Pharmalabel, Netherlands-based supplier of pharmaceutical labels, has boosted its efficiency and quality assurance after installing a Colorsat Switch dispensing system with Ink manager software from ink logistics solutions provider GSE.

GSE’s Colorsat Switch system and Ink manager software automate all ink-related processes and tasks at the Pharmalabel facility, including dispensing, procurement, stock management, tracing raw materials and reusing inks returned from the press.

René Wingens, commercial manager, Pharmalabel, commented, ‘Pharmaceutical labelling is a highly regulated sector where there can be no compromise in safety. GSE’s Colorsat Switch dispenser and Ink manager software enables us to assure consistent, repeatable quality and minimise risk within the supply chain, in accordance with the latest GMP1 procedures, while significantly reducing ink waste and colour preparation times.’

The Colorsat Switch system generates and dispenses spot colours for all jobs printed on Pharmalabel’s flexo presses with speed and precision. The dispenser blends colours and varnishes from base containers based on recipes recalled from a vast database, so that jobs requiring as little as 50g of ink per printing station may be reproduced to a colour accuracy of within 1 DeltaE.

GSE Ink manager is an ink management software package that automates tasks such as formula preparation, production scheduling, reusing of return inks, management reports and tracking of ink batches through the supply chain – reducing human input and risk of error. 

The ability to hit accurate colour targets rapidly and reuse ‘press return’ inks brings benefits to Pharmalabel, a specialist in short runs. Mr Wingens commented, ‘At Pharmalabel, production runs are below 2000m, with many between 50 and 100m. This means a high proportion of the ink mixed remains in the press after the job is finished. GSE Ink manager software’s ability to return the remaining ink and calculate them into new recipes means a reduction of ink consumption by eight percent.

‘We perform many small jobs per day, so saving a few minutes per job by instantly recalling a colour recipe, automatic dispensing or avoiding manual data input, brings hours of extra machine uptime during the year,’ Mr Wingens said.

GSE Ink manager software is also helping Pharmalabel provide greater quality assurance to pharmaceutical brand owners, by providing traceability of raw materials. Responding to Pharmalabel’s need for greater transparency in the supply chain, GSE optimised its Ink manager software, developing functionality that allows the customer to record and track expiry dates of base inks that form every batch created for a specific job.

When preparing a new job, the software automatically lists the ink components according to expiry date, prompting the operator to make the appropriate selection at the interface, without the need for manual checking.