VisionID puts Johnson & Johnson in global supply chain

12 Mar 2010

Wireless tech firm VisionID has deployed new technology to enable Johnson & Johnson to track and monitor stock at a key Cork plant, allowing the company to safely and accurately pinpoint its throughput of lifesaving drugs and drug ingredients in an instant.

Clonmel-based VisionID has been integrating people, products and processes from its Tipperary hub since 2000. The company in recent weeks completed a €250,000 wireless project at Dairygold.

The growing company has now teamed up with Centocor, a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson group, at its Cork site at Ringaskiddy, to track and monitor the plant’s throughput of in-bound pharmaceutical ingredients and its out-bound finished products.

Centocor meets VisionID

Centocor came to VisionID looking for state-of-the-art scanning and printing equipment, as well as the very best technology using Motorola handhelds and Zebra printers to allow smooth integration of production, warehousing and back-office processes to their SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, VisionID’s Cathal Murtagh explained.

“As well as focusing on the production facility in Cork, the company also wanted to completely automate their warehouse and track and reconcile the throughput of raw, inbound ingredients with outbound, finished products,” said Murtagh.

“We came up with a combination of handheld devices, printers and scanners which capture data, store and print it in one. All of the printed labels supplied by us adhere to Centocor’s strict validation process.

“The handheld scanners we provided work in the harshest of conditions, even when labels are at varying distances, ranging from 45 feet to a quarter inch. The mobile computers used maximise the productivity of staff inside and outside the warehouse, while the industrial printers adapt to Centocor’s changing application needs.

“The Centocor facility at Ringaskiddy is the strategic manufacturing centre of a new global supply chain for the company and the equipment commissioned throughout the facility is key to future growth as well as product integrity. VisionID is very proud to be part o this process,” he added.

Centocor’s Conor Ahern said the company has built up an unrivalled global reputation for revolutionising the science of immunology.

“We pioneered monoclonal antibody technology, a cutting-edge approach that launches a new generation of products to treat immune-related diseases,” he said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Cathal Murtagh of VisionID

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years