Researcher working with machine on a cartoon background

Date: January, 2018 | CategoryQuality Author: Ryan Szporer

There are some constants that cannot be ignored, even between two radically different products.

If you were to take those two products and examine them, there is no denying there would be a long list of properties that vary greatly between the two. We’re talking shape, size, purpose, etc. In a way, they cannot be compared. Nevertheless, whatever the industry, products tend to follow similar development lifecycles. From the point at which a light bulb goes off in someone’s head up to the release of the product to the market, set stages are followed. One such stage, testing, is as universal as it gets in principle.

It’s then that the IQ, OQ, and PQ enter the picture.

For the uninitiated, the “Q” stays the same with regard to each of the above acronyms. They stand for Installation, Operational, and Performance Qualification and each impacts the product development process and quality control in its own way, but as steps, one after another.

As an illustration, consider the pharmaceutical industry. Each piece of equipment or system that enters into a drug’s “chain of custody” must be tested as being qualified for use. “Validated” is another way to put it, with validation defined as, “evidence that provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will consistently produce a product meeting its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes.”

It’s an exhaustive process with many ins and outs, starting with the IQ.

Installation Qualification (IQ)

The IQ, or Installation Qualification, ensures, as its name suggests, that a product is properly installed.

Physical products like instruments or tools may call for properly allocated floor space, correct operating conditions, and that there is physically no damage to the unit in question. In the case of software, this means verifying items like whether the folder structures are intact and that the minimum system requirements are met. Checks may also include the memory of the workstation on which the software is being installed, the operating system, software libraries, and that all required files to run the application are accounted for.

“Minimum requirements” is perhaps a good way to put it in general. Whether it’s hardware or a piece of software that’s being tested, the Food and Drug Administration’s IQ definition applies. It states the objective is to document that the “system has the necessary prerequisite conditions to function as expected.”

After ensuring that the system in question can run, the focus shifts to how it runs.

Operational Qualification (OQ)

The OQ, or Operational Qualification, is next up. It is traditionally started out once the IQ has been run through, acting as a pre-requisite for technical acceptance of the software, equipment, or facility. In this capacity, the OQ tests that the functionality of a product is as desired. It acts as a review of start-up, operational, maintenance, safety, and cleaning procedures where applicable.

Each critical button/ function is tested to make sure it does what it should. This holds true for both software and hardware and includes everything from the smallest of details on displays to the exact range of temperature fluctuations, etc.

What’s critical is that every piece of equipment and software operates within the stated limits. Ultimately, that’s the point of the OQ. Once each is proven to be, it’s time to test those limits.

Performance Qualification (PQ)

The final step in the qualification process, the PQ, or Performance Qualification, is meant to ensure the product stacks up against real-world conditions, albeit in simulated scenarios. Whereas the OQ verified functionality, the PQ is results-oriented. Tests tend to have expected results attached to them, meaning they have to be consistently reproducible.

The detailed test plan itself is created from the product development lifecycle. Both the Functional Requirements Specification (FRS; document detailing the requirements that are expected to be performed) and Detailed Design Specification (DDS; document detailing how those operations are performed) factor in. System and unit testing (testing done at the modular level) are also taken into consideration.

The goal here, aside from making sure everything works, is to make sure the system is able to be validated. After all, the validation document serves as proof that the system works as expected when it is being installed at a customer site. That documentation is something the customer holds onto if ever an issue or audit arises sometime down the line.

At their cores, the IQ, OQ, and PQ are sub-sections of validation, simply parts of a larger process. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, though.

GlobalVision as a Test Case Scenario

Take, for instance, GlobalVision, which develops automated quality control software (and various hardware accompaniments like scanners) for packaging components and product collateral. While its own quality control process is as thorough as you would expect and of course includes internal validation, let’s re-examine the pharma example from earlier.

GlobalVision offers validation execution services with industries like pharma in mind. Pharma is renowned for its stringent requirements revolving around standard documentation and GlobalVision has decades of experience within that space, among others, and caters to the top 10 pharma companies in the world.

As mentioned earlier, each piece of equipment or system that “touches” a product during its development has to be validated. Packaging proofreading software falls into that category. The pharmaceutical company in question could theoretically validate an application on its own. However, GlobalVision doesn’t just supply its own validation documents, extensively developed through its decades of experience working with companies in the industry. GlobalVision offers to execute them onsite, thereby further saving the company time and resources better devoted elsewhere.

In this case, validation execution is a value-added service tacked on to the product itself, the software. Software is somewhat of a particular case as multiple versions of a program are generally released, with each version theoretically an upgrade relative to the last, either through fixes or the addition of new features designed to address issues that had been encountered.

It further proves just how critical testing is to the success of a product, and how it’s ongoing. It’s essentially one lifecycle that never ends, further bridging the gap between different industries. Testing and the success it endeavors to achieve are their common ground.

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What to do when you find spelling errors in your print job

Date: October, 2017 | CategoryProofreading Author: Reuben Malz


Errors in packaging components arise all the time and are part of the game. They are unavoidable, but, what is a surprise to most people, is that spelling mistakes are the most common.

The largest investment in error avoidance includes expensive inline web inspection systems, cameras, scanners, and most of all, countless hours of manual proofreading time to painstakingly inspect the job. Almost no investment dollars are ever invested to ensure the text copy is free of spelling mistakes. As well, there is hardly any manual proofreading time spent on spellchecking.

Spelling Mistakes in Print Jobs

Man doing package inspection manually

If this wasn’t bad enough, just ask whose responsibility it is.

The customer may be contracting out the development of the copy, and assume spellchecking is done at that time. Internally, no one will be raising their hand.

Why? Because there are so many companies and their professionals in the downstream supply chain, that surely spellchecking must be done by someone.

The truth is, spellchecking is an orphan in most organizations. This actually should not be surprising at all for the obvious reasons.

