Keith Campbell, a Packaging World Contributing Editor and On the Edge blogger, took in the sights and sounds of Dusseldorf this past May to bring us a series of reports on new developments in the packaging controls and automation space being shown at interpack 2014. In case you missed his written, blogged, or podcast contributions, here are a few highlights.
While GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) protocol standardizes the way serialization data is transmitted between trading partners, there is no such standard for communicating between a company’s internal serialization solution and its Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as SAP, and ERP modules that handle serial number management (such as Aii in the case of SAP). And therein lies the rub.
Serialization involves multiple, complex technology components—package execution controllers, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), PLCs, machine vision, sensors, scanners, encoding, inspection and verification systems—all feeding information to complex IT layers—device-level, line-level, plant-level, enterprise, networked to outside trading partners.