Optel Vision expands in Ireland

Optel Vision technologyCanadian track-and-trace specialist Optel Vision will create 140 new jobs in Ireland as part of an expansion in Europe.

At the centre of the plans is the creation of a Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) manufacturing and operations centre in Limerick, a move which sets up the company's first operation and engineering services outside of North America.

Optel Vision is taking over a former semiconductor facility at Raheen Business Park in Limerick and will be progressively hiring staff over the next five years, adding employees in "engineering, design, assembly, testing, customer support, sales, human resources, finance and administration activities."

"Initially the company requires project engineers and technicians with a mechatronics background to deliver its track-and-trace solutions, says the company, which specialises in packaging line vision inspection and control systems for the pharmaceutical, medical devices and chemical industries.

"Design and integration of our solutions required a lot of highly skilled persons," said Louis Roy, Optel Vision's chief executive. "Ireland is offering us this unique opportunity in finding motivated and trained resources ready to support our European customers."

Sets up expert group on T&T open architecture

The company is currently spearheading an initiative to develop a standard on the communication protocols that would facilitate the implementation of track-and-trace on packaging lines in the pharma industry.

At an Optel Vision-sponsored round table meeting in Frankfurt - held towards the end of last month - delegates heard that more and more countries require pharmaceutical manufacturers to comply with new legislations which require serialisation and aggregation of products.

That implies that production floor and warehouse equipment are able to exchange information with customers business systems but, as of today, there is no 'common norm' that governs this process. In turn, that can affect the efficiency of lines, particularly when different suppliers' solutions are used on a same line.

Roy said it was "a necessity to bring together the industry in order to work together in finding a common standard protocol that would facilitate the communications between different types of architectures and allow the pharmaceutical industry to rely on flexible and open solution."

The aim of the first round table was to propose a draft of requirements on how data exchange between packaging line, plant and corporate levels should be implemented, and it was agreed to set up a group of experts to advance that objective.

Goals of the initiative include defining the communication protocols used for each connection point, enabling greater flexibility in terms of the serialization architecture available to the industry, and the reduction of integration costs.

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