  • It is a detailed, painstaking, and boring task
  • Many technical words are complex and long in characters
  • Foreign languages pose a significant barrier
  • No one is willing to pay for it
  • If there is a spelling mistake, we simply blame the printer.
  • We live with the error and hope it doesn’t happen again
  • The printer offers a discount to remedy the situation

This is why spelling mistakes plague so many printed packaging materials.

Misconception #1 – Spelling errors, is part one in a five-part series about the misconceptions in packaging quality control. Visit our blog next week for Misconception #2 – The Printer’s Proof.

Learn More about the Importance of Spellchecking in Technical Writing

What does GlobalVision do?

GlobalVision’s mission is to build software that standardizes quality approvals for product packaging and critical content. Our goal is to eliminate errors and automate inspections so companies can release products with confidence. Helping Businesses Bring Confidence to Quality Control. Learn more about GlobalVision.

What is GlobalVision Quality Control?

Automate Quality Inspections for Fast and Consistent Results. Speed up the proofreading process while improving the accuracy of your work by running digital checks with GlobalVision’s automated quality control tools. Learn more about Automated Quality Control.


Cartoon pamphlet, bottles, barcode and jar

Date: September, 2017 | CategoryQuality Author: Marvin Magasura

Business owners and manufacturers know that flawed packages carry a negative message for their brands. An imperfect package is an imperfect business, especially living in a world with customers that have lofty expectations. A simple crooked label can transform people’s views of your brand and possibly change their purchasing decision forever.

Companies around the world place great value on packaging inspection. These quality control regimes must be set in motion in order to spot and reject printing errors, wrinkled labels, or crooked caps before they see the light of day.

Given the fast-paced packaging and manufacturing environment we live in, file comparison software is the ultimate tool that will quickly pay for itself by decreasing your business’ labor costs while also reducing liability due to complete recalls. More importantly, they are unflagging, communicative solutions that can adapt immediately to changing inspection parameters.

What makes file comparison software so effective is the technology and algorithms that allow them to “see” products and inspect them for flaws – all done at high-speed, with near-perfect accuracy. The brain of this solution is the analytic software in charge of processing what the software captures, and comparing it to the stored “ideal”  file. 

Today’s file comparison technology and other automated systems are so advanced that these solutions can quickly and accurately tally every item, contrast them with ideal images, point to printing errors, and verify barcodes in a matter of seconds.

However, one of the biggest benefits provided by these systems is user isolation. Users don’t need to understand its complex algorithms in order to use them. Through their HMI (human-machine interface), users just have to choose their inspection target, set the parameters, and press “Go”.

Building a strong brand identity through packaging

File Comparison Software for Complete Packaging Inspection

Besides letting you inspect packaging and products more easily, modern file comparison software can also proof and verify barcodes, alphanumeric codes, and data matrix images.

If you need it, these systems will also check the quality of incoming materials and ensure all steps and processes are done correctly. They can even take care of the quality of your pallet loads before shipping them to a customer. Therefore, because of this complete integration, your whole packaging line will be optimized.

In addition to the increase in inspection accuracy, which will boost your presence in the market, file comparison software can communicate with your business’s computer system and update your production, inventory, and maintenance records. It also provides reports on the total flaws detected. So, if these are higher than your threshold, it will shut down your entire production line until you make the necessary adjustments.

Of course, this level of efficiency in packaging automation varies depending on your needs and the amount of money you wish to invest. The market is filled with different systems that offer a wide arrange of features, from the described above to mere label inspections or barcode reading from the run sheet of the day. The best part is that the majority of them are quite adaptive; You can accommodate them to new products that require different parameters and adjustments. 

Key Advantages


Most, once installed, are very easy to use and require minimal maintenance.

Tech Support

Reputable file comparison software providers usually offer training programs for operators and ensure technical support in case anything goes wrong.

Market Diversity

The current file comparison software market provides a wide range of alternatives, meaning you can choose whichever best fits your needs.


Less-sophisticated solutions do not offer the ability to automate inspection changeovers, but modern high-tech systems can. So, if you run a diverse packaging line with a large variety of products, you can rest assured that you won’t be losing time doing manual changes every time a new product comes along.

The Cost of File Comparison Software

Like any new technology, especially when it comes to file comparison software, a certain initial investment is required. The actual amount depends on many elements, the main one being system complexity. File comparison technology ranges from a simple cloud-based application to physical scanners that use lights, cameras, lenses, and many other parts like servo motors and conveyors that allow for system adjustment to different targets, shapes, and sizes.

However, keep in mind that with any new investment, the words “cost” and “value” don’t mean the same thing. Focusing only on the financial expense of these systems will skew your assessment. Any prospective buyer of a file comparison software needs to weigh in a variety of factors:

● What are the system’s benefits/ features?
● Will I have to rearrange my entire production line?
● Does the software allow for simple in-house modifications in case any new product has to be checked?
● Do I get technical support from the manufacturer?

Add everything up and you’ll get the rough amount you need to spend. Now it’s time to include the prospective savings into the equation:

● Will I have to reduce the number of inspectors and operators?
● If so, will I reassign them to other areas?
● How much will automated packaging inspection boost my productivity?

And, most importantly, but often ignored:

● What will be my company’s financial value be if I get rid of customer complaints and complete recalls due to packaging mislabeling?

One word of advice before you make any decision: Erase any preconceived ideas from your mind. High technology is no longer a luxury that only big companies can obtain. File comparison software has evolved and the market is full of different choices, making packaging automation a gold standard and sophisticated practice available for small and medium companies alike.

Return on Investment for File Comparison Software

Due to the market’s wide diversification, prospective buyers now have a lot to evaluate. Every company considering crossing over to file comparison software should contemplate the implementation costs and possible completeness of their power supply along with its capability to adapt to new products and materials.

