Serialisation for pharmaceutical company packaging
Sometimes a tour of De Budelse leads to progressive insight and a request for complex printed matter. As a specialist in packaging, we love challenges, and we like researching solutions for new customers. Especially if that customer belongs to one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The outcome of this research leaves you wanting more.
Printing QR codes with an inkjet printer
DThe question arose whether we could print QR or 2D matrix codes on boxes made from microwave cardboard. De Budelse has this technology in-house. We print variable data on packaging using existing digital machines. The 1 millimetre thickness presented an extra challenge for this packaging. After some research, we found a solution that complies with all checks and GMP guidelines.
Scan and approve QR codes
Accuracy is critical for pharmaceutical companies. That is why we have a scanner behind the printer that scans and approves the QR codes. Each box has a unique QR code. Within the European Union, this will become mandatory for pharmaceutical companies. It does not matter whether we have to print one box or a thousand.
All functions under one roof
DAn inkjet printer and a scanner investment seems like a small step. The impact is huge. From now on, we can manage “printing – die-cutting – labelling – printing with unique codes” under one roof. This solution leads to both a satisfied customer and a satisfied manufacturer for the serialisation of folding boxes.
The words of a customer: Willem Koster (COO Vitals)
‘De Budelse has lived up to high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer’
Vitals ambition is to develop the most progressive food supplements. The quality and scientific substantiation of the ingredients are central to this. This ambition also includes a conscious choice for sustainability. “As a company, we are a strong supporter of the circular economy,” says Willem Koster, COO of Vitals. “That is why we opt for optimally recyclable packaging, and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint. That’s how we came to De Budelse, who now prints our bilingual packaging on Paperwise cardboard.”
Vitals never stands still. The company is continuously expanding its range, improving products and entering new markets. For example, we wished to further market our food supplements in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “We seized the opportunity of these expansion plans to make a step towards sustainability,” Willem Koster continues.
Biobased containers and boxes from agricultural waste
When choosing packaging, Vitals faced an important consideration: what is the most sustainable solution? “We opted for new, recyclable, biobased plastic containers,” Willem Koster explains. “They are packaged in boxes made of PaperWise cardboard. It is a CO2-neutral product made from plant residues left over after harvesting. Using agricultural waste as a raw material for paper and cardboard is environmentally friendly, and it gives farmers an extra source of income.”
we opt for optimally recyclable packaging and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint
Vitals inquired at PaperWise which printer was suitable for printing this sustainable cardboard packaging. A referral brought the company into contact with De Budelse. Willem Koster is very pleased with the collaboration. “De Budelse already had experience with PaperWise cardboard and seemed to have advanced collaboration possibilities. That was the deciding factor for us in choosing them. And let’s be honest: De Budelse has more than lived up to the high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer. Not only do they print the boxes in two languages, but they also arrange for the printing of the associated labels. And they took us on board from the very first design. It is really great for Vitals to have a single point of contact for all printed matter.”
Willem Koster notices that the collaboration with De Budelse has made further progress in the possibilities of managing files, ordering, storing and delivering printed matter. “In the long run, we will certainly make use of these opportunities,” he reflects on the future. “We would like to be more self-sufficient. For example, it works much more effectively if we adjust the designs, prepare them for production and place the orders via the automated system, without intervention from third parties. Once we have control by ourselves, it will be child’s play to make small adjustments and place orders.”
Vitals is pleased that De Budelse also attaches great importance to the unique combination of ambition and sustainability. “We are not a marketing company that sells hot air,” concludes Willem Koster. “Ambition is our starting point. We want to develop progressive food supplements that meet a need. The information we provide is crucial. A product will not be included in our range without a solid scientific basis. In addition, we want to take care of people’s health and the health of our planet. It’s great that those values are also shared by De Budelse.”
Braille on packaging: down to the last detail at De Budelse
Manufacturers of medicines are legally obliged to have the name of the medicine printed in Braille on the packaging. De Budelse is increasingly producing packaging for healthcare customers, so we are constantly working internally to improve this part of the process. With the investment of two new machines, we dare to say: De Budelse has mastered the application of Braille on packaging for medicines down to the last detail.
Processes with risks
How De Budelse applies Braille to packaging has evolved considerably in recent years. A few years ago, we used a combination of a punching machine and a set of dies.
Traditionally, we provided a multitude of packaging with the correct Braille script at the same time. This process was not without risks. There was a chance of error with every package.
We are continuously working internally to improve the process.
As a successor, we use a folding/glueing machine that can also apply Braille. With this machine, two rollers – with a Braille tape in between – are interlocked. We store the used Braille tapes in the warehouse. Wear and tear or incorrectly stored Braille tape increases the risk of errors, and we obviously don’t want that.
We recently acquired a machine to produce the Braille tapes ourselves. We now use a new tape for every print run, and we recycle the old ones.
Error reduction down to zero
De Budelse has also invested in a new folding/glueing machine that can apply Braille to a box in two places simultaneously. With one machine, we reduce the chance of error; with the other, we increase efficiency. Whichever machine we use: we always check whether the Braille is correct with Eye-C. This way, we reduce the risk of incorrect Braille writing to zero.
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