by David HABIB
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The secrets of coding integrity: questions to an expert

Manufacturers need to make sure that marking is correct and readable to ensure compliance with regulations, transparency for customers and to minimize product rework, scrap and recalls. We talk to David Habib, Markem-Imaje’s North America Solution Architect for Packaging Integrity for an expert’s view. 

David, what’s your background in coding integrity? 

I’ve been working in the coding and marking industry for 30 years now. I started off in sales and product management but found that my main passion was helping customers solve their compliance and authentication problems. This got me into the field of coding solutions, and specifically coding and packaging integrity. In my role, I work collaboratively with customers to find solutions that address their unique business challenges. Our goal is to develop innovations that drive their bottom-line growth and save costs.   

Why is packaging integrity important? 

Coding errors can be enormously costly. Over 70% of packing coding errors are caused by operator input. If items have been incorrectly marked this can hinder supply chain logistics and distribution and make products non-compliant. Problems need to be identified before too many items have been improperly marked – or worse, sent to market. Sometimes errors are only noticed after manual inspections, which is time-consuming and labour-intensive. 

What is the best way to avoid errors? 

As a solution architect, my objective is to design intelligent systems that check that pre-printed packaging materials are correct and alert manufacturers to any potential issues in real time. The Packaging Integrity solution that we designed verifies production output by confirming that every print is consistently present and readable, contains the right data, and is on the right package. Each and every product is checked during the production run, and any individual faulty packs can be rejected, or the line stopped if all the packaging is wrong.

What are the benefits for manufacturers?

A good packaging integrity solution helps manufacturers reduce waste, increase production efficiency, and achieve compliance. It should be capable of detecting problems in real time, so the production line can be stopped immediately, and incorrectly coded products don’t build up. This type of ‘on-the-fly’ solution means there is no impact on production rates and eliminates the need for frequent manual inspections to detect small numbers of wrongly marked packaging. It checks that the packaging matches the production order, avoiding issues such as pre-printed ingredients not matching the product being packed, which can result in allergen recalls, for example.

How does the Markem-Imaje solution you designed work?

Our Packaging Integrity solution is an application within the CoLOS Information Management System, combined with a vision system. It easily integrates with existing Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). It is a complete end-to-end packaging intelligence solution that uses identification devices to automatically verify every packaged product during the production run and reject a defective pack or stop the line if necessary. Links to host company information systems guarantee data integrity – ensuring that the approved data is used both for product coding and packaging verification. It’s a best-in-class system that allows manufacturers to increase line efficiency and protect brand value by ensuring printing compliance.

Thanks, David! We hope you’ve found this deep dive with an expert useful. If you’d like to learn more about Markem-Imaje and our Packaging Integrity solution, please send us an email, or join the discussion on our social networks if you have any comments or questions!
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