In addition, these systems typically provide quick ROIs, mostly because you’ll cut down on staff for manual inspection, not to mention all the savings related to fewer product recalls and fines from delivering flawed products.

Cutting down on staff is a tangible action. Therefore, you’ll get immediate results on your ROI. Decreasing fines and complete recalls are a lot harder to estimate accurately because the incidence of these events usually varies depending on the company, though. As a result, they usually are not considered at all when calculating the ROI for file comparison software. In spite of this, always keep in mind that, in the long run, these intangible forces can positively enhance your brand’s reputation and boost your profits.

illustration showing laptop with process of folders

The Future of File Comparison Software

In the future, file comparison software will probably advance in several areas.  Current trends are drifting towards cost-efficient solutions suitable for all types of companies, but especially for packaging inspection. Advances will include, among others, a boost in system flexibility, an increase in smart technology, and greater software and hardware alternatives.

Just a few years ago we saw how smart cameras began to challenge PC-based vision systems by getting rid of the need for a separate processor. Although they’ve been available for over 20 years, they only just recently became small and affordable enough to justify an investment.

The quality of image sensors is getting better every year too. So, camera manufacturers are spending less time dealing with these types of defects and more on image processing. With the rise of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS), image sensors are also getting smaller, leaving room for developing further processing features, like color-processing, digital zoom, image enhancement, rotation, and much more.

With such high levels of integration and processing capacity, this all-in-one technology was once an emerging trend but now has started to dominate in the market. We are likely to witness more evolution of smart technology in the years to come.

When it comes to the packaging industry, advances in user-friendliness are likely to simplify the setup and usage of these systems even more. Ease of use will no longer imply a point-and-click graphical user interface, but a comprehensive approach with access to all features.

Less training will be needed and people with very different skill sets will be working with these machines, eliminating the need for time-consuming and pricey training programs.

Although prospective users might want to wait for what the future holds, the current file comparison technology developments mentioned throughout this article imply that the future is now. It’s an exciting time, and one for manufacturers and packaging companies to jump on board with packaging inspection automation.

File Comparision Software for Packaging

GlobalVision also has a wide range of packaging scanners available to suit different packaging line needs. They include non-contact scanners for wet-ink press sheets to cylindrical scanners for cans, jars, bottles, and any other type of cylindrical container.

Above all else, GlobalVision offers its Print Inspection tool, which allows for file comparison of printed packaging vs. approved digital artwork. This tool is the perfect solution to avoid reprints and reworks of any kind, due to printing errors like blemishes, smudges, and unwanted marks in general.

Learn More about Quality Management System

Get our guide to learn more about how to stay FDA-compliant with regulatory labeling obligations

Learn how some of the world’s top pharma companies have cracked the efficiency code with automation


Sample of GlobalVision Barcode Inspection with Grade Level

Date: September, 2017 | CategoryQuality Author: Marvin Magasura

The use of barcodes dates back to the early 1960s, initially deployed within the automotive and railroad industry. In the early 1970’s they were implemented within the retail industry, mainly in grocery stores.

The 1980s marked the period of barcode rules and regulations establishment and they officially became a necessity in all industries. Since then, barcodes have become much more advanced.

What Is a Barcode?

A barcode is an optical, machine-readable, and graphically presented image of a set of product-related data.

The standards, types, and symbologies of barcodes are defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Major industries have a defined set of standards for barcodes. For uncommon industries, which still don’t have defined standards, there are different symbologies to choose from. The choice will depend on the barcode’s purpose and the amount of data that it should contain.

A barcode may contain small to large amounts of data, mapped by basic computer programming languages such as COBOL, QBasic, and Fortran.

The size of the data a barcode can contain depends on the type and the symbology of a barcode. More about that will be mentioned further in this guide.

Generating Barcodes

There are a number of ways to generate barcodes. The way a barcode is produced and printed will largely depend on the available resources of a company and the purpose of the barcodes.

A company may choose to encode and generate its own barcodes, but this requires advanced programming knowledge, advanced software, and an in-house developer.

There is a great online technical in-depth barcode guide with all of the advanced technical information for businesses that choose to create their own barcodes.

Barcode, braille inspection in GlobalVision 5.7

Barcode applications vary accordingly to different variables, such as:
● Industry specifics
● Amount of data being encoded
● Purpose of the barcode
● Printing methods

Other ways of generating and printing barcodes are:
• Specialized licensed software for creating and printing barcodes (comprehensive solution for companies that require high-quality barcodes, barcodes with large amounts of data, and industries with strict rules and regulations)
• Free barcode generators (a good option only if the required barcodes have basic requirements)
• All-in-one software for creating and verifying barcodes and labels (best solution for companies looking to automate packaging quality control process, increase time efficiency, reduce errors and risk)

Verifying Barcodes

The verification or inspection of barcodes is carried out through specialized barcode inspection software. This type of software either comes in the form of device-specific barcode verifiers or online barcode verifiers. It’s important to remember that a barcode verifier must comply with the ISO/IEC 15426-1 packaging quality control standards.

Barcode Printing

The way a barcode is printed will depend on the way a barcode is generated and also on the purpose of the barcode.

Some businesses will require barcodes to be internet-compatible.

So, as well as being able to print error-free barcodes, which are physically readable by scanners, barcodes should also be server-compliant, web-page and web-application compatible, compatible with mobile devices, and of high-quality resolution.

Some of the most common barcode printing methods in a trading process are:
Printing labels with barcodes
• Printing the barcode with the label artwork directly onto the packaging
• Printing directly onto packaging during the packaging process

Barcode Industry Standards

Below are the established barcode standards for the most-common large industries. These standards define the way barcode readers and barcode verifiers scan, read, and test a barcode and are crucial in the process of generating barcodes.

