Serialization | Label Serialization Technology for Track and Trace

What is package serialization?

Package serialization is the marking of a package on the production line with a unique identifying number. These numbers are usually printed on the surface of the packaging or on a label which is then applied to the package in both human and machine-readable formats (usually a 1D or 2D barcode). These numbers are recorded and uploaded to a central database.

How much space on my production line do I need for serialization?

In-line serialization can take anything from 60-100 cm of space on the production line, depending on the shape and size of the packaging. Solutions range from standalone systems to integrated components designed to fit inside packaging equipment.

The advantage with a standalone system is product handling is part of the process already built in to the system but you must have line space to accommodate it in the production line. Our standalone serialization portfolio includes automated systems such as the T33 Automated Serialization, XMV-TE and XS2MV.

On the other hand, integrated solutions offer the flexibility to fit your production line and can be tailored to fit your space, however you must already have product handling capabilities that allow for serialization process to be incorporated. Our integrated serialization systems are available for a variety of packages using the T53 Integrated Serialization or the T63 Integrated 360 Serialization machine for round containers.

What are the requirements for serialization in the pharmaceutical production process?

A number of countries across the globe have requirements mandating the serialization of pharmaceuticals. These requirements can vary slightly from region to region, but the basics remain the same. Each individual product carton must be marked with a unique identifying number in alpha-numeric and barcode formats – usually a 2D barcode. These numbers need to be recorded and uploaded to a central database. At the point of sale, the code is scanned and checked against the central database to ensure authenticity. It may also be necessary to scan products along each step of the supply chain, depending on regulations.

What industries can benefit from the serialization process?

A large number of industries benefit from serializing their products – any industry in which counterfeit products are a problem will appreciate serialization's anti-counterfeiting capabilities.

Government legislation in the pharmaceutical industry requires manufacturers to comply with regulations. Even as a mandate, the benefits to track and trace processes are extensive for the manufacturer, providing anti-counterfeit measures and confidence for the consumer that medicines are safe which ultimately protects the company's brand reputation. 

Other industries are actively looking at ways to implement track and trace. It can be useful for luxury goods such as premium brands, alcohols and even caviar. Premium brands can utilize track and trace for added brand protection, to aid in anti-counterfeit measures. Learn more about a Petrochemicalmanufacturers' use of track & trace systems for this purpose.

What's the difference between track and trace and serialization?

You may hear these terms used interchangeably by media, public figures or government authorities, but one describes a specific step in packaging a product (serialization) and the other is the overall process (track and trace). Informally, "Serialization" has become the preferred word choice to describe the track and trace process, as the public has embraced this terminology.

Serialization is the marking of a product at the individual level with a unique identifying number. That number is recorded and uploaded to a centralized database where it can be checked at point of sale to establish the authenticity of the product. Track & Trace refers to the overall process which combines serialization with aggregation, establishing complete traceability of products as they move through the supply chain.

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