Symposium will be held 5-7 March 2014 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The Program Committee of the 2014 ISA Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division (FPID) Symposium has issued a Call for Papers inviting authors, innovators, thought leaders and leading automation and control professionals to submit abstracts for presentation consideration at the conference, which will be held 5-7 March 2014 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.
The 2014 FPID symposium will bring together experts, vendors and end users in a two-day symposium to cover the critical challenges and issues in automation and serialization and how they are affecting food and pharmaceutical supply chains. Recent legislation and incidents of contamination and tampering have raised the importance of automation to reduce errors and implement enhanced serialization controls to improve tracking and tracing throughout distribution channels.
Serialization—the assigning and marking each product or product component with unique identifiers—in both the food and pharmaceutical industries is regarded as essential to protect consumers and to reduce risk exposure for food and pharmaceutical manufacturers, says Dennis Brandl, President of BR&L Consulting, Inc., who, along with Alex Habib, co-chairs the 2014 FPID Symposium.
“Upcoming product serialization requirements in the pharmaceutical industry, notably in California, are driving major projects and changes in the life science industries,” reports Brandl, whose company specializes in helping companies leverage manufacturing IT to improve their production and logistics processes. “In pharmaceuticals, it’s essential that counterfeit or tampered drugs are not introduced into the supply chain and end up with customers. That can obviously lead to some very dangerous situations.
“At the same time, a greater emphasis on tracking and tracing food products in order to prevent the sale and distribution of contaminated food is also prompting serialization in the food industry,” Brandl explains. “Food serialization helps pinpoint the distribution and location of specific food products and lots, which is particularly valuable during recalls of contaminated foods. And because you can target in on specific lots of food, you don’t have to disrupt the flow of other, unaffected food supplies.”
Serialization, he points out, requires a highly coordinated, multi-faceted approach that integrates automation, supply chain management and information security.
“Effective serialization involves changes on the shop floor, in corporate business systems and with multiple supply chain partners outside of the company. For instance, printers and verification systems must be added to existing production and packaging lines. Information security is essential to safeguard the integrity of the data. And serialization information must be maintained in corporate ERP systems, and must be available on a 24/7 basis to production and supply chain partners.”
In addition to serialization, other abstract topics to be covered at the 2014 FPID symposium include, but are not limited to:
- Track & Trace
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
- Process analytical technology (PAT)
- Quality by Design (QBD)
- Batch controls
- Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
- Automation and serialization project management