Pharmalabel, Netherlands-based supplier of pharmaceutical labels, has installed GSE Colorsat Switch dispensing system with ink manager software to boost efficiency and quality assurance in its flexo printing operations.
Pharmalabel supplies self-adhesive labels to pharmaceutical and chemical companies serving medical and veterinary hospitals and laboratories worldwide. GSE’s Colorsat Switch system and ink manager software automate all ink-related processes and tasks at the facility, including dispensing, procurement, stock management, tracing raw materials and reusing inks returned from the press.
‘Pharmaceutical labelling is a highly regulated sector where there can be no compromise in safety, said René Wingens, commercial manager at Pharmalabel. ‘GSE’s Colorsat Switch dispenser and ink manager software enables us to assure consistent, repeatable quality and minimize risk within the supply chain, in accordance with the latest Good Manufacturing Practices procedures, while significantly reducing ink waste and color preparation times.’
The dispenser blends colors and varnishes from base containers based on recipes recalled from a vast database, so that jobs requiring as little as 50 gr of ink per printing station may be reproduced to a color accuracy of within 1 DeltaE.
To compliment the dispenser Pharmalabel also invested in a GSE ink manager, a software package that automates tasks such as formula preparation, production scheduling, reusing of return inks, management reports and tracking of ink batches through the supply chain, reducing human input and risk of error.
‘At Pharmalabel, production runs are below 2000 linear meters, with many between 50 and 100. This means a high proportion of the ink mixed remains in the press after the job is finished. GSE ink manager ability to return the remaining ink and calculate them into new recipes means a reduction of ink consumption by eight percent,’ added Wingens. ‘We perform many small jobs per day, so saving a few minutes per job by instantly recalling a color recipe, automatic dispensing or avoiding manual data input, brings hours of extra machine uptime during the year.’
GSE Ink manager software is also helping Pharmalabel provide greater quality assurance to pharmaceutical brand owners, by providing traceability of raw materials. Responding to Pharmalabel’s need for greater transparency in the supply chain, GSE optimized its ink manager software, developing functionality that allows the company to record and track the expiry dates of base inks that form every batch created for a specific job. When preparing a new job, the software automatically lists the ink components according to expiry date, prompting the operator to make the appropriate selection at the interface, without the need for manual checking.
‘The installation of GSE ink manager means Pharmalabel is well-placed to adhere to revised Good Manufacturing Practices, requiring suppliers to show traceability at every stage in the workflow and supply chain,’ said Maarten Hummelen, marketing director at GSE. ‘This includes tracking inks used for a production job, so that they can be traced from the point they enter the factory as a base color, to the package they are applied to.’