Pharmaceutical & HealthcareBlood banks, laboratories,
healthcare products, etc.
ABC Codabar
ISBT 128
RetailLabeling and selling consumer
goods worldwide
GTIN and GS1
Supply Chain, LogisticsShipping goodsSCC-14
AutomotiveAll productsAIAG
Defense and GovernmentEncoding large amounts of
sensitive data
Mail and PostingMail routing and trackingPOSTNET
Press and BooksBook and magazines serial numbersISBN

Barcode Types and Symbologies

It’s important to note that a barcode standard doesn’t necessarily have to match the barcode symbology and type when choosing the best barcode for a product.

However, if there is an established standard for a barcode type and symbology a certain business belongs to, then only that barcode can be used. A choice isn’t available.

The main types of barcodes are 1D (1-dimensional) or Linear Barcodes and 2D (2-dimensional) barcodes, which can contain much more data than the former. Both have subtypes.

Additional types such as the QR Code and PDS417, are the newest and most advanced types and look different to the general form of barcodes. They’re also known as data matrixes.

The table below covers the most common industry-specific barcode types and symbologies:

Industry Barcode TypeSymbologySymbology VariationsSymbology Types
& Healthcare
1D1DCodabarGS1 DataBarCodeabar, Ames Code, NW-7, Monarch, Code 2 of 7, Rationalized Codabar, ANSI/AIM BC3-1995, USD-4GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional, Truncated, Stacked, Stacked-Omnidirectional, Expanded, Expanded Stacked, Coupon Code, LimitedRationalized Codabar
2 of 7 Code
EAN-8CODE 39GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional, Truncated, Stacked, Stacked-Omnidirectional, Expanded, Expanded Stacked, Coupon Code, Limited
Pulse Width Modulated Barcode
Supply Chain, Logistics1DCODE 128CODE 93CodabarCODE 39Codeabar, Ames Code, NW-7, Monarch, Code 2 of 7, Rationalized Codabar, ANSI/AIM BC3-1995, USD-4CANADA POST
ISBT 128
USS Code 128
MIL-STD-129NRationalized Codabar
2 of 7 Code
Automotive1D2DCODE 93PDF417CODE 39PDF417-TruncatedHIBC LIC
Defense and Government1D2D2D MatrixCODE 93PDF417DataMatrixCODE 39PDF417-TruncatedMicro-DataMatrixHIBC LIC
Mail and Posting1DUSPS IMbPOSTNETPLANET 4-State Customer Barcode
4CB or 4-CB
OneCode Solution Barcode
Zip + 4
Press and Books1DEAN-13 ISBN
Packaging1DITFInterleaved 2 of 5ITF-14
Transportation2D MatrixAZTEC  
Entertainment2D MatrixQR CODE  
Advertising2D MatrixQR CODE  
Electronics2D MatrixDataMatrixMicro-DataMatrix 

How to Choose the Best Barcode?

Some of the most common concerns many businesses face are the space available for a barcode on a product label and the accuracy of a barcode so that the risks of time and money loss are minimized.

The most efficient barcodes, in terms of area coverage and error reduction, are:

– DataMatrix
– Code 128
– Code 39
– PDF417

As mentioned at the beginning, the best barcode is the one defined within the industry, which has established a set of standards for creating and reading barcode types and symbologies.

However, if a company doesn’t belong to one of these industries then the barcode can be chosen depending on the purpose, the amount of data to be encoded, and the printing method being used.

GlobalVision is the leading developer of proofreading technologies for retail and consumer packaged goods. Learn how GlobalVision has helped Consumer Goods companies of all sizes in quality control.

Request a free trial for GlobalVision Digital Inspection Solution

Learn More about How to Manage Barcodes in Packaging Quality Control

Get our guide to learn more about how to stay FDA-compliant with regulatory labeling obligations

Learn how some of the world’s top pharma companies have cracked the efficiency code with automation

Text inspection on globalvision on cartoon background

Date: September, 2017 | CategoryProofreading Author: Marvin Magasura

What’s at stake with a product misspelling?

For any other type of business, it would mean a complete recall – costly, but maybe otherwise harmless. When it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, a whole other set of issues could present themselves.

Setting aside the financial costs of a recall and time lost fixing the issues, we have to keep in mind the obvious: Patients rely on their prescriptions to help them maintain their health. Errors in pharma labeling can be devastating because they lead to drug misuse and the appearance of potentially lethal consequences.

So, what might be an unfortunate and mild inconvenience for almost any other type of company, becomes a major, life-threatening issue for pharmaceuticals. The risk placed on people’s lives, the money and time you have to consume, and the damage to your company’s image and reputation make pharma labeling a process that must be undertaken with extra care and meticulous attention to detail. Sadly, however, misspellings in the pharma industry continue to happen time and again.

Why does a process that’s supposed to be highly technical and scrupulous keep encountering problems with labeling issues? It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason, mainly because medical packaging methods and techniques are different for every company.

Let’s stop to analyze some common causes of medical and pharmaceutical spelling errors and what we can do to eradicate them.

Medical Terms Are Difficult to Understand

For the average person, medical terminology can be like an alien language. Most medical terms have their roots in Latin or Greek, which can make them hard to decipher. We also have to keep in mind that medical terms can often sound alike but have different meanings.

Old lady reading pill labels with the pharmacist

Differentiating between the two is simple for a doctor, but almost everybody else cannot, making them difficult to understand. Pharma terms are completely different, as they often don’t relate to anything even an experienced doctor has ever heard of. Names of drugs are harder to get right because most of the time they might not even make any sense to the casual observer.

The truth is there is a lot of time and money spent on the branding process of a drug. The name has to be appealing while also remaining original and not too similar to the names of other drugs.

Take “Lamictal” and “Lamisil”. The former is an anticonvulsant used to treat seizures in adults and children and also helps delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder, while the latter is used to treat fungal infections. Just think of the consequences of what would happen if someone were to confuse the two drugs.

