Instruction leaflets accompany pharmaceuticals to help ensure the appropriate directions are available to consumers. The pharmaceutical industry needs to be diligent in checking that the appropriate instruction leaflets accompany their packages. These leaflets need to be checked on both sides to ensure correct print and handling. This validation is done by matching the 2-D code on both sides of the leaflet with a reference code.
B3Servis is a folding machine builder that serves multiple industries in the Slovenian market, including pharmaceuticals. In order to maintain and grow its business in leaflet instructions printing, B3Servis wanted to comply with the latest GS1 recommendations for the healthcare sector. B3Servis’ business goal was to upgrade from the existing laser-based system that can only read 1-D codes to an image-based system, giving them the ability to reliably check 2-D codes on a high-speed folding machine. The folding machine processes up to 30,000 pieces per hour with a flyby speed of approximately three meters per second.
Instruction leaflets, handled by B3Servis, also come in different sizes and the codes will be positioned differently depending on the size, so the reader needs to support multiple configurations of the leaflets. In an effort to establish correct reads, it was often necessary to set the exact position of the tape in front of the readers. B3Servis turned to DataMan® fixed-mount barcode readers to address code reading challenges on its printed instruction leaflets.
One of the advantages of using fixed-mount DataMan barcode readers in B3Servis products is the ability to read both 1-D and -2D codes at the same time. The system is capable of checking older versions of leaflets with 1-D codes and also newer versions with 2-D codes. To support varying leaflet positions and sizes, DataMan barcode readers provide an easy alternative with an integrated aimer light and a large field of view. Because instructions are printed on both sides of the leaflet, two readers are positioned to read both sides, top and bottom, simultaneously. In case of a match to the reference code, they output a digital signal.
The top reader and the trigger sensor are movable in order to cover positions of different leaflet formats. The operator physically sets up the top reader and sensor to point to the code. Then all the operator has to do is start the system which automatically checks leaflets against a reference code. In case of a wrong, missing or damaged code, the system stops the machine. At the same time statistics are sent to the PC giving the production manager an overview of the system’s performance.
B3Servis end customers find that the solution with DataMan barcode readers is much easier to use and more effective. Mr. Kramaric, Director of B3Servis, describes the improvements, “With the old system, the production manager had to write a work order, print it and bring it to the operator. Then he retyped the data into a local computer and again into an operator panel. With the new system, the work order can be entered into the server immediately. The operator only needs to select the required work order. From that point everything goes automatically.” In addition to its user friendliness, DataMan barcode readers can easily keep pace with the high speed of the printing machines and are, with 45 reads per second, even faster than originally required.