Counterfeit drugs are an increasing threat to both patients and the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. Authorities around the world have issued new guidelines in the fight against pharmaceutical counterfeiters. To achieve an even better counterfeit protection, LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG and Bosch decided to implement an improved product coding. The manufacturer and developer of transdermal therapeutic systems received customer orders for the production and packaging of active ingredient patches. Data matrix codes had to be applied onto the packaging according to the drop-on-demand printing process.
In order to fulfill the technical requirements, Bosch developed a customized solution based on the existing carton printing and verification system CPS in early 2014. Atlantic Zeiser joined the project for the development of the print head. Within six months, the project team designed a prototype of the CPS 1100 AZ, which LTS is able to combine flexibly with its Bosch CAR-T5 cartoning machines. Most importantly, the ink needed to adhere reliably and with high quality even on very smooth carton surfaces. A high printing quality is particularly crucial for pharmaceuticals to ensure the readability of the serial numbers for clear identification.
With the CPS module, LTS can rely on a future-proof solution for coding and tracing pharmaceutical packaging. “It allows us to offer all customers the best possible coding quality,” explains Detlef Palm, head of production engineering at LTS. Most folding cartons are already being printed with the new module. After finalizing the project, Bosch was asked by LTS to develop two additional CPS modules based on the pilot product. One of these modules has already been upgraded with a new camera with larger viewing angle to check the serial numbers.
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