One of the main reasons why the Food and Drug Administration rejects drug names is because of name similarity. The aim is to prevent doctors and pharmacists from confusing the names and administering the wrong drugs.

In spite of these efforts, generic drug names can also be quite similar to each other. It’s easy to mix up names like “tramadol”, “trazodone”, and “toradol”, “acetohexamide” and “acetazolamide”, or even “cycloserine” and “cyclosporine”. This is especially true if companies use manual quality control methods. But the main reason spelling mistakes in the pharma industry are so common is due to the fact that regular people don’t use these words on a daily basis.

Manual vs. Automated Spell Checks

Many growing businesses today face an important question: Should you hire more people or should you automate your packing operation? While current studies lean towards automated technology, both this and manual methods have their own disadvantages.

When it comes to reducing costs, manual processing might seem cheaper than investing in automated technology. Of course, you have to remember humans are prone to making mistakes. So, adding extra workers to your process also means increasing the likelihood of errors.

Statistics show that over 80% of process deviations in the pharmaceutical business are caused by human error, so investing in automation is actually a great way to reduce the cost of recalls and fines due to labeling mistakes. In a manual process, labels usually go through several sets of eyes before being approved. It’s reassuring to know that 6, 8, or even 10 people proofread something before sending it to printing, right? Not quite.

Team collaboration on the product packaging layout, design, and content

Think of it this way: The first person may quickly look it over, knowing there are many people left in the process to catch any mistakes, then the second person will think,

“Oh, I’m sure it’s fine; The last person didn’t find anything and, if I’m wrong, there’s still a lot of people left to review it.”

When the product reaches the last person, they may not feel comfortable contradicting all the previous proofreaders, so, if they spot a mistake, instead of flagging it they could be more inclined to think,

“Maybe it’s meant to be like that?”

Cynical? Perhaps, but that’s how simple spelling errors can go unnoticed or even ignored all the way to drugstore counters. It’s up to manufacturers to develop systems that can detect these types of errors and make sure your product is up to standard.

Simple actions, like providing clear instructions, maintaining good communications, and ensuring your employees have all the qualifications needed for the job, can definitely save you from a lot of trouble.

However, don’t let yourself fall into a false sense of security if your company uses automated technologies like medical spell checkers; Most medical dictionaries have their own challenges to overcome. In the end, it’s fair to say the main reason packaging and quality control methods seem to fail is not a matter of the type of process you implement but rather how you set it into motion.

The Medical Spell-Checker and Pharma Dictionary

Big companies with high proofreading demands can benefit from using automated spell-check tools. These programs are able to catch errors so quickly that proofreading a text might end up being unnecessary; why do it yourself if a machine can do it for you?

The truth of the matter is that getting the right spelling tool for your company can be a difficult task, especially if you’re in the pharmaceutical business. In the current market, there are plenty of options for word-processor programs that include pharma and medical dictionaries, like Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, yet many of these automated tools are far from perfect. Most of them still need to overcome many challenges in order to truly save time for companies.

In a world where medical technology is always moving forward, new treatment alternatives are being developed every single day. That’s why it is so disheartening to learn that new drugs and medical terms represent a big problem for these programs. While spell-check tools will automatically correct any mistyped letters for common words, new medical words and pharma terms can easily be overlooked if they’re not incorporated into the medical dictionary of the program.

Imagine you are tasked with dealing with a brand-new drug that is just about to go to market. These types of programs will not guarantee you proper spelling because they simply won’t know the drug’s correct name. This is the reason why customized pharma dictionaries are so important when it comes to medical packaging.

The GlobalVision Spelling Inspection Tool

With over half a million technical terms, drug names, ingredients, and medical terminology included, GlobalVision’s unique spelling inspection software is proven to be the best of its kind on the market right now.

illustration showing Arabic Chinese and other languages on a global vision software

The best thing about GV’s spelling tool vs other alternatives is that it was created thinking of the medical packaging industry, integrating thousands of highly technical and commonly used terms so that you can make sure your ingredient lists, components, excipients, dosages, or any other info is 100% accurate and correctly spelled.

Its customized pharma dictionary allows you to build your own library and includes unique terms for your organization, like your brand name or newly developed products. This is an incredibly valuable feature, created to accommodate the latest pharma and medical terms and prevent misspellings related to new medical treatments. If your company provides packaging for other countries, the GlobalVision spelling inspection tool can also check the spelling of foreign language words, including:


If you value true flexibility, the Spelling Inspection tool is perfect for you. It allows you to perform complete spell-checks of your text in many formats, including Adobe® Illustrator®, PDFs, Microsoft® Word®, and web sites. The Spelling Inspection Report is also a unique feature included in this program. It generates a report every time you finish doing an inspection of your work, helping you track your progress and send the final product up for approval.


Millions of people rely on pharmaceutical companies to receive the right treatment. With all the methods and technology available today, there is no excuse for misspellings in the 21st-century medical packaging industry. Although labeling errors will most likely keep appearing in the near future, these companies must always strive for perfection by remaining up to speed with current packaging quality control services, making GlobalVision Spelling Inspection software not just one of the best, but one of the only choices they can make.

GlobalVision is the leading developer of quality control technologies for retail and pharmaceutical packaged goods.

See for yourself why Simon Lacroix, Quality Control technician at CCL Label, called GlobalVision

“One-hundred percent effective.”

→  Check out our Customer Story on CCL Label

Learn more about manual proofreading errors

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Read how some of the world’s top pharma companies have cracked the efficiency code with automation.


Big Pharma and the Military Have a Lot in Common

Date: August, 2017 | CategoryQuality Author: Ryan Szporer

The pharmaceutical and defense sectors may be at opposite extremes. There is still something to be said in the former for the built-in fail-safes and redundancies that go hand in hand with any product that even hopes to meet military standards.

