Inkjet & Digital Printing
Minimizing costs, increasing speed
Wednesday 11. April 2018 - At this years ACHEMA trade show in Frankfurt, Atlantic Zeiser (hall 3.1, stand B11) will showcase how to implement cost-efficient late stage printing of complete pharmaceutical labels for vials with variable and serialized data, achieving a brilliant, abrasion-proof printing quality.
Using the innovative, digital high-speed DIGILINE Label printing system, pharmaceutical companies and contract packers can replace older technologies such as the comparatively slow thermal transfer printing and time-consuming flexo printing method. Shortly before the beginning of the trade show, two renowned pharmaceutical manufacturers decided to switch to DIGILINE Label. One of them has ordered two machines – nearline versions that can also be used as an offline solution (roll-to-roll), if required. The machines are designed as so-called Whitelines. Blank labels are printed with the artwork (which is uploaded as a PDF) and the variable data during the same step. Afterwards, the print – artwork and variable data – is checked by a line scan camera. If a misprinted label is detected, it is cancelled “on the fly” by means of another printing system. The cancellation itself is counter checked, also on the fly. Cancelled labels are removed later in the labeling machine. The other pharmaceutical manufacturer has purchased an offline version for printing labels in a roll to roll fashion. The machine is designed to produce lot sizes from 1 to 100,000 labels. In this application, a station for manual removal of faulty labels including counter control is integrated. This way it is assured that only “good” labels remain on the finished produced roll. Moreover, the product specifications included special ergonomic requirements. “These two orders once again demonstrate the DIGILINE Label’s versatility in fulfilling a wide range of customer requirements”, says Frank Sablinski,
Director Sales Pharma & Packaging Solutions at Atlantic Zeiser. “Thanks to the fully digital printing technology, print jobs can be loaded and started quickly without requiring mechanical changeovers. That can save up to 60 minutes per print job. And the running expenses are more than 30 percent lower compared with thermal transfer printing.”
Process reliability thanks to the re-check function
At any rate, the contact-free OMEGA DoD UV inkjet printer is the DIGILINE Label’s centerpiece. It ensures brilliant print quality on various label materials such as paper, PP, PE, and PVC. Another benefit: the print features supreme resistance to abrasion, light, and alcohol-based solvents. The high-resolution inspection camera can be set up easily by means of an intuitive user interface. Even at high production speeds, it reliably checks contents and quality of text and code elements. The downstream work station allows users to manually remove misprinted labels, and replace them with blank labels which are about to be reprinted subsequently. This way, there are no gaps on the finished printed roll. Thanks to the re-check function, during which the camera re-checks reworked sections, operator errors are virtually eliminated. The optionally available Unique Code Software database application also allows users to reliably serialize pharmaceutical labels. Producing duplicate serial numbers is virtually impossible, even during intentional and unintentional production breaks. The system can manage nearly unlimited number ranges. Reporting and sharing of serialized data, e.g. with third parties, is an integral component of the software.