Pharmalabel assures quality and reduces risk in label supply chain with GSE Colorsat ink dispenser and Ink manager software12 December 2019
Pharmalabel, the Roosendaal (Netherlands)-based supplier of pharmaceutical labels, has boosted efficiency and quality assurance in its flexo printing operations after installing a Colorsat Switch dispensing system with Ink manager software from ink logistics solutions provider GSE.
Founded in 1978 and part of the St Luc Group, 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 Pharmalabel facility, including dispensing, procurement, stock management, tracing raw materials and reusing inks returned from the press.
René Wingens, commercial manager, Pharmalabel, comments: “Pharmaceutical labelling is a highly regulated sector where there can be no compromise in safety. GSE’s Colorsat Switch dispenser and Ink manager software enables us to assure consistent, repeatable quality and minimise risk within the supply chain, in accordance with the latest GMP1 procedures, while significantly reducing ink waste and colour preparation times.”
The Colorsat Switch system generates and dispenses spot colours for all jobs printed on Pharmalabel’s flexo presses with speed and precision. The dispenser blends colours and varnishes from base containers based on recipes recalled from a vast database, so that jobs requiring as little as 50 grammes of ink per printing station may be reproduced to a colour accuracy of within 1 DeltaE. GSE Ink manager is an ink management 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.
The ability to hit accurate colour targets rapidly and reuse ‘press return’ inks brings benefits to Pharmalabel, a specialist in short runs. Mr. Wingens comments: “At Pharmalabel, production runs are below 2000 linear metres, with many between 50 and 100LM. This means a high proportion of the ink mixed remains in the press after the job is finished. GSE Ink manager software’s ability to return the remaining ink and calculate them into new recipes means a reduction of ink consumption by eight percent.
“We perform many small jobs per day, so saving a few minutes per job by instantly recalling a colour recipe, automatic dispensing or avoiding manual data input, brings hours of extra machine uptime during the year,” Wingens says.
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 optimised its Ink manager software, developing functionality that allows the customer to record and track 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.
Maarten Hummelen, marketing director, GSE, comments: “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. 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 colour, to the package they are applied to.”
With 1,900 installations worldwide, GSE provides comprehensive ink logistics solutions, including dispensing systems, tabletop proofers and management software, for label, packaging, wallpaper, textile and industrial coatings applications.