For over 120 years, STADA has been dedicated to a noble cause – the well-being of human health. The guiding philosophy and mission statement of STADA underscore their commitment to placing the health and welfare of individuals at the core of their endeavors.

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“ALL THE BEST – from STADA, of course.”

STADA Arzneimittel AG is a publicly listed company headquartered in Bad Vilbel, Hessen. It stands as Germany’s sole independent producer of generics and maintains a global presence through approximately 50 distributors across over 30 countries. Renowned products such as Grippostad®, Ladival®, and Hoggar Night® rank as top sellers within their respective product categories in Germany.

Product coding to ensure patient safety

To guarantee the traceability of pharmaceutical products throughout the entire journey from production to distribution to patients, accurate coding for each product is essential. Given that STADA has been utilizing thermal inkjet systems for coding various products, the decision was made to incorporate a G320i thermal inkjet OEM board into the Mettler Toledo XS2MV checkweigher.

G320i thermal inkjet OEM board provides simple control and system integration

The G-Series i-Tech thermal inkjet OEM board by Domino complies with all global regulations in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. It has been specifically designed for integration into high-speed systems for serialization and track & trace applications.

STADA coding requirements

Dirk Ritzke, Head of Technology at STADA Arzneimittel AG in Bad Vilbel, elaborates on their choice of this system: “At STADA, we require the ability to print high-quality 2D data matrix codes at high speeds without compromising performance. The OEM board fulfills these requirements. It integrates easily and is straightforward to control using the user interface of the Mettler Toledo checkweigher system.” The coding data is transmitted to the Domino printer through the integration with the Mettler Toledo checkweigher.

Code grading is of vital importance

Product identification codes are applied to the side of the folding box tab during STADA’s pharmaceutical product packaging process, following the insertion of blister packs into the folding box and sealing in the Uhlmann C2305 cartoner. The Domino G320i thermal inkjet OEM board is seamlessly integrated into the control cabinet of the downstream Mettler Toledo checkweigher for convenient control. The G320i thermal inkjet OEM board is utilized to imprint a 2D data matrix code, encompassing the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), batch number, and product expiry date. The batch number and expiry date are also printed in plain text beside the 2D code. Post-application, the 2D data matrix code undergoes scanning using a PCE camera to verify the accuracy of its content. If the code is accurate, the folding box proceeds along the conveyor belt, undergoes weighing, is bundled in units of 12, and is then packed into an outer carton. In the event of an incorrect 2D code, the affected folding box is removed from the production line. This line was established in 2009 to meet the labelling requirements of the French CIP 13 format. An essential factor in ensuring correct scanning of the 2D data matrix code is the code grading, influenced by various factors. Dirk Ritzke clarifies: “Properly guiding the folding box on the conveyor is a crucial aspect of grading. Additionally, carton quality and ink can impact grading.” “Running at speeds of 60-80 meters per minute on our belt weigher, we achieve a code grading between B and C. At lower speeds, we attain a grading of A or B,” notes Dirk Ritzke.

Serialisation in accordance with EU Regulation 2016/161 is implemented 

The Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2016/161, aimed at preventing counterfeit medicines, mandates that, starting from 9 February 2019, only prescription medications featuring a unique serial number on the packaging and a tamper-evident seal demonstrating integrity are allowed on the German market. Considering this requirement, STADA has introduced a new system incorporating a Domino thermal inkjet system.

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