Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ( launches its new Versa RxV checkweigher for track and trace applications in the global marketplace.

The Versa RxV addresses the needs products that require track and trace capability. The all-in-one high-speed system (up to 550 bottles/cartons per minute) combines code printing and verification (alpha-numeric and machine readable) with checkweighing.

Because of increased counterfeiting and product recalls, there is a heightened emphasis on tracking and tracing pharmaceutical products throughout the distribution channel. The GS1 track and trace serialization standard calls for individual drug package components (bottle, carton, shipping case, pallet, etc.) to be marked with an identifying code. Codes must be unique, random and unduplicated. Although the GS1 standard is currently voluntary, Food and Drug Administration regulations making it mandatory could come as early as 2015.

“Pharmaceutical companies, as well as manufacturers of other products such as food and cosmetics, are looking for cost-effective ways to integrate track and trace capabilities into their production lines. By combining the key elements of serialization-marking and verification-into the checkweigher, companies save both cost and space,” says Kevin Zarnick, North America pharmaceutical sales manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Thermo Fisher’s customizable approach to building a Versa RxV enables manufacturers to select which code printer and vision system brand is added to the checkweigher frame. The modular build means that pharma companies can specify the exact components they prefer.

A key differentiator of the Versa RxV from competitive all-in-one units is its single operator interface. Instead of mounting separate user interfaces for the checkweigher, code printer and machine vision system, Thermo Fisher has incorporated control of all functions into one screen.  This significantly improves ease-of-operation and saves valuable line space.

The company also has engineered additional features into the Versa RxV that make it particularly suitable for these applications. A single brushless motor mounted in the back of the enclosed cabinet minimizes mechanical vibration while powering the infeed, weigh table and outfeed conveyors. The “knife-edge” belt design provides superior product handling when products travel from the infeed conveyor onto the weigh table at high speeds. Both of these design features improve checkweighing accuracy. 

Additionally, side belts with horizontal and vertical adjustment  ensure the correct position of the bottle or carton during marking and verification. The checkweigher also features two reject mechanisms-one for packages rejected by the vision system due to illegible or incorrect codes and the other for over/under weights.