Sick Solution Helps Traceability and Safety Demands for SHL’s Auto-injector Assembly Machine

Tracking and tracing material numbers using a 2D code reader, preventing damages and injuries via safety light curtains and safety locking devices and controlling quality in limited mounting space with compact and precise sensors in an auto-injector assembly machine.

The SHL Group is the world’s largest privately-owned designer, developer and manufacturer of advanced drug delivery devices, including pen-injectors, auto-injectors and inhaler systems. It consists of three distinct group companies: SHL Medical, SHL Healthcare and SHL Technologies. Limited mounting space, traceability and safety requirements have led SHL to look for a supplier able to provide a solution for these challenges. Usually SHL uses fiber optic sensors in assembly-testing machines. However, due to a specific request of one of its customers to use compact sensors instead of fiber optic sensors, SHL identified SICK as a supplier able to provide a compact sensor that fits its applications. One requirement was a sensor with a precise light spot able to detect a transparent glass syringe tube. Additionally, a miniature 2D code reader was needed to trace material numbers. Lastly, to prevent damage to its machines and prevent an operator getting injured, SHL required a safety light curtain and safety locking devices for doors.

For traceability, SHL identified, in close cooperation with SICK, the image-based code reader (ICR803) as an ideal solution for handling the tracing requirement. The code reader perfectly fits into the limited space SHL has available for mounting. To fulfill the requirement of having compact optic sensors that were precise and easy to align, SHL relied upon SICK’s proximity sensor with PinPoint technology (WTB4 PinPoint) with a clear, visible red light spot and SICK’s laser proximity sensor (WT9L) with a very precise light spot able to detect small parts inside the syringes. Additionally, both SICK sensors provided a perfect price-performance ratio. The safety light curtain (C2000) and the safety locking device (i10 Lock) from SICK provided machine and operator safety. SICK‘s ability to provide various solutions and sensor expertise has met the customers’ needs as a partner for total sensor solutions.

This is an application success story from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Automatic Laser Marking For Farm Produce Traceability

It’s 7 o’clock… do you know where your produce came from?

If you have fruits or vegetables from Wishnatzki farms, you not only know where it came from, but also what field it came from, what day and time it was picked, and who picked it! Wishnatzki Farms has taken the Produce Traceability Initiative to heart. The Produce Traceability Initiative, or PTI, is an effort to increase value throughout the produce harvest chain by encouraging accountability. Some ambitious companies, including Wishnatzki Farms, are even using it for customer feedback purposes, constantly improving their techniques and procedures. So what does a MOOG Animatics SmartMotor have to do with produce traceability? The answer is FireTag.

“We didn’t try any other servo motor because we needed 100% reliability. The SmartMotors haven’t failed yet and we don’t expect them to. FireTag isn’t designed just for the clean room environment but for the farm factory floor, so durability and reliability were key in our decisions” said Rob Ogilbee, CFO of VirtualOne.

This is an application of MOOG Animatics
Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of MOOG Animatics in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

2D code reading on medical products

During the manufacture and packaging of sutures, it must be ensured the products and leaflets included match.

During the manufacture and packaging of sutures, it must be ensured the products and leaflets included match. Incorrect mixing of products must be reliably avoided. For this purpose the batch number in a 2D code on the product packaging must be compared with the order number on a sheet of paper with product information. Safety aspects, quality requirements as well as the traceability of each production batch make 100% inspection necessary.

The manufacturer of medical products decided to use the SICK ICR 850 data matrix reader. During the packaging process, the sutures are placed in a packaging tray. Before the sheet of paper with the product information is placed on top, ICR 850s read the data matrix code on the product. The code contains part of the batch number that is then compared with the current order code. If the codes match, the sheet of paper with the product information is placed on top. This check ensures any incorrect mixing of products on the packaging line is detected at an early stage and the use of incorrect data sheets prevented.

