Videojet Technologies Inc

Aug. 25, 2008
Production-Floor Suite of Hardware and Software Protects Brands from Harmful Effects of Product Recalls, Counterfeiting, Diversion

The IMprints Track & Trace Solution from Videojet Technologies Inc. is a comprehensive, scalable production-floor suite of hardware and software that protects brands from the harmful effects of product recalls, counterfeiting and diversion, and helps meet government regulations regarding tracking and tracing. IMprints CodeMaster software generates unique codes that are printed on product packaging by Videojet’s wide array of variable data marking and coding equipment, and maintains transaction data about products as they progress through the supply chain. The cost-effective system has no cost-per-code charges or upfront license fees. Videojet offers turnkey implementation to existing packaging line configurations for minimal line disruptions.

“A brand faces many threats today, which can result in costly negative perception among consumers,” said Bob Neagle, business unit manager, Videojet brand protection solutions group. “IMprints leverages Videojet’s project management expertise and ongoing service to ensure a track and trace solution has been properly implemented, instead of the time-intensive, costly alternative of purchasing and installing individual components.”

Unique codes link primary package to pallet

IMprints CodeMaster software creates unrepeatable alphanumeric, linear bar codes or two-dimensional data-matrix codes that cannot be emulated by unauthorized parties. The software also can administer codes pre-generated from outside sources, such as a company’s advertising agency. When a unique product code is applied to a primary package by a Videojet marking and coding system, such as a small-character ink jet printer, laser coder or thermal transfer overprinter, the code essentially “fingerprints” both the product and the brand.

IMprints Line Controller hardware and software coordinates all production line activities, including the variable data marking and coding solution and a camera system from Videojet partner Cognex Corporation, which verifies a valid code has been printed. A code linked to them is printed on the corrugated shipping case, a scanner documents which case codes are placed on a pallet, and a pallet label is printed and applied. The shipping document and pallet are then scanned, documenting the destination.
Easy data access

IMprints Shipper software ties shipments to their destinations through the process of scanning and recording codes on pallets and cases as they move through the supply chain. That information is returned to IMprints CodeMaster for manufacturer referral if a recall is necessary or product counterfeiting or diversion is suspected.

Accessing data about products with unique codes that have entered the supply chain and their associated transactions is done via IMprints Trace-It!, an Internet-based service that can be hosted by either the product manufacturer or Videojet. IMprints Trace-It! verifies code authenticity, and therefore a product’s genuineness, and can also help a manufacturer locate exactly where a suspect product lot is located within the supply chain, in order to identify potential sources of diversion or extricate it quickly in the event of a product recall.

FTP-based customized reports are available, and the database that hosts active unique product codes and their transactions can be uploaded via XML to other business and warehouse management systems.