Military Standard vs. Specification

The cover page of the Defense Standards Format and Content

There’s even an official term for it: MIL-STD for, you guessed it, military standard. At times mistaken for MIL-SPEC, for military specification, MIL-STD is related to the former, but actually something else altogether. Military specifications refer to a given product’s characteristics, so something that meets military specifications is good to go.

Military standards in a sense go deeper, referring to the processes and materials that went into manufacturing that product. One leads to the other.

To illustrate just how large a list of such standards can get, MIL-STD-962D, for one example, covers standards pertaining to well, documenting military standards, for everything ranging from design criteria to manufacturing processes.

You won’t find anything in there about writing Department of Defense handbooks, though. All that’s covered in MIL-STD-967. Seriously. All that to say, that discrepancy in definitions between military standards and specifications is what establishes common ground between defense and pharma. A product manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry can in theory meet military specifications, but it’s how it’s manufactured that is of most interest here.

Reliability Above All Else

Researchers comparing medicine packages

You’re ultimately looking for products that are reliable. Reliable translates to “repeatable,” which can only be guaranteed to a mathematically acceptable degree through proper testing. Needless to say, proper testing is one of the pillars of success within the pharmaceutical industry, one in which customers’ health and safety are consistently at stake.

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s not as if pharmaceutical companies absolutely need to follow MIL-STD. GAMP, or Good Automated Manufacturing Practice, already exists, having been founded in 1991. That would be pharma’s own set of guidelines for manufacturers and users of automated systems. GAMP5, released in 2008 by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, is now in place as the last major revision.

Quality management procedures like Six Sigma helps to further ensure errors and waste are kept to a minimum. That just further proves the point. It becomes abundantly clear how the same principle holds true across the board. There’s an overriding need for a high-quality standard throughout the supply chain. That extends to the packaging that finds its way into the hands of customers, packaging that is an extension, in its own right, of the company’s brand. Any mistakes on a carton at best reflects poorly on a firm. At worst, if there’s a typo that misrepresents the dosage, it could be fatal.

The Highest Quality (Control) Standards

New Technologies Every Pharmaceutical Packaging Company Should Consider

Automated proofing is the best way to protect against errors in packaging. Rest assured, any piece of software on the market has more likely than not undergone more of the same rigorous testing to help guarantee the highest quality standards. After all, that piece of software is ultimately just another product, albeit belonging to a separate industry, but one in which quality is just as paramount.

Extensive system testing and lifecycle documentation covering things like functional requirements prove the software is robust, and that products out of the brand company will be too. This lets managers sign off with confidence on sending a shipment of the packaging off to production when only relatively few samples have been approved.

Before getting more into the sampling process in a future post, it’s important to note why a company would impractically choose not to go through each and every packaging component. On the surface, it may seem like cutting corners just to save money. In reality, it’s devoting the man-hours to areas where they’re better suited because the right system meets quality standards in place much more reliably and consistently than the human eye.

Imagine assigning one or two employees the task of ensuring thousands upon thousands of carton samples are all the same, well, you hope are the same, anyway. High-quality standards take things like hope out of the equation, leaving time and cost savings as happy by-products. The high quality is the real endgame.

GlobalVision is the leading developer of quality control technologies for retail and pharmaceutical packaged goods. Learn how GlobalVision has helped top Pharmaceutical Companies in quality control.

Register for one of our webinars or request a personalized demo today to find out more about how automated quality control can streamline your packaging process.


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Three doctors holding globalvision checklist for SaaS solutions

Known for keeping their cards close to their vests to prevent other players from sneaking a peek, drug companies waited until the last possible moment to move to the cloud. Now sufficiently satisfied that their security concerns have been addressed, they’re finally poised to reap the benefits.

Positive Side-Effects

The advantages the cloud offers are wide-ranging. They run the gamut from facilitated corporate communication between teams in different parts of the world to lower operational costs, both of which are to be expected to a certain extent. They are arguably even interconnected as increased collaboration can help lead to streamlined operations.

However, other benefits aren’t as obvious. These include the flexibility of a scalable IT infrastructure (we’ll get to that later on), and, yes, even increased security. That would be through a variety of measures like encryption, cloud data protection gateways, and hybrid setups, which allow companies to store confidential data on private clouds.

Security concerns within the industry were in part due to required compliance with laws and regulations such as those enacted by the Health Insurance Portability Act. They’re also in part due to best practices, which logically state that sensitive, proprietary information should be protected much like cubs would be by a grizzly bear.

However, as has long been established, if done right, cybersecurity should present no more of an issue than implementing proper physical security measures would in the real world. There is a natural apprehension to deviate from what has been the norm for decades, but the reality is the cloud can be more secure than a brick-and-mortar fortress of a casino, and, it should be noted, Ocean’s Eleven-esque heists happen only in the movies.

Digital meetings can help to reduce paper waste

Untapped Potential

Even though early forms of cloud computing can be traced back as far as the 1960s, the concept really only started to gain mainstream traction this century, with the launch of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) in 2006.

From that point on, things ramped up quickly. it didn’t take long for IT giants like Google, Microsoft, and Cisco to get in on the action with offerings of their own by 2008. In 2014, an IDG Enterprise study meant to estimate the extent to which the cloud has permeated into corporate consciousness reported that 69% of respondents “have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud.”

To illustrate how long it’s taken for big pharma to catch on, one of the earliest adopters within the industry, Pfizer, had been developing an online clinical trial system back in 2013, but ultimately abandoned the project. The silver lining of that cloud, though? The experience exposed Pfizer to the medium’s massive untapped potential and the firm has since revisited it.

The industry-wide shift is now well underway, signaled by the full-court press mounted by software vendors who have been developing cloud-based solutions for specific use within pharma. It’s hard to dispute the advantages firms would be foregoing by holding out any longer.

