Packaging in the pharmaceutical industry Cameras  are getting smarter, thanks to embedded visual applets. © Messe Düsseldorf

Packaging in the pharmaceutical industry Cameras are getting smarter, thanks to embedded visual applets. © Messe Düsseldorf

Software and 3D solutions for packaging

Customer-friendly and efficient

Packaging has a lot of important functions. For online selling purposes, packaging is expected to display customer-friendly product details and allow space-saving shape adjustments for palletising purposes as well as forge-proof serialisation of pharmaceuticals and the use of long-life materials on fresh food. Suitable software solutions and 3D systems have a range of benefits: Packaging can be realistically visualised even before the production process and can be presented to the customer with all details. Dynamic modules allow automatic checking, eliminating structural errors in the manufacturing process right from the beginning. Also, direct connectivity of hard and software to a corporate head office makes it easier to comply with international regulations, thanks to direct links.

At a glance:

  • Stocktaking, updates, remote maintenance and licence monitoring can be conducted within the shortest possible time.
  • Three-dimensional printing provides the greatest possible freedom in design and fast communication with customers.
  • Thanks to prototypes, the realisation of a packaging idea can be either confirmed or refused in advance.
  • Shapes and lettering can be placed on packaging even after it has been closed.

3D applications on the rise

Manual modelling of labels has become obsolete – thanks to 3D scanners. © Reitlinger Engineering

Manual modelling of labels has become obsolete – thanks to 3D scanners. © Reitlinger Engineering

Pharmaceutical industry

The final wording of a new EU directive on the prevention of forgeries in the pharmaceutical industry was published in early February 2016. Manufacturers of medical products in Germany now have exactly three years to add the required safety features. Software solutions are indispensable for this purpose. China and the United States are already using software upgrades with modular structures as flexible options in the introduction of track-and-trace systems.
Thanks to 3D software, it is possible to add shapes and lettering to packaging even after production. Photo: spine vodka concept © Johannes Schulz

Thanks to 3D software, it is possible to add shapes and lettering to packaging even after production. Photo: spine vodka concept © Johannes Schulz

Benefit of visualisation

Innovative comprehensive solutions enable the visualisation of cardboard, glass and flexible packaging at the POS. No special expertise is required in order to transform 2D graphics into 3D models at the click of a mouse button and to inspect the relevant products under a variety of conditions. Graphical FPGA programming and embedded visual applets allow real-time application and flexibility in image processing. Thanks to virtual process simulations and commissioning, there is now no longer any need for complex two-way methods involving a camera and a frame grabber.

Palletising

'Whenever packaging is stacked and shipped on pallets, over- or under-loading can cause a company to lose time and money. The only way to warrant maximum efficiency is through optimum load configuration. State-of-the-art calculation software is available, using precise details of the product size, number of containers and pallets types. On this basis, it delivers maximum load efficiency while at the same time minimising the cost of shipping and the carbon footprint.

Pre-assessing the success of packaging, using prototypes. Photo: Studio Stor Visualizer © Esko-Graphics

Pre-assessing the success of packaging, using prototypes. Photo: Studio Stor Visualizer © Esko-Graphics

Labelling

Thanks to today’s 3D scanners, conventional manual measuring has become obsolete when labelling packaging. Labels are printed with precision, saving both time and money.

What will the product look like on a supermarket shelf? Special store visualising software shows the product on the shelf – even before it has been produced.
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