Interest in authentication solutions continues to grow, thanks in part to regulations. “As regulations continue to be created and enforced to ensure patient safety by requiring authentication in the supply chain, we will see more demand for these types of solutions,” reports Sherry Washburn, Videojet Business Unit Manager.
To provide a machine-readable approach to authentication, Videojet recently partnered with Applied DNA Sciences. They are co-branding a solution that utilizes Applied DNA SigNature molecular-tagged Videojet inks and the Videojet 1860 printer. (Applied DNA offers unique DNA markers that can be integrated into inks, coatings, varnishes, and more, and these covert markers can be authenticated with either a handheld or packaging line device.
The solution was inspired by aerospace. “A large aerospace customer we have in common with Applied DNA Sciences expressed their need for such a solution, so the first ink we have brought to market is a molecular-tagged version of one of our black aerospace inks,” Washburn tells PMP News. “This new ink, Videojet V4221 with molecular tagging, has been tested and is ready for commercial use. For the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, the ink can be printed on certain barrier materials used in primary and secondary packaging.”
The black ink was chosen to suit U.S. military and aerospace industry applications for unique identifier (UID) tags for critical components in several Federal Supply Groups (FSGs). In addition to critical FSG items, this ink is also used as a date/lot code marking solution for food, tobacco, coffee, baby, health, and personal care.
Videojet’s continuous ink-jet printer is “generally installed on a packaging line where these inks can be applied to virtually any substrate: plastics, metals, glass, paper, and more in various shapes and sizes,” Washburn explains.
The ink can withstand 200°C for several minutes, so it would be suitable for steam sterilization processes depending on the time requirement, she explains. “As customers request higher temperatures or longer durations, development of inks with such a profile will be placed on the priority list,” she adds.
The partnership does not yet include molecular-tagged inks for printing directly on tablets, capsules, and metal and plastic medical devices, but Washburn says that Videojet would prioritize such a request from a customer looking to achieve FDA certification.
Videojet chemists are already working on what Washburn calls the “next priority”—an invisible fluorescent ink that will take advantage of molecular tagging technology. “While fluorescent inks are already commonly used to covertly mark products for tracking in the pharmaceutical supply chain, molecular tagging will enable additional verification of product integrity,” she says.
Added Dr. James Hayward, President and CEO of Applied DNA, in a press statement: “We are very excited to team with Videojet to bring this combined solution to market and offer a broad range of companies a definitive method to support their brand protection strategies. This is a significant opportunity to increase the universe of SigNature-tagged items, increase our market share and broadly secure the supply chains of complex commercial ecosystems through the use of our CertainT platform.”
Videojet Technologies will be exhibiting at Booth #5001 at WestPack February 6-8 in Anaheim.