SaaS: Software as a Solution

GlobalVision cloud integrating all kinds of inspection work on MAC and PC

For instance, regarding that scalable IT infrastructure, the cloud helps make pay-as-you-go Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications both affordable and accessible anywhere… on virtually any device. These include web-enabled or web-based options, with the former being beneficial to firms seeking to provide remote access to legacy applications. Applications that make up the latter are characterized by lower deployment costs and access directly via the web, with one potential drawback being the pre-requisite enterprise-wide standardization of browsers.

Software solutions exist for everything any pharmaceutical company could want or need, providing means to mine massive amounts of data for the purposes of drug research, for one example. For another, automated quality control platforms like GlobalVision positively impact ROI by minimizing the amount of unnecessary recalls due to packaging errors.

Featuring a (Mac or PC) desktop deployment option as well, GlobalVision is the first solution of its kind to take to the cloud, effectively embracing what has become an undeniable trend in computing in general, and, now, pharma by all accounts.

It’s admittedly only recently that pharma has come to take its seat at the table and it may be somewhat of a gamble, but that would be the case no matter the game. It just so happens that, in this one, most everyone wins.

GlobalVision is the leading developer of proofreading technologies for pharmaceutical packaging. Learn how GlobalVision has helped top Pharmaceutical Companies in quality control.

Request a free trial for GlobalVision Digital Inspection Solution

How More about How Error-Detection Software Ensures Data Integrity


Laptop, hard drive, monitor and other devices

Date: December, 2016 | CategoryQuality Author: Mike Malz

What Does Data Integrity Mean?

Data integrity refers to the fact that data must be reliable and accurate over its entire lifecycle. Data integrity and data security go hand in hand, even though they’re separate concepts. Uncorrupted data (integrity) is considered to be whole and then stays unchanged relative to that complete state.

It is important to understand what data integrity really means in order to be compliant.

Maintaining or keeping data consistent throughout its lifecycle is a matter of protecting it (security) so that it’s reliable. And data that’s reliable is simply able to meet certain standards, with which compliance is necessary. For example, the FDA uses the acronym ALCOA to define data integrity standards and to relate to good manufacturing practices.

Data Integrity Best Practices:

Data is expected to be:

  • Attributable – Data should clearly demonstrate who observed and recorded it when it was observed and recorded, and who it is about.
  • Legible – Data should be easy to understand and recorded permanently and original entries should be preserved.
  • Contemporaneous – Data should be recorded as it was observed, and at the time it was executed.
  • Original – Source data should be accessible and preserved in its original form.
  • Accurate – Data should be free from errors, and conform with the protocol.

The Importance of Data Integrity

Why is data integrity important?

Data integrity has become a serious issue over the past few years and therefore is a core focus of many enterprises. The FDA published a Data Integrity Guidance Document outlining compliance with CGMP that addresses the role of data integrity for the industry.

The document is a result of the FDA increasingly observing violations involving data integrity during inspections. These violations have led to FDA warning letters, import alerts, and consent decrees. The guidance document answers integrity questions and strives to clarify what the FDA expects from businesses.

A clip board including a checklist of items

How can Data Integrity Risks be Minimized?

In today’s marketplace, companies need to feel confident that there is no loss of quality when using computer systems. To accomplish this, there are effective strategies that companies may implement to manage their data integrity risks and ensure their data respects the ALCOA principle. By moving from a reactive to a proactive way of thinking, the following key requirements and controls may be put in place to ensure data integrity and minimize risk for your organization.

12 Ways to Reduce Data Integrity Risk:

1. Ensure all computer systems are 21 CFR Part 11 compliant

21 CFR Part 11 is an FDA regulation that applies to electronic records. It is required to ensure that electronic records are trustworthy, reliable, and equivalent to paper records. All computer systems that store data used to make quality decisions must be compliant, making it a perfect place to start with data integrity.

2. Follow a software development lifecycle

A Software Development Lifecycle methodology helps oversee that quality-related tasks are performed to address pertinent lifecycle phases from software development, software testing, integration, and installation to ongoing system maintenance. All computer systems should be appropriately developed, qualified, tested, and assessed on a regular basis.

3. Validate your computer systems

Software validation provides documented evidence to deliver assurance that a specific process consistently produces a product that meets its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes. To ensure your system can be validated, it is key to work with vendors that provide validation.

4. Implement audit trails

A secure, computer-generated, time-stamped audit trail records the identity, date, and time of data entries, changes, and deletions. Audit trails ensure the trustworthiness of the electronic record, demonstrate necessary data ownership, and assure records have not been modified or deleted.

5. Implement error detection software

Automated inspection software can help verify important documents to ensure their accuracy. Manual proofreading or inspections are proven to be inefficient and often cannot assure that files are error-free.

6. Secure your records with limited system access

All systems should require a login with at least two unique pieces of information and provide access only to required individuals to guarantee data integrity.

7. Maintain backup and recovery procedures

A backup and recovery strategy is necessary in the unexpected event of data loss and application errors. This procedure ensures the reconstruction of data is achieved through media recovery and the restoration of both physical and logical data and creates a safeguard to protect the integrity of your database files.

8. Design a Quality Management System with SOPs and logical controls

Quality Management System with Standard Operating Procedures builds quality into the process by systematically controlling the process. It is essential to write and follow good effective procedures to ensure clear accountability.

9. Protect the physical and logical security of systems

Controls are needed to protect the physical and logical security of your systems, change management, service management, and system continuity. This will assure continuous development for your organization and support of systems.

10. Establish a vendor management qualification program

It is important to evaluate all vendors supplying products to certify that the products are quality products that meet needs (such as validation services). A continuous appraisal is required following the initial evaluation. Often asking what data integrity procedures your vendors have in place will help with your own organization’s data integrity practices.

11. Properly train users and maintain training records

Users should be properly trained so that they have the right education and expertise to perform their job competently. Documented training records provide this proof.

