Drupa 2012: August Faller codes and prints pharmaceutical folding cartons with the OMEGA printer from Atlantic Zeiser

Beyond Printing!

Atlantic Zeiser integrates OMEGA inkjet printer with eco-friendly UV LED curing technology on a production line at August Faller KG for variable coding, serialization and printing of pharmaceutical folding cartons for medicinal product packaging. Included is a VERICAM camera-based verification system for sidelining imperfect products via a wastegate. This combination ensures a zero-flaw rate, maximum print quality of 360 dpi, variability in changing print data and speeds of up to 60 meters per minute.

Atlantic Zeiser Group, a leading developer and supplier of modules and end to end system solutions for industrial digital and security printing, has developed and installed an integrated printing module at August Faller KG. The OMEGA 72i DoD inkjet printer and eco-friendly UV LED curing system SMARTCURE 75/400 for folding carton production has been designed to meet the special demands of pharmaceutical folding carton printing, coding and quality verification with wastegate control for medicinal product packaging. Using this equipment Faller, in Waldkirch, Germany, codes, serializes, prints and verifies pharmaceutical packaging for the world market and renowned pharmaceutical producers. With the OMEGA printing, serialization and coding solution from Atlantic Zeiser, variable data is applied in plain writing, as a 1-D barcode as well as a 2-D data matrix code. Directly after printing VERICAM checks the quality of the grading and, if necessary, triggers a wastegate, which automatically segregates products of unsatisfactory quality – thus ensuring a zero-fault rate in production.

In this case the demands of pharmaceutical customers are special, in order to fully comply with country-specific marking standards for the purpose of product identification and product traceability. One particular project concerns printing and coding of medicinal product packaging for the Chinese market. For this, apart from Chinese writing, a defined barcode must be applied, which contains an authentication code for product tracing, a serial number and a product code, which follow the Chinese NDC (national Chinese medicine code).

The OMEGA printer and camera-based quality control is fully integrated into Faller’s folding carton production line. Efficient coding and serialization of small runs and batch sizes with high flexibility of the printing solution are feasible due to the highest degree of variability provided by the DoD inkjet print solution from Atlantic Zeiser. As a result of the possibilities of individual printing with variable data in divergent forms Faller’s pharmaceutical customers can also reduce their stock holding of pre-printed folding cartons as they can be coded and serialized during the packaging process at the various locations of medicinal product manufacture. This production step is already covered in the fabrication of the flat folding cartons at Faller.

The high quality requirement of 360 dpi is due to the small dimensions of the surface to be printed on each individual folding carton. Four different pieces of information: serial numbers, authentication and product codes as well as other variable data must be applied individually and fully machine-readable on this surface within the 1-D barcode.

Specific characteristics for pharmaceutical packaging, required by the European Union, can now be applied easily via bar codes, serial or random alphanumeric sequences or via 2-D data matrix codes on the folding carton. Additionally printing of images and the personalization of the folding cartons for special target audiences or applications such as names or addresses are also possible. For marketing this opens up spaces that until now have been unused. August Faller KG with the OMEGA technology meets the demands for readability of codes (grading) and the integration of a wastegate function for sub-standard products, as specified by the relevant regulations. A camera system verifies the codes and checks the correctness and quality of the printed information.

Armin Rambach, project manager, August Faller KG, comments: “Originally we were looking for a new coding and printing option, because extremely variable coding, serialization and printing of medicinal product folding cartons with genuine writing and barcodes were demanded by us. We needed to apply serial numbers, authentication and product codes and other variable data on the cartons. That set us big challenges. We wanted to have an efficient and at the same time more future-proof system. With Atlantic Zeiser we found a comprehensive solution in order to meet the various requirements for print quality, speed and data exchange. Today we have implemented this and with this high-speed line we are producing high-quality folding cartons which comply with the current regulatory demands.“

Carl-Michael Heüveldop, chief marketing officer, Atlantic Zeiser, says: “The high speed coding and printing solution for pharmaceutical packaging at August Faller KG underlines the flexibility and the various uses of our industrial digital printing technology. Whenever high quality and specialised know-how in the pharmaceutical industry are concerned, the solutions of Atlantic Zeiser are the number 1 choice for leading-edge pharmaceutical specialists.“

At drupa in hall 11 stand C56 Atlantic Zeiser is exhibiting industrial digital printing solutions under the slogan “Beyond Printing“.

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