How a medical device company improved total label production efficiency by 50%

Teklynx International is a world-leading barcode and RFID labeling software developer and solutions provider with locations in several countries and regions around the globe. An industry innovator for over 30 years, it helps companies operate smoothly and efficiently by implementing labeling solutions that streamline operations while staying ahead of industry-specific compliance and emerging regulations. Its flagship product, Teklynx Central CFR, is a browser-based integrated enterprise label management system. One notable example of its impact took place recently at MicroVention, a leading medical device company headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California with facilities in California, Costa Rica and China. Recently, the company experienced rapid growth, fueled by growing product demand and expanded distribution in key international markets.

Frank Carranza.

MicroVention recently installed Teklynx’ barcode label design solution, Labelview, to design and print labels. However, recent growth caused MicroVention to re-evaluate its labeling operations in favour of gaining efficiencies across all facilities. “We reached a point in our growth where we needed a labeling solution that was available over our network, not stored on each individual computer,” explained Frank Carranza, MicroVention Associate Label Engineer. “I immediately thought of Teklynx, given my past experience with Teklynx Central CFR at a previous employer.” For MicroVention, the upgrade to an enterprise-level labeling solution (that integrated with its Enterprise Resourse Planning (ERP) System) would position MicroVention to streamline labeling operations globally while addressing several needs. These included a need to:

  • Adequately support a global and secure, multi-user environment with over 50 different employees in 4 different facilities needed to access and print desired labels.
  • Efficiently support a leanly-staffed label design environment. That is, two employees were responsible for designing and managing labels for over 2,000 different SKUs.
  • Provide bandwidth for future growth. Operating in a rapidly growing industry meant that MicroVention needed a labeling solution that could grow with them over time.
  • Comply with medical device manufacturer labeling regulations such as those required by the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirements.

The major challenges included a need to integrate with its JD Edwards’ ERP System, improving labeling efficiency, control and support for its global, multi-user labeling environment, providing data-centre security throughout its global network and full compliance with medical device manufacturer labeling regulations such as UDI. Results included integration with its ERP system that minimized room for human error by providing database-driven templates, the ability to control user privileges, record audit trails, and ensure electronic signatures are linked to relevant records for improved security, and improving the ability to comply with regulations such as UDI. Most of all, the move also streamlined the entire labeling process, resulting in a 50% improvement in total label-production efficiency.

Bascially, MicroVention relied on Teklynx to develop a Structured Query Language (SQL) script that synchronizes work orders, products, labels and variables from over 50 tables in MicroVention’s database. Developing the SQL script eliminated manual processes, allowing MicroVention to create thousands of printable products with the single press of a button, while improving the company’s database speed and efficiency – a move that made it easier for network users in Costa Rica and China to utilize the system. Teklynx also worked in close partnership with MicroVention to provide a significant amount of advanced label-creation services. These services proved extremely valuable as MicroVention relied on Teklynx to create extensive, logical date-stamp formulas to ensure accurate printing of expiration/manufacturing dates on MicroVention’s products. Logical date-stamp formulas allowed MicroVention the flexibility to manually override dates when special circumstances required MicroVention to do so (for example, a product label reprint from a previous production day). This “intelligent” label design reduced the chances of manual errors globally while allowing for granular date control when necessary.

In addition to solving these unique labeling challenges, MicroVention’s global presence required it to be particularly mindful of security and accessibility issues related to the company’s data center. “We have thousands of global installations and know that security and access is top-of-mind for companies,” explained Cory Catterall, Teklynx Enterprise Sales Executive. “We were confident our enterprise-level barcode labeling solution could meet MicroVention’s labeling requirements, while also providing secure access and sophisticated user profile control.”

Teklynx serves Canada via its USA Office (Milwaukee Americas Headquarters) located in Glendale, Wisconsin.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.