Traceability and imaging for life sciences applications

Traceability in the life sciences industry provides companies with the ability to trace a product, device, or medicine through the course of its supply chain from beginning to end to reduce liability for all companies involved in the supply chain.
By AIA January 14, 2018

Traceability is an important concept in the life sciences, specifically the biological, medical and pharmaceutical industries. The ability to trace a product, device, or medicine through the course of its supply chain from beginning to end ensures safety for the end user and reduces liability for all companies involved in the supply chain.

Everyone stands to benefit from traceability, but how does imaging help? How can traceability be achieved with imaging in life sciences applications?

Why use imaging for life sciences applications?

Imaging technology allows companies to do more tasks with less investment. There are imaging systems for reading multiple types of barcodes, reading characters, measuring fill levels, inspecting surfaces of items, and archiving images for later analysis.

All of these capabilities allow a company to know some important things in regard to traceability, such as where products are, where they were, where they’re going, who all handled the product. This is traceability in a nutshell.

Imaging technology gives companies more insight into product traceability, in a shorter amount of time and with higher accuracy, than ever before. Identification applications are a great example of how imaging creates traceability, as well as the many requirements such applications place on an imaging system.

An imaging system for identification can typically read multiple codes simultaneously, whether that’s barcodes, OCRs or pattern identification for object recognition. These systems, when combined with computing capabilities either internally or externally, allow products to be traced from the raw materials source all the way to the consumer.

In order to be successful in life sciences identification applications, the imaging system is required to have a flexible depth of field and field of view, the ability to read reflective codes/text while operating at high speed, a compact size in production environments and a durable design for harsh industrial environments.

Imaging technology advances a company’s ability to trace a product, device or medicine through its entire supply chain. Imaging systems make traceability easier, faster and more reliable.

Traceability is important for everyone involved in the life sciences industries—consumers, suppliers, manufacturers and distributors. Everyone stands to benefit from traceability, and imaging systems make full traceability a reality.

This article originally appeared on the AIA website. The AIA is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3). A3 is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineeringcvavra@cfemedia.com.

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