, in most countries, aggregation is not a requirement. Changes to regulations are ongoing and many countries continue to add aggregation requirements to help minimize the opportunities for counterfeit operations to gain entry into pharmaceutical distribution networks. Additionally, distributors in the US in particular have been instrumental in pushing manufacturers to aggregate products. When the US DSCSA went into enforcement starting in 2017 (and finalized in 2019), aggregation was not a requirement, however major distributors instructed pharmaceutical companies to aggregate in anticipation of legislation in the coming years. This was very forward thinking, as the US is anticipated to start enforcement of aggregation in 2023. This aids in the process for complete documentation of the chain of custody throughout the supply chain and, for distributors, makes it easier to track down a recalled product or document a potential counterfeit.  

How does aggregation benefit my production and distribution process?

Aggregation's real strength comes in the distribution process. Being able to see precisely where each individual item is as it journeys through the supply chain is a crucial element of an effective tracking program, and aggregation makes that process easy. Aggregating codes together means that as long as a container remains properly sealed, a complete manifest can be easily obtained and recorded at any point. 

Why should I aggregate?

Depending on your industry, you might be required to do so to ensure compliance. Beyond that, track and trace aggregation technology delivers security and peace of mind when it comes to the authenticity of your product at the point of sale. Having a complete recorded chain of custody from the moment a product leaves your production facility can illuminate weak spots or leaks in the supply chain. Additionally, this can make executing a product recall much simpler, as governments, third party suppliers, distributors and retailers can more easily identify the affected products.  

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