Pineberry Manufacturing Inc. Introduces Fully Automated Carton Serialization and Aggregation System

Aug 29, 2023 | Press Release

automated carton serialization and aggregation system

New to the Pineberry line of packaging products, the CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System builds a parent-child relationship as products move through the packaging stages of the pharmaceutical supply chain with full automated product track and trace abilities.

Toronto, ON, January 13, 2017 – Pineberry Manufacturing Inc. introduces the CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System to their line of packaging and pharmaceutical serialization and track and trace products.  Aggregation impacts serialization projects on the packaging lines throughout manufacturers operations and the overall supply chain.  Aggregation provides any company involved in pharmaceutical packing with the ability to serialize, which will lend itself to ease-of-mind for pharmaceutical companies.  The biggest reason for companies to possess proper serialization is to prevent the influx of counterfeit drugs into the legitimate community.  In partnership with Adents Pharma Suite, the Pineberry CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System automatically serializes and combines individual serialized cartons and takes a picture of all the fixed and variable serialized track and trace data.  Using robotics to band and case batches together, the CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System prints and applies a label to the band/case with a serial number.  As the cartons are combined, the serial number of the aggregated unit (parent) is associated with the multiple serial numbers of the individual cartons (child) contained within it, thus builds a parent-child relationship as products move through the packaging stages of the pharmaceutical supply chain.  The high-speed gantry system on the CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System can move at speeds of up to eight meters per second, making it fast, steady and accurate, with the flexibility to modify the stacking patterns as required, all while maintaining an overall small footprint.

“New to Pineberry Manufacturing Inc., we’re thrilled to introduce the CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System to the pharmaceutical industry and packing supply chain markets,” states David McCharles, President of Pineberry Manufacturing Inc.

“Using a DryLin SLW Cross Slide, we are able to precisely position the Videojet Wolke printhead to the product height, printhead distance and product distance to allow for a clean, high-quality print on pharmaceutical cartons and packaging.  A Cognex vision system scans each carton to verify all the required printed data has been placed, applied correctly, and is easily readable,” explains Mr. McCharles.  “We have a pneumatic reject system in place that will blow any poorly packed cartons right off the production line,” continues Mr. McCharles.  “Each carton is tracked via an encoder and a Schneider Electric PLC (programmable logic controller) monitoring all of its movements.  Once individual serialization is achieved, the individual cartons move to the front of a gantry robot that gently grabs cartons with its EOAT (end-of-arm-tool) gripper and stacks them creating tidy bundles.  The high-speed gantry system can move at speeds of up to eight meters per second.  The servo motors help the robotic system not only be very fast, but steady and very accurate, with the flexibility to modify the stacking patterns as required,” says Mr. McCharles.  “After the cartons have been stacked, the bundle of serialized products is transferred through an automatic Bandall system which swiftly bundles the cartons into a single batch bound by a breadth of clear plastic wrap.  Another Cognex vision system takes a picture of the batch, recording all individual serialization pack codes applied previously.  The newly-formed pack then has an additional label blown onto the clear plastic banding wrap with the label containing a single QR code that combines all of the data from each of the individual packs of product.  The pack then exits the Pineberry CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System to await further packing into a master carton where another label is added containing data of all its contents.  Further downstream, when the master carton is palletized with other such cartons, another label can be added for complete identification of what it contains,” continues Mr. McCharles.

“It’s a full track-and-trace solution that leverages aggregation and helps to improve the customer’s inventory management performance,” states Mr. McCharles.  “For example, if you need to determine a batches contents but do not want to open the case, you can now scan the QR code on the outside of the case to get the serial number, and then using the aggregation parent-child relationship, you can determine the identity of all the contents.  This is one of the reasons that aggregation can ease the material handling aspects of serialized projects in a warehouse environment, while maintaining the safety of consumers and ease-of-mind for pharmaceutical companies,” continues Mr. McCharles.

Manufacturers, wholesale distributors, repackagers and pharmaceutical supply chains inherit the most benefits facing significant packaging line upgrades to meet the current and emerging regulations compliant with the USA FDA Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and the EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).  Putting aggregation in place offers operational benefits, like inventory management, and prevents the invasion of counterfeit drugs into many global communities.  With serialization, wholesalers are able to identify inventory down to a specific unit and track it internally.  With aggregation, they could do that for both opened and sealed cases as well.  It greatly simplifies cycle counting, which wholesalers periodically do to check their physical inventory against what their system thinks they have. Aggregation allows them to scan just the sealed case and instantly know the identities of all the individual units.  The CartonTrac Serialization and Aggregation System provides a practical and cost-effective way for pharmaceutical companies to ensure their products conform to current and upcoming global track and trace efforts.

About Pineberry Manufacturing Inc.

Since 1984, Pineberry Manufacturing Inc. has been developing high-quality friction feeding, printing, packaging and custom automation solutions for the plastic card, packaging, distribution, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, graphic arts, and mailing and fulfillment industries.  Additionally, Pineberry specializes in integration, working with OEM’s and providing customized solutions for the most demanding environments.  Whether it is a standardized leaflet feeder, feeding and labeling bags, feeding cookies or an integrated custom solution, Pineberry has the expertise to provide exceptional products to make your project a success.

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If you would like more information on these or other versatile innovations, please contact Chris Pereira at (905) 829-0016 or email