Marking Systems Manufacturer

A marking systems manufacturer needed to replace inkjet printers with a laser marking system for date and lot code markings for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer. Premier Automation designed a system that verified 100% of the product and improved inspection accuracy by 95%.

The Problem

A marking systems manufacturer required an integration solution to replace inkjet printers with a laser marking system for Marking Systems Manufacturerdate and lot code markings for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer. The system must also provide 100% inspection and verification of each package marked.

The Solution

Premier Automation was challenged to design a control system that integrates vision inspection, PLC control, custom laser communication protocols, and a visual operator interface that made the system easy to use for the factory floor operator.

The Results

Premier Automation designed a control system that integrated 11 vision inspection cameras and 4 laser controls that inspects and verifies 100% of the product, while reducing setup and cleanup time by 2 hours per day. The new system improved inspection accuracy by 95%, resulting in savings of approximately $2 million per year.

Pain Points

  • Designing and implementation custom laser communication protocol
  • Challenges in OCR recognition of marked packaging.
  • Packaging is moving along a production line thus making visual inspection more challenging
  • Design a custom control system to integrate into existing OEM manufacturing process.
  • Implementation of FTP server for image capturing of fault images
  • Design a system to make complex operations easy and intuitive for factory floor operators
  • Implementation of proper security techniques to disallow improper operator access and activities
  • FDA pharmaceutical validation approvals

Technology used

  • Allen-Bradley Control Logix PLC platform
  • Allen-Bradley advanced Ethernet TCP/IP communication module
  • Window 7 Professional Operating system
  • 11 Cognex Insight Vision cameras
  • 4 Solaris Laser marking control systems
  • Encoder pulse input for aiding accuracy in marking system quality

Services provided

  • PLC programming
  • HMI design and implementation
  • Custom protocol interface design and implementation
  • Start-up and commissioning
  • Engineering and design of complete control system and electrical integration
  • System documentation
  • Validation testing and support
  • Operator training
  • System Support after commissioning


  • Requirement for easy, intuitive operation
  • Develop custom interface protocol
  • Provide 100% visual inspection and qualification of all packaging
  • Provide reliable end user support
  • Integration into other various existing equipment


  • Increased quality of product output
  • 95% Improved inspection accuracy
  • Centralized control system
  • Increased production efficiency by saving more than 2 hours of production time per day
  • Project ROI: approximately 6 Months
  • Project Duration: 4 Months
  • End user savings: estimated approximately $2 million per year
  • 100% increase in cleanliness versus inkjet use in a pharmaceutical clean room environment