Rockwell introduces anti-counterfeiting serialisation solution


Proliferation of dangerous counterfeit medication is a global concern. Impending regulations across markets will require pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer packaged goods manufacturers to trace products down to the individual saleable unit across the supply chain. Rockwell Automation has introduced its new holistic serialisation solution to help manufacturers comply with these regulations. The offering can strengthen supply chains and produce a number of business benefits beyond compliance.

The holistic serialisation solution, powered by PharmaSuite MES software from Rockwell Automation, is fully integrated across all four enterprise and control system levels of the ISA-95 data model. The solution leverages the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform and services, and seamlessly connects and shares data. Data is shared between the plant floor, the enterprise, supply chain partners and the retail point of sale - and potentially, right to the customer. The common serialisation data thread, which provides real-time visibility to a company’s products and customers, can increase the efficiency and productivity of all departments in The Connected Enterprise, from manufacturing, quality and finance to supply chain, logistics and marketing.

“Life sciences - as well as many food, beverage and consumer packaged goods - companies must implement or upgrade track-and-trace systems to meet the growing number of serialisation regulations worldwide,” said Joe Whyte, global serialisation lead for Rockwell Automation. “Our serialisation solution offers manufacturers compliance, but also helps manufacturers to achieve real commercial and business benefits. The offering can help manufacturers avoid millions in inaccurate chargeback or rebate payments, and add millions in revenue by eliminating grey market product diversions. The system can reduce the cost and improve the accuracy of product recalls. Production rates that are driven by real-time consumption data can lead to optimised manufacturing and supply-chain inventories. Once the common data thread is understood, the benefits beyond compliance are nearly limitless.”

Many existing ‘black box’ serialisation solutions were custom developed, created at the machine or enterprise levels. These systems often result in integration challenges with batch-, processing- or plant-level systems, and can be difficult to maintain long-term. The holistic serialisation solution from Rockwell Automation is designed for interoperability across every level. That includes integrating with different controllers, networks and serialisation devices on the production line, as well as with MES and ERP systems at the site and enterprise levels.

As a standard solution, the system integrates into existing production lines to help minimise production interruptions and validation burdens. Additionally, Rockwell Automation offers remote-support capabilities, including real-time diagnostics monitoring and application-level support, to help minimise potential downtime for this mission-critical asset.

The holistic serialisation solution uses a GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS)-certified platform from Covectra Inc. The EPCIS-certified platform provides global serial number generation and supply chain event repository data management with business benefit applications that include downstream track-and-trace, consumer authentication, patient adherence and patient outcome monitoring.

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