Using the ICR 850, a solution that is not only reliable, but also particularly easy to use is achieved. At the start of the packaging order, the reader is automatically taught the related order match code: the ICR 850s can be rapidly prepared for use. The devices are connected the machine PLC over Profibus using CDM 420 fieldbus gateways. The use of this proven function block ensured smooth data exchange from the start. In operation, various diagnostic information from the ICR 850 are displayed on an industrial PC. Teaching, match code, codes read, no reads, error messages as well as diagnostics can be viewed directly on site by the machine operator.

This is an application From SICK

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of SICK in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

In-Sight used for pharmaceutical product traceability assured through advanced 2-D code reading

cognex-pharm-2d-code-readingA Cognex solution for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Within the pharmaceutical industry, stringent legislation exists to combat counterfeit goods by ensuring each product can be traced throughout the supply chain. In order to achieve the required levels of traceability, manufacturers are increasingly reliant on printed 2-D codes combined with advanced code reading technology.

With over 60 million medicine boxes manufactured and distributed each year from the facility in Turkey, accurate and reliable code reading were essential to achieve the required levels of traceability. Furthermore, the ability to read multiple codes within one field of view as well as any potentially blurred or distorted codes were challenging application requirements.

An Integrated Solution
Designed as a pre-shipment product traceability solution, Advanco has developed an Optical Box™, comprising of a Cognex® In-Sight® ID reader and an innovative light system that provides the most suitable environment for multiple code reading.

From the outset, the code reading solution has ensured high read rates for all products, even when the 2-D codes have been obscured by the plastic shrink wrap. With these accurate and reliable read rates, the customer is now 100% satisfied that all 2-D codes are fully readable before leaving the facility.

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Pharmaceutical product traceability assured through advanced 2-D code reading



Complete traceability of surgical instruments using White Reader

Cognex white readerBased on the Cognex DataMan® 100 industrial ID reader, the White Reader offers unrivalled reading performance of Data Matrix codes in a compact format. Equipped with a patented three-color lighting system specially developed for surgical instruments, it reads all Data Matrix codes efficiently, including those that are damaged, three times faster than other readers on the market.

Identification technologies, tried and tested in other industries, now offer real potential previously unexploited in hospitals. ID code reading can ensure the individual monitoring of instruments during the sterilization process, re-compile instrument sets for use in operating rooms and create a link between the instruments used with the patient file. Medical and pharmaceutical equipment is beginning to be regularly marked with Data Matrix codes, which provide extra security and data protection. With the Cognex DataMan 100 code reader inside, the White Reader, developed and manufactured by TPL Vision of France, permits the effective creation of full inventories of surgical instruments with 100% reliable traceability. Sterilization department managers are virtually guaranteed a zero error rate in re-compiling sets of instruments; and hospital financial managers can find out the exact status of their establishment’s instruments in real-time.

Patented three-color lighting, specially developed for surgical instruments Complex shapes, variable types of surface and engraving, etc., presents a range of complex lighting problems for reading Data Matrix codes on surgical instruments. The White Reader offers three different lighting configurations for the immediate and effective reading of all Data Matrix codes, including damaged ones, marked on medical and pharmaceutical equipment. The use of three-color lighting optimizes the contrast between the imager and the surface of the instrument, ensuring a clear image that is easily decoded by the camera; whatever the instrument type (shape, colour, finishing material, type of engraving): Green to read codes engraved using a laser. Red to decode dot peen codes on shiny and convex surfaces. Blue to decode dot peen codes on matt and flat surfaces. Easy to use and reads codes three times faster The White Reader is mounted on an adjustable stand which means that users can keep their hands free when re-compiling instrument sets and facilitates the organization of the work surface. It also has a viewing window which makes it easy to see when a code is placed in front of the camera lens correctly, increasing the read speed and performance.

