Top 5 Tips to Reduce Batch Mixup in Manufacturing and Warehousing

When you’re producing cannabis-related products in the manufacturing industry it’s important to follow GMP. This includes having a good labeling and recording system in place to reduce batch mixup in both the manufacturing and warehousing sections of your plant.

A batch that’s mixed up with another of varying amounts or strengths could mean that product labeling may be incorrect. It also increases the chances of contamination and the quality of your product. It can even go as far as a worker picking the wrong batch in your warehouse.

Here are 5 tips to reduce batch mixup in manufacturing and warehousing.

1. Keep the Work Area Well-Organized

Whether it’s a work surface, production line, or warehouse storage, the facility should be kept clean and tidy. Once a batch has been packaged, it should be clearly labeled. Products should be stored neatly on a shelf or in a storage cabinet. Similar batches should be stored together.  Color-coding is a great way to keep a clear distinction between material types and stages.

2. Have Set Procedures in Place

When workers are packing products for shipment they should be following written procedures. There should be a Standard Operation Procedure Manual within easy reach that can be referred to if required. These procedures should be clear and easy to understand. The supervisor should ensure that all personnel fully understand these procedures. Refresher training on main procedures should be conducted from time to time to ensure integrity

3. Regular Batch Testing & Inspection

Batch testing ensures the efficacy of a product before it’s sent into the consumer market. Yields and quantities should be checked so that there are no discrepancies from batch to batch.

There may also be other parameters that need to be checked, such as contamination. Inspection of the facilities should be done by an assigned team member who will inspect the facility to ensure that it’s clean and tidy, that products are neatly organized into categories, and that workers appear alert on the job. If anything is amiss then it will be quickly corrected. If it’s a reoccurring issue, a new procedure may need to be set in place to prevent it from happening again.

4. Keep Separate Products in Separate Area

If your plant is manufacturing a variety of different products, they should not all be produced at the same time, or on the same production line.

Each should be produced in a separate room or at a separate time. Never should two production runs occur in the same room at the same time.  This is a major GMP violation and presents a big risk to your company.

Keep production lines separate will help to prevent cross-contamination and mix-up, whether it’s during mixing or labeling.  

5. All Materials & Equipment Should Be Clearly Labeled

Rather than having unmarked materials packaged and stored in a bin that’s labeled, every separate item should be clearly labeled in case it drops off the shelf or storage unit.

Each piece of equipment in the facility should also be clearly labeled with a unique identifier, calibration information (if applicable), and the name or description of the equipment.

Batches should not only be stamped with their batch number, but also their strength and a description of the material.

Most of the potential for batch mixup is going to be caused by inproperly managed procedures and processes.  It is easy to determine that human error is the major cause of these issues, but we must utilize a deeper understanding of process improvement to determine the real cause of an issue or mixup.  Prevention of mixup can never be over-implemented. The more you can predict errors and put better procedures in place, the less risk your facility will have.