A large pharmaceutical order placed by the neighbouring continent with speedy delivery were the challenges facing the German pharmaceutical company, Teva ratiopharm, in 2013. Due to new regulations Cyrillic labels were now required for deliveries to Russia. In 2014 the company decided to launch a pilot project using label management software by AutoID specialist Opal Associates GmbH, combined with standard layout software.

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OPAL solution facilitates flexible label production

The SAP®-integrated label management lets users create a set of rules for finding the respective label formats quickly and without any programming knowledge. Its user friendliness and simple-to-use licences appealed to the team, alongside the advantage of flexible production. As soon as a label is modified using the software, the process is recorded by the OPAL label management programme, which guarantees GMP compliance.

Sturdy and long-lasting: Honeywell printers at Teva ratiopharm

Teva ratiopharm chose sturdy Honeywell industrial printers to produce the special labels. Every day around 150 PM4i and EasyCoder 501XP printers produce labels as part of the logistical process. With its maximum print speed of 300 mm per second, the PM41 makes extremely fast labelling possible. Additionally, the barcode printer can be programmed to interpret different data streams and apply them accordingly.

Following the pilot Erich Harscher, IT Business Analyst SAP® Support CoE Production with Teva ratiopharm, drew his first conclusion:

“The new solution is stable and secure. We were impressed by the flexible and trouble-free integration of the printers as well as the transparent recording of the labels. We reduced the time spent on our validation processes by a good 50 percent.”

Planned global rollout of the solution

Due to the success of the new devices an extension to the license agreement for 70 printers has been applied for. Future label orders using Japanese characters are also being discussed which could be produced with ease by the OPAL label management. There are even plans to integrate the solution into TEVA’s global strategy, with other countries implementing it operationally in the future.

Since 2010, ratiopharm has been a part of the pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, which operates globally and is the world market leader in generic-drug manufacture. In 2012, the company sent out about 320 million medical products in Germany alone, which had been packed into cardboard boxes and labelled as part of the production process. Overall, ratiopharm has an output of several thousand labels per day.

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