Through pill marking, quality assurance and more, laser-based manufacturing processes and machine vision make medications safer for consumers and more profitable for pharmaceutical companies, says Dav

  • Industry News
  • Feb 10,22
Through pill marking, quality assurance and more, laser-based manufacturing processes and machine vision make medications safer for consumers and more profitable for pharmaceutical companies, says David Benderly.
Through pill marking, quality assurance and more, laser-based manufacturing processes and machine vision make medications safer for consumers and more profitable for pharmaceutical companies, says Dav

In the multidisciplinary pharmaceutical industry, photonics plays an increasingly crucial role in the manufacturing process. From quality assurance to marking, the scope of photonics is wide-reaching. Specifically, the use of lasers and machine vision in pill manufacturing is revolutionising functionality, security and speed while reducing overall cost.

Data-matrix code, laser-inscribed on gelcaps with encrypted manufacturing information

In emerging economies, a growing problem exists with the development of medication containing a lower dosage of active ingredients, leading to patients not receiving the drug’s full benefit. Worst-case black-market scenarios involve nonpharmaceutical-grade or harmful ingredients resembling medication, such as chalk and talcum powder, being used as substitutes.

The grey market, on the other hand, manifests itself in several ways, but with reselling, importing, and exporting that ultimately can have high costs both for the end consumer and the manufacturer. 

Pharmaceutical manufacturers should express concern over the grey market, particularly since it most commonly affects their bottom-line profit. When medicine is inexpensive in less-developed countries but moves through the grey market to be resold in countries without drug pricing regulation. Laser marking of unique product identification, both overt and covert, helps control and promote an orderly supply chain.

Lasers for pharma
Lasers now are used in several ways for pharmaceuticals, particularly where traceability and security are important considerations. Packaging is being laser-marked with a unique identification number, allowing for manageable tracking through the supply chain. A given product can be traced to a specific manufacturing facility, batch number or manufacturing date, providing transparency and accountability, and ultimately boosting consumer confidence. With pill marking, high-speed lasers have the capability to mark on the fly with a unique identification number, if desired – even down to individual pill level – without slowing down production speed.


About the author:
David Benderly is the CEO of PhotoScribe Technologies - the global leader in designing, manufacturing and advancing custom laser systems.

For details on Adavanced Optowave, contact C. And C. Laser Engineering Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, on Tel: +91 22 4972 7168, Mob: +91 98331 05515, Email: sawant@cnclaserengg.com, or visit www.cnclaserengg.com 

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