Julkaistu 2019-11-19 14:06:16 UTC: Brand Protection
Brand protection is an important topic for any business. But as industrial companies invest in new technology, such as smart robotics, artificial intelligence and vision systems, are they aware of the key challenges that could affect their brand?
Investing in your corporate brand involves much more than just marketing and messaging. You need customers to trust, respect and even love your brand. That requires investment throughout the whole business, to ensure efficiency, quality of output, customer service excellence and much more.
Here are six key challenges related to brand protection:
1. Compliance with legal directives Manufacturers must reduce health risks to consumers. For example, the last stage of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive recently came into force to fight counterfeit medicines and to ensure that the trade is rigorously controlled. Measures include tougher rules on the import of active pharmaceutical ingredients and stronger record keeping by wholesale distributors.
2. Avoidance of product recalls The ability to detect and correct a defective product before it’s shipped to the customer saves significant time and money, and helps avoid costly product recalls, production losses and even losses caused by court action. Brand damage (and financial losses) can be caused by enforced product recalls, product piracy and fraud.
3. Reliable quality control Effective quality control in all production and packaging lines is crucial for trust in the brand. For example, serialisation and traceability can increase visibility; and inspection processes and quality control can benefit enormously from sophisticated automation. The pharmaceutical industry provides a model of how companies can adapt rapidly to new production technologies.
4. Combating product counterfeiting With issues such as drug counterfeiting, there’s a considerable demand for efficient and flexible serialisation at pharmaceutical companies along the entire supply chain.
5. Transparency throughout the supply chain Organisations need a full validation capability and an automated audit trail: i.e. a reliable and comprehensive quality control portfolio. This will optimise inspection services that support intelligent and reliable production processes and ultimately brand protection.
6. Compliance with regulations Pharmaceutical companies and others must comply with standards such as the UDI standard of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medical Device Regulation (EUMDR). Key elements that demonstrate a solution provider's compliance and transparency capabilities include systems and tools for checking compliance with code quality; powerful readers for easy, fast and reliable decoding of 1D and 2D barcodes; inline and offline barcode verification; and label inspection solutions.
Meeting the challenges
These six challenges must be mastered today to build the factory of tomorrow. New technologies, such as smart robotics, artificial intelligence and vision systems, already offer powerful automation solutions. Technologies that guarantee a consistently high quality in production and sales are in great demand.
Whether it’s a complete system solution or a partial retrofit of an existing system, each component should be designed for maximum control. Compact camera and vision systems are already used for inspection and quality control, monitoring production in real time and, if necessary, enabling the company to react immediately to any errors.
By fully networking the system, a better connection between the machines in a production line can be achieved, as well as more accurate quality control and higher process efficiency.
Developing practical solutions
One example of a practical solution is Omron's innovative-Automation! concept: a fully integrated approach to machine automation, enriched with artificial intelligence for high-quality services. Its combination of speed by integration, intelligence and ease of use enables users to develop a transparent quality assurance system. Inspection efficiency is boosted by sensors (such as vision systems) combined with smart data management, to ensure that potential operational problems have a minimal impact on production.
Comprehensive product traceability is another important aspect of brand protection. To contribute effectively to serialisation, the data must be managed internally (exchanging it with supply chain partners and consumer-oriented servers) and the production hardware and processes should then be adapted accordingly.
Two alternative models can be used to meet new data management and production process requirements - the Single System Point-to-Point solution and the Flexible Layer solution. The latter separates data handling from the production line, which provides numerous system advantages, such as easy integration and customisation. The associated traceability approach includes a smart vision system, high-speed performance, robust industrial design and versatile interface connectivity.
Practical examples of a technology that supports brand protection include late-stage serialisation and advanced machine vision technologies for inspection. At Omron, we provide a one-stop-shop approach for industrial companies that combines various features of a serialisation solution. Our integrated innovative-Automation! concept encompasses all the core competencies and interoperable solutions required to digitise manufacturing and helps users to take advantage of this global opportunity.
Brand protection can have a decisive influence on the economic success of a company. Many famous brands that failed to change with the times have since disappeared. Today’s businesses must therefore be completely focused on strengthening customer loyalty and gaining competitive strength. This can be achieved using modern automation technologies based on artificial intelligence and robotics.
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