Wednesday, October 02, 2013

To Braille or Not to Braille

We have been providing Braille embossing on pharmaceutical cartons at IPB for many years, so many in fact that I can’t even remember when we started!

In the beginning, the braille was embossed directly on the diecutter.  We had developed a system to check the cartons and it was mostly done by eye. The operators had to be extremely careful during the manufacturing process.  The tooling costs were very high and the set up times were very long.  A lot has changed in our industry and the technology advancements are incredible. 

During my recent travel throughout Europe it was very evident that Braille is much more widely used in Europe than it is in America or Canada - But like most things, it takes a few more years for ideas to be implemented on this side of the pond.

The experience led me to start thinking about how we need to be more prepared for what is coming down the pipe. 2 years ago we purchased a new piece of equipment that brought braille embossing in line with the gluing process.  The system not only embosses our cartons but also checks each box after it has been embossed for 100% accuracy.  It offers a very low tooling cost and almost no extra set up costs are incurred.

So why not put Braille on all of your cartons?  It’s been a question that I have been asking myself for a while now.  There are currently over *1 million Canadians who have significant sight loss.  Having Braille on cartons could help them be more independent in their everyday life. 

Some people believe that Braille is becoming an obsolete form of communication because of technology - but the argument can also go the other way as well.  It is critically important to everyone to have the ability to read and write.  Braille opens the door to literacy, intellectual freedom, equal opportunity, and personal security.

By incorporating Braille as we have with modern technology, we can then provide the consumers with necessary knowledge of the product they are buying, without adding additional costs.

So the question remains, to Braille or not to Braille.  Please ask your IPB sales representative more about this service that we offer.