METTLER TOLEDO PCE has launched the T60 Integrated 360 Series of solutions for serialization and aggregation of bottles and vials in the pharmaceutical sector. The solution gives pharmaceutical manufacturers a 360° picture of a large range of round containers. This enables them to read and verify small product or serialization codes printed directly onto the bottle or on the applied labels. The T60 Integrated 360 Series also checks that all codes are machine-readable, ensuring no smears, misprints or quality issues are on the label. By being able to print product codes directly onto bottles and vials, instead of carton packaging, manufacturers will save time and money through having fewer labelling processes, and less systems that require maintenance.
The T60 Integrated 360 Series offers two applications:
T63 Integrated 360 Serialization – This solution can serialize directly to the applied label instead of the traditional ‘label-on-web’ application. It also verifies the content and label quality for defects such as smears or label skew to ensure top-quality product presentation, resulting in only authenticated product serialization to be recorded onto databases.
T65 Integrated 360 Aggregation – Delivers aggregation by obtaining the full 360° view of products in-line on the conveyor for final insertion into secondary boxes and cases whereas existing methods require extra processing for top-down printing of helper codes for bottle and vial.
For critical track and trace pharmaceutical applications, the T60 Integrated 360 Series provides a range of traceability applications (serialization or aggregation) across a range of bottle sizes, from 10 mm to 110 mm in diameter.
Implementing these systems will bring a number of key benefits to pharmaceutical companies. The systems are compact and can be integrated over existing packaging line conveyors, minimizing disruption. They provide an extra line of quality control with code verification capabilities, ensuring mistakes are caught early and helping to avoid potential product recalls.
The market is moving increasingly toward liquid pharmaceutical production in areas such as vaccine production, biologics, biopharmaceuticals, and other therapies that require suspension in liquids, such as cancer drugs. Consequently, there are trends towards bottle, vial and ampule production facilities being used for track and trace worldwide. The T60 Integrated 360 Series allows them to operate more efficiently and with a greater range of bottle and code sizes, according to Marco Pelka, Market Manager at METTLER TOLEDO PCE.
“It is a real challenge to be able to read smaller codes, and companies often have to introduce specialist product handling, print onto secondary packaging or onto the top of the lid to do so. With minimal disruption, pharmaceutical companies can now print small codes directly onto individual bottles, and the T60 Series systems will inspect these codes for machine-readability, as well as verifying them for ongoing traceability. Whether they want to serialize individual bottles or extend this into aggregation of products into secondary packaging such as boxes containing several bottles, the T60 Series gives them those capabilities”.
The T60 Integrated 360 Series uses a unique camera configuration of six image sensors that deliver a 360° image of the bottle. Users can choose between a Liquid Lens, that allows for 0.35 mm module size inspection, or a Fixed Focal Lens that allows for 0.2 mm module size inspection. Both the T63 and T65 use METTLER TOLEDO PCE Line Manager software, which provides serialization and aggregation configurations pre-configured in the software. The systems are suitable for integration into a variety of site installations and can be easily connected with a number of third-party coding and marking solutions.