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04-02-2020, Mainz, Germany

SCHOTT Smart Containers: Entering a new era in digitized pharma manufacturing

In light of the growing need for pharmaceutical packaging innovations and digitalization, international technology group SCHOTT is introducing Smart Containers. The concept enables industry 4.0 for pharma manufacturers to unlock the power of machine vision and big data analytics on pharmaceutical filling lines. Each SCHOTT Smart Container is laser-marked with a unique identifier to create unprecedented traceability throughout the manufacturing process. The technology can be used to improve reject management and line clearance. Other applications include reducing the risk of mix-up, optimizing lyophilization processes, and supporting container-based targeted recalls.
The unique identifier is positioned at the bottom of the vial to eliminate the need to turn the container or install multiple cameras. Image: SCHOTT
The unique identifier is positioned at the bottom of the vial to eliminate the need to turn the container or install multiple cameras. Image: SCHOTT
“SCHOTT Smart Containers enable control over pharmaceutical packaging at the most granular level available – the individual unit,” said Diana Löber, Global Product Manager Vials at SCHOTT. “We’re unlocking a new era in digitized pharmaceutical manufacturing toward real-time release and taking advantage of the latest developments in machine vision and data science.”

Each Smart Container is marked with a data matrix code that can be as small as 1 x 1 mm, which equals 14 x 14 dots. Developed according to ISO/IEC 16022, the numeric or alphanumeric machine readable code contains 16 or 24 digits, leading to sextilions of possible individual unique numbers. For vials, the unique identifier is positioned at the bottom, hence eliminating the need to turn the container or install multiple cameras, as it would be the case if the code were placed on the body of the vial.

The code remains stable during the whole fill & finish process including washing, autoclaving, and depyrogenation up to a temperature of 600°C. It resists abrasion, and avoids the risk of particle contamination, a key advantage over solutions which need additional substances for the application of the code. Moreover, in contrast to engraving laser technologies, the data matrix code of Smart Container is applied via melting in order to maintain glass strength. By inextricably linking the code to the container at the earliest possible stage within the entire value chain, the concept offers an advantage over systems wherein the code is attached or adhered at a later stage.

To discuss possible applications of SCHOTT Smart Containers, or to learn how SCHOTT is helping to fuel the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry’s evolution towards industry 4.0, visit us.schott.com/smart-container.

About SCHOTT

SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass, glass-ceramics and related high-tech materials. With over 130 years of experience, the company is an innovative partner to many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT has a global presence with production sites and sales offices in 34 countries. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the group generated sales of around $2.54 billion with over 16,200 employees. www.us.schott.com
The data matrix code on each Smart Container can be as small as 1 x 1 mm, which equals 14 x 14 dots. Image: SCHOTT
The data matrix code on each Smart Container can be as small as 1 x 1 mm, which equals 14 x 14 dots. Image: SCHOTT
Press contact
Gregory FCA on behalf of SCHOTT
Matt McLoughlin
Phone: 610-228-2123
Further information
SCHOTT North America, Inc.
Rina DellaVecchia
555 Taxter Road
Elmsford, NY 10523
USA
Phone: 914-831-2286
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