Efficient Track & Trace solutions for Acino Pharma

Pioneer in Track & Trace

It must be possible to precisely identify and trace prescription-only medicines worldwide along the entire value and supply chain. Machine-readable codes on the packaging ensure unique product assignment for this purpose and form the basis for counterfeit-proof drugs in pharmacies. Depending on the country, the labelling requirement for Track & Trace also includes higher-level logistics units or trade levels. Track & Trace and the technology needed for it found its way to Acino several years ago. The key area apart from serialisation was having the necessary flexibility in the line – the aim being to have as much room for development as possible for the line staff. Having a presence in global markets with its own products and filling the orders of international customers are basic requirements. So it was recently necessary to find solutions that significantly simplified handling for the logistics units where throughput was higher and at the same time made it possible for the operating staff to run the lines in 24/5 operation with a manageable amount of training and a minimal amount of servicing.

TQS offers unlimited drug safety thanks to serialisation and aggregation

Having installed the WIPOTEC-OCS solutions, Acino can offer its customers both serialisation and also aggregation at several levels of logistics units. This simplifies the logistics processes because importers can capture the content of deliveries much faster. Along the supply chains of serialised drugs, aggregation makes it easier for wholesalers, repackagers or pharmacy chains to find out the contents of a box or pallet from the barcode. Aggregation also simplifies goods receipt, repackaging and shipping processes, not to mention considerably simplifying reporting and verification of products along the supply chain. Using aggregation, there is no need to physically open and check what is inside the pre-packaged shipping units. All the necessary data can be obtained in seconds by scanning the barcode, resulting in significant savings of time and resources. Bartlomiej Sedek is convinced that, “If aggregation becomes mandatory in countries in the future, we would not need to change any of our existing lines because of it.”

Semi-automatic aggregation is among the standard solutions which Acino offers its customers. Two more lines will shortly be added in Aesch. One of them will provide fully automated aggregation which will be implemented by pester pac automation GmbH with WIPOTEC-OCS. “Unlike others, WIPOTEC-OCS has come up with lots of new ideas in machine construction and on top of that also has the better team,” Sedek says, summing up the reasons for his decision.

ConfigureFast for the easiest handling

The overall aim in Aesch was to give the operating staff on the line more responsibility, establishing a maximum operating level. ConfigureFast, the operating concept of the TQS machines, meets these requirements very well: it is used to control the transport system, coding unit, camera, checkweigher and labeller from a single software package. For the operator, this means convenient set-up and short changeover times on product change during which there is no longer any need for the usual lengthy changes to several different user interfaces. This consistency covers all levels of aggregation. ConfigureFast will enable the line staff to convert the production lines much more easily and quickly – saving Acino a lot of time. Acino’s target is 800 layouts, combined with the claim of implementing the best packaging standards in the northwest of Switzerland. And this is the sign of special quality, easy to read and easy to see: Swiss made.