12. Conduct Internal Audits to evaluate controls and procedures

Internal audits ensure that all procedures are followed and that continuous improvement is emphasized.

Data Integrity Success

If you are reading this article, you are most probably aware of how important it is to ensure your data is not compromised. The impact of dangerous data can have resounding consequences on any organization no matter the size. However, if data integrity is thought of as a process, the data infrastructure can become an asset instead of a liability.

GlobalVision is the leading developer of automated quality control technologies for
every stage of the pharmaceutical workflow. Learn how GlobalVision has helped top Pharmaceutical Companies in quality control.

Request a free trial for GlobalVision Automated Proofreading Solution

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What is QMS? Quality Management System?

Software Development & Data Integrity

Misconception about printer's proof

Date: October, 2016 | CategoryProofreading Author: Reuben Malz

A brand company goes through many revision cycles until a final PDF is approved.

A typical cycle may look something like this; management gives the go-ahead to print 500,000 labels. Then, purchasing fires off a purchase order to the printer with the approved PDF file attached.

Most people consider this to be the end of the line and the expectation is that the printed labels will be delivered in a few days.

However, the packaging engineers know better. The Brand companies approved PDF is far from being “Print-Ready”.

How to Know When a Printer’s Proof is Print-Ready?

The Printer depends on professionals for many steps of the printing process. From pre-press to trap, bleeds, imposing the file, and correcting errors in the Brand company files, and much more. The end result is a derivative of the Brand company’s approved PDF file. This is the “Printer’s Proof”.

But Printing still cannot begin.

Remember the Purchase Order the Brand company sent to the Printer? This is the “Contract”.

In order for the printer to get paid for printing 500,000 labels, the contract requires that the 500,000 labels match the Brand company’s approved PDF file exactly, NOT the Proof!

Printing cannot begin until the PDF is verified against the Proof, but, whose responsibility is it to check the Proof?

The Importance of Verifying Print Proofs 

Most printers will send the proof to the Brand company and wait for the signoff before starting print production.

But even with the Brand companies signoff of the proof, the printer cannot take the risk and assume there are no errors in the Proof for the following reasons:

  • The Brand company may sign and never have checked the Proof.

  • The Brand company may have checked quickly and missed an obvious error.

  • The responsibility is usually assumed to be shared.

  • The Purchase order has legal weight.

  • The Brand company may be in the wrong and refuse to pay.

  • The Brand company may be wrong, but the Printer will not want to lose the customer.

  • The Brand company may be in the right but loses time to market.

  • The Brand company may be in the right, but delays production.

It is for these reasons that both parties will need to verify the Printer’s Proof.


Additional Resources 

GlobalVision is the leading developer of proofreading technologies for retail and consumer packaged goods. Learn how GlobalVision has helped Consumer Goods companies of all sizes in quality control.

For more information about GlobalVision and our market-leading Quality Control Platform for print and packaging, please visit our website or read more about the benefits of automated proofreading software on our blog. 

Ready to make the switch and automate your quality control processes? Request a free trial for GlobalVision Print Inspection Solution.

Learn More about How to Create Error-Free Packagingby watching out video below. 


Monitor screen filled with all kinds of inspection work

Date: April, 2016 | CategoryCompany Author: Reuben Malz


Ghent (Belgium), March 16, 2016 – Esko has wholly updated its software solutions and relaunched them under the umbrella brand name “Esko Software Platform”. It’s the next version of the well-known portfolio of integrated software solutions for design, prepress, workflow automation, color management, and supply chain collaboration for packaging, labels, displays, and signs.

The Esko Software Platform is enhanced with new capabilities and delivers a unique user experience. The full range of innovations and integrations of the Esko Software Platform will be demonstrated for the first time at the upcoming Drupa 2016, scheduled for May 31 through June 10 in Düsseldorf.

Highlights of the Drupa release of the Esko Software Platform include:

  • More software modules made available as Software as a Service (SaaS) and subscriptions
  • Improved 3D support, especially when viewing objects in WebCenter and on mobile devices
  • A new Content Management module for WebCenter
  • ArtPro+, a totally new platform-independent native PDF prepress editor
  • New tools and libraries for multi-part POP design in ArtiosCAD 16
  • Planogram interface for Store Visualizer 16
  • New set of automated quality assurance tools in Automation Engine
  • Esko hardware integration in the workflow (Automation Engine Device View)
  • Improved user experience across all applications

A Platform for Quality Control

GlobalVision quality control solution tools are embedded in Automation Engine 16. Features now available from the automated workflow include a spell checker and automatic checking of barcodes and Braille against an approved profile. The quality check runs as a background process and results in an annotated and viewable design file for Automation Engine, WebCenter and in ArtPro+. This enables fast, systematic revision of all detected errors.

“Esko has embedded technologies from our partner GlobalVision and from our subsidiary Enfocus to eliminate time-consuming manual checks,” Zwaenepoel states. “Automated quality checking tools allow our customers to process more jobs with the same people and with fewer errors”. This innovation offers peace of mind and addresses the lack of skilled operators many companies are facing.”

Learn More about Esko Software and GlobalVision 

For more information on what’s new within Esko, please visit the Esko Software Platform.

If you want to learn more about GlobalVision’s market-leading proofreading software, request a free trial today.


Learn More about How to Ensures Data Integrity

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What does GlobalVision do?

GlobalVision’s mission is to build software that standardizes quality approvals for product packaging and critical content. Our goal is to eliminate errors and automate inspections so companies can release products with confidence. Helping Businesses Bring Confidence to Quality Control. Learn more about GlobalVision.

What is GlobalVision Quality Control?

Automate Quality Inspections for Fast and Consistent Results. Speed up the proofreading process while improving the accuracy of your work by running digital checks with GlobalVision’s automated quality control tools. Learn more about Automated Quality Control.