Pulling together its knowledge across a range of inspection technologies and software, Antares Vision Group debuted a comprehensive, integrated production ecosystem at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. Called Diamind, the series of interconnected hardware and software systems operates at the line, factory, warehouse, enterprise, and supply chain levels to provide products with digital identities through manufacturing and fulfillment processes.
With a strong background in life sciences—particularly the inspection and traceability expertise required for the demanding pharmaceutical industry—Antares has spent the past few years building its technology and know-how for food and beverage manufacturers as well. The company has taken an M&A approach to its growth, acquiring 18 companies since 2019, according to Micaela Orizio, the company’s marketing communication director. Antares Vision changed its name to Antares Vision Group in 2021 to reflect its growing expertise, she adds.
Some of the acquisitions focused on traceability, some on inspection, and some on the food and beverage market, including the 2019 acquisition of FT System, a large player in bottling and packaging inspection, and the 2020 acquisition of Applied Vision, which specializes in inspection of cans and bottles but which also gave the Italian company more of a route into the U.S. market.
Diamind was developed as a result of that growth strategy, Orizio explains. Antares is in a unique position, she says, because it provides a full stack of solutions for traceability, including the equipment, software, and also data management. The company built its expertise in traceability around the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, managing the large amount of data around serialization requirements.
“Thanks to this experience, we started to leverage this amount of data and also expand our thinking about how to use traceability,” Orizio says. “Diamind connects all the pieces in terms of data management at different levels—at the production line level, connecting traceability data, all the data coming from the unique digital identities.”
Orizio mentions the wide array of inspection systems within Antares’s portfolio, including vision and X-ray systems, metal detectors, and even a forthcoming microwave-based inspection technology. “All these systems that you find on the production line use data,” she says. “We are able to connect this data to the digital identity, so it knows exactly how a product is made—the quality control it’s passed through and also coming through the supply chain.”
Diamind’s integrated setup provides a single point of reference to simplify project management and centralized support services, ensuring product quality and end-to-end traceability via integrated, cloud-based data management.
“Today, the focus on data is essential because it allows you to take a decision, to plan, to prevent. And how to give everyone the access that needs it is the real challenge,” Orizio says. Diamind is driven by a technological trend to provide more simplicity in complex environments, she adds, commenting on integrating what has been a complex chain of separate providers for inspection, traceability, data processing, etc. “The goal is to provide this unique technological platform in order to make data management easier.”
Diamind comprises multiple production and supply chain suites, making them applicable to manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers:
- Diamind Line includes inspection systems and machines for manufacturing and packaging lines. It provides quality control for products, packaging, containers, and labeling. This suite also includes track-and-trace equipment and software for digital identity management through serialization and aggregation.
- Diamind Factory is a software suite that manages the entire production site, monitoring and optimizing processes, enhancing production efficiency and quality, improving planning and factory maintenance, and sustainability facilitation.
- Diamind Warehouse is the software suite that leverages traceability and serialization data to manage the inter- and intra-facility movement of goods, including receiving, shipping, materials tracking, and remaining inventory.
- Diamind Enterprise offers software to help simplify regulatory compliance management, including track and trace oversight of serialized and non-serialized products and assets.
- Diamind Supply Chain is a software suite enabling end-to-end visibility and management, from raw materials to trading partners to end users.
Though Antares is focused on providing the full inspection and traceability technologies needed, this does not mean that a customer cannot use Diamind with its existing systems—whether Antares systems or competing equipment.
“Diamind is absolutely modular for the user and can be connected to the existing systems and existing software,” Orizio says. “It offers interoperability to connect different kinds of sources of data coming from different kinds of machines. It can harmonize the data format in order to make all the data speak the same language.”
Antares offers a service to its customers to help design the connection of its own systems with other companies’ equipment and software.