ZetesAtlas is a packaging execution system (PES) that manages, secures and improves the process of identifying products at the packaging stage.
Traceability is certainly the watchword for many manufacturers, necessary both to combat counterfeiting and to ensure that a quality product reaches the end consumer. Given the scandals of recent years - particularly in the food sector - and an increasing concern among consumers over the environmental impact of the products they buy, a growing body of regulations is coming into force and requiring companies to find ways to comply. Where problems persist, it is imperative to be able to organize a quick and efficient return of affected goods.
The primary sectors potentially interested in such solutions are pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals and food and beverages. Full control of the packaging line
The Zetes Atlas solution interfaces with the user's ERP system and manages the product marking tools at the end of the production lines in real time. This approach limits manual intervention, greatly reduces the number of errors, and increases packaging machine capacity utilization. With ZetesAtlas, a single operator configures all printers, placing robots and control cameras used for identifying and aggregating individual products: which products are in which box, which boxes on which palette. Data aggregation from one packaging level to another is essential for effective traceability.
What were the main reasons that led to the emergence of serialization?
"This technique is born from the need for a number of markets to better control the path taken by the goods they produce and to ensure that the consumer buys a genuine product. Serialization allows a finer identification than identification by batch, with each product given a unique ID linked to a manufacturing batch ID. Marking is done generically at the production stage but serialization allows much more targeted traceability throughout the supply chain. Right now it is used mostly for high value, consumer-sensitive products, but its use will probably evolve towards lower value products, particularly in the food processing market. Here, serialization could prevent mass recalls by being able to identify more precisely any goods involved in a production problem. "
What future developments do you see in this area?
"Ultimately, the technologies behind serialization (QR code, NFC, RFID, etc) enable companies to emphasise brand awareness and communicate much more directly with the consumer. Specifically, these carriers can contain a larger quantity of information than current identifiers. Consumers having adequate readers could visualize the path taken by the product to reach them, validating authenticity and unique characteristics. Companies could conceivably add branding and other marketing differentiators. The general trend is clearly moving towards supply chains that serve the consumer and serialization is one tool among others for responding to this new situation. "