Caguas, PR – Upak Global, the brand protection division of local enterprises Ultimate Solutions Corp. and Autopak Engineering; together with the multi-national Systech Only One, have developed the first machine in the world capable of both serializing and authenticating products.
The long awaited machine, designed and built in Puerto Rico, will premiere in the Puerto Rico Packaging Summit in August 24, 2017. The event is organized by the Institute of Packaging Professionals, Puerto Rico Chapter, and will take place the San Juan Marriott Hotel (https://www.prpackagingsummit.com/).
This technology joins the efforts to comply with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). This law, signed in 2013 and which all the Life Sciences Industry must comply with by 2018, seeks to build an electronic system to track and trace prescription products. This would allow the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to protect consumers from counterfeited, stolen, damaged or damaged drugs. Also, the industry’s re-packers and wholesalers must comply with verification, notification and transaction requirements for prescription product lots.
The new Upak Global Authentication and Serialization Machine resulted from the modification of one of Upak’s standardized systems, the U-Track FCG2-TIJ, built in Caguas, P.R. This modification allow the mechanical adaptation of both authentication and serialization cameras. Also, the software had to be re-configured to implement both solutions in a single computerized system, which is also used as the Human to Machine interface (HMI).
“Every year, the threat of counterfeited drugs and packaging is more severe and dangerous. Systech realized that serialization alone doesn’t provide complete patient and brand protection so it developed a new software: Unisecure. The software reads printing imperfections of any barcode and creates a unique “fingerprint” for a product. This “fingerprint” is stored in the cloud allowing any consumer to scan the product and confirm its origin and authenticity”, explained Yoel Rivera, president of Ultimate Solutions Corp. and one of the founders of Upak Global.
“Now, the client has a complete product to protect the lives of patients as well as the product brand at a more accessible cost. Soon the advantages of having a serialized and authenticated product will be understood. With this, Upak Global and Systech Only One take the subject of brand protection and global serialization to the next level”, said Rivera.
According to Carlos A. Rivera Rosado, Product Owner from Systech Only One, the decision to develop this product in Puerto Rico and not in any other place in the world is due to the quality of talent that is on the island. “One of the main reasons for the partnership between Systech and Upak Global is Upak’s willingness to undertake innovative projects and the quality and technical expertise of their resources”, explain Rivera Rosado.
With this step, Upak Global prepares itself for the launch of serialization equipment in the European Union. “We are designing our equipment to meet EU requirements and are currently are in the process of certifying our panels to CE standards. We already have a facility in Madrid, Spain, from where we will expand to Europe”, said Ignacio Muñoz Guerra, one of founders and directors of Upak Global.
Muñoz Guerra also stated that another emerging market is Latin America for which they have identified local companies in several South American countries that maintain synergies with Upak Global.
“In the beginning they will sell the projects and we develop and implement them all while training the local companies’ technicians. This process will evolve to them selling and implementing the projects while we provide the machines and technical support. Our final goal is to increase manufacturing jobs and grow with our local suppliers”, said Muñoz Guerra.
After being introduced in the IOPP Puerto Rico Packaging Summitt, the machine will be exhibited in the Systech Only One facilities in Princeton, New Jersey.
Upak Global Origins
In 2015 Ultimate Solutions Corp. joined Puerto Rico’s most experienced engineering equipment manufacturer AutoPak Engineering to create a brand protection division called Upak Global. That year they were the first to create and develop a serialization machine in Puerto Rico. Upak Global is part of the Unisolve program created by Systech Only One. The program seeks to combine knowledge and develop standard serialization ready equipment. The new business division in Puerto Rico has had impressive results in short time: standard machines manufactured in 8 to 12 weeks including all the documentation necessary for serialization and validation protocols ready to be executed by the client.