Just as you cannot ride a bicycle without wheels, a packaging execution system (PES) is to the packaging identification process what a manufacturing execution system (MES) is to manufacturing – it centrally steers all actions related to the process.
While most manufacturing companies are realizing the benefits of an MES, 90% of them do not yet recognize the advantages a PES brings them, Zetes says.
The company says the potential benefits are huge, especially in a world where correct product identification and traceability are imperatives.
It adds its packaging execution solution ZetesAtlas offers functionality and benefits beyond what competing products can provide.
All too often, there is no direct data link between the packaging line and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which means each device involved in the packaging process is configured locally and independently (often manually) and identification of products on the packaging line is non-existent.
As a result there is an increased probability that mistakes will occur, such as wrong information on the label, non-compliance with GS1 standards, supply chain identification errors or configuration errors with packaging identification systems, as there is no visibility and traceability of actions, events and data, no data aggregation and no automated control.
“Without a PES and, therefore, without integration of all packaging lines with the ERP of the company, the whole traceability of products is jeopardized as you cannot guarantee that the identification and control processes was flawless,” says Pascal Longchambon, head of the ZetesAtlas Business Solution Group.
Full control over the packaging line
The company says ZetesAtlas acts as the essential link between ERP and the packaging line.
By acting in a totally controlled loop, it takes control over the full range of peripherals, such as printers, cameras, and controllers, allowing the management of all common processes related to product identification.
This one solution steers all the lines, controls all the data and provides reports on events and actions that show what happened where.
Fully automated processes also mean faster execution of the latter.
A person can steer all the machines on the same line, with a single machine interface.
This dramatically lowers the number of manual interventions, and therefore, the number of errors.
Knowing that the integration has been done thoroughly and that all the information is securely mastered in real time provides the customer with real peace of mind.
Identification quality and integrity is guaranteed
The company says ZetesAtlas can handle unit identification (heterogeneous flows, serialization) and provide information on which products are in which boxes.
Parent-child association is made possible with mass reading: when positioning products in a box, the serial numbers of these products are read simultaneously and associated with the serial number of the box itself.
Executing so-called data aggregation strengthens the traceability of each product unit.
Companies start to realize the need to invest in a PES
“For decades, manufacturing companies have concentrated their investment efforts around the MES, which, of course, is essential to make sure products are of consistent quality,” says Longchambon.
“But with the growing need for traceability, be it to protect brands, control distribution channels or protect consumer health, we are noticing a shift in attitudes.”
“Though, until now, there was not really an equivalent of the MES for the packaging process. With the emergence of new data carriers, which allow more data to be encoded (for example, “best before date”) and item level identification, companies understand the need for a solution that allows them to efficiently manage and orchestrate the whole packaging identification process. ZetesAtlas has filed this gap in the market.”