Thanks to all of these features the White Reader reads a typical set of surgical instruments three times faster than other readers on the market. White Reader saves time The White Reader has been tested by numerous professionals who have appreciated its ease-of-use, the way it integrates extremely well into the inspection process and the improved productivity that has resulted from its introduction. Annick Illtis, Sterilization Manager at the Centre Hospitalier de Longjumeau, comments: “Time has been saved since the reader performs well and can read the three types of codes we currently use in our field. We chose the White Reader for its reading speed which we were able to compare with our current readers, as well as for its ergonomic design.”

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Complete traceability of surgical instruments using White Reader, based on the Cognex DataMan

Cognex readers power LABELYS solution for comprehensive cheese production management and traceability

A comprehensive identification and traceability solution featuring  Cognexcognex-labelys-cheese

LABELYS, founded in 2004 and based in eastern France, specializes in producing labels made of casein (a milk protein biocompatiable with cheese) This method cannot be removed nor falsified. It becomes the cheese’s passport.  providing reliable identification that allows producers to protect their wares and their brand, defending against imitations and guarantee flawless traceability. Since cheese evolves as it matures reading the label can become a challenging task.

Application Solution:
Growth in the use of Data Matrix codes, with higher data capacity and density, encouraged LABELYS to add to its range of code reading systems suitable for this type of marking. After testing multiple competitors, the company selected Cognex DataMan readers.

Cognex readers provide uniform results despite the variations in label quality, fully rebuilding coded from available data to ensure 100 percent identification.

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Cognex readers power LABELYS solution for comprehensive cheese production management and traceability

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability of Direct Part Mark Products

cognex-id-reader-enables-part-tracebility-of-direct-part-mark-productWhen Canadian energy services company Packers Plus needed to read challenging dot peened codes on a variety of parts, they specified Cognex® DataMan® handheld ID readers. The company’s StackFRAC® system consists of many parts, each marked with a unique 2D Data Matrix code that enables traceability throughout its useful life.

Traceability delivers two important benefits for Packers Plus. First, it reduces rework costs by providing better manufacturing process control and ensuring that the right parts are used at every stage of production. Second, it enables Packers Plus to quickly retrieve information on 100% of the parts in every system that has been shipped out their door, including production history and quality control information.

In the past, Packers Plus manually recorded information such as lot numbers, heat numbers, quality control measurements and other information in a spreadsheet. “This was a very time-consuming manual process that took approximately four hours for each product, so we only did it when necessary,” said Marlon Leggott, Director of Manufacturing for Packers Plus. “Another problem with the manual process is that it is susceptible to mistakes, such as data entry errors.”

Selecting marking and reading tools

Packers Plus considered a number of different options for improving traceability when it installed its new ERP system. Kurtis Weber of iTech Tool Technology helped Packers Plus design the traceability solution. “We looked at labels with standard line bar codes but determined they would have to come off during assembly, which would negate many of the advantages of serialization,” Weber said. “RFID tags don’t work well with various metal parts because of interference with reading and writing the tags. Laser marking overcomes all of these problems but laser marking machines begin at $50,000 and have to be enclosed — which causes problems when used to mark large pieces — and cannot easily be moved from place to place. We recommended a dot peen marking system because it is permanent, does not rely on fragile RF transmissions, costs only about $10,000 per machine, and is available in fixed or mobile models. The mobility allows us to easily move around the plant and successfully mark any size part in a variety of orientations.” With dot peen marking, a carbide or diamond-tipped stylus pneumatically or electromechanically strikes the material surface.

Packers Plus then faced the difficult challenge of reading the marked parts. The challenge arises from the fact that Packers Plus makes parts with curved surfaces and many different materials and coating combinations. Nearly any reader can be adjusted to provide perfect accuracy on a particular combination but Packers Plus wanted a reader that could deliver high levels of accuracy on any part. “We recommended Cognex DataMan handheld readers because they adjust the lighting to match the part and use the industry’s most  advanced algorithm  for picking out the 2D Data Matrix code from the background,” Weber said. “This is the only product I have seen that is capable of accurately reading the wide range of parts used by Packers Plus.” 

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ID Readers Enable Part Traceability for Direct Part Marked Products