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Automation of the labeling process

Prior information notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

NHS Blood & Transplant
North Bristol Park, Filton
For the attention of: Hannah Evans
BS34 7QH Bristol

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority
National or federal agency/office
I.3)Main activity
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities
The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: no

Section II.B: Object of the contract (Supplies or services)

II.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:
Automation of the labeling process
II.2)Type of contract and place of delivery or of performance
The validation work will take place in NHSBT Filton and if sucessful it may be rolled out to other NHSBT sites in England.

NUTS code UK

II.3)Information on framework agreement
II.4)Short description of nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:
NHSBT is a Special Health Authority in England and Wales, with responsibilities across the United Kingdom for blood supply, organ donation and transplantation.
The core purpose is to ‘save and improve lives' through the provision of a safe and reliable supply of blood components, solid organs, stem cells, tissues and related services to the NHS, and to the other UK health services where directed.
To that end, NHSBT supplies over 2.5 million blood component units a year to hospitals in England and north Wales and last year received 3,500 organ and 4,000 tissue donations and banked 2,200 cord blood units from across the UK.
In providing this service NHSBT currently has an extensive supply chain for blood components which requires multiple touch points with IT systems to maintain security and audit trail and we are currently looking at technologies that can increase the efficiency and reliability of these processes
One of the key areas that has been identified as having potential for considerable improvement is the final labelling stage for all components which results in a product being released for issue. This process is conducted mainly at the 5 manufacturing sites:- Filton, Manchester, Colindale, Sheffield and Newcastle.
The process currently requires entry of a number of barcodes from each processed product, the production of a final label which is applied manually to the pack, and the subsequent check back scanning of barcodes to validate the label and final product details. This process is particularly labour intensive requiring one hour of a trained operator's time for every 90 units labelled. This is a total of 27,000 man hours per year across the 5 NHSBT manufacturing sites.
NHSBT is looking to automate this process, in conjunction with appropriate expertise, develop a system that could potentially be implemented at all 5 manufacturing sites.
The system will require the following functionality:
- Presentation of each unit to a labelling station.
- Identification of each unit utilising the current IT database.
- Printing of label format as shown in Appendx 1.
- Identification that the correct label is attached to the pack and confirm through current IT database.
- Validate all barcode data as correct.
- Ensure any additional labelling is correct.
- Ensure pack integrity is maintained.
In addition, the supplier should demonstrate that the proposed system will improve productivity and reduce errors in labelling.
Additional benefit would be recognised if a distribution option could be realised after labelling.
The technology used especially IT interfaces, should also be able to be utilised at other points during the supply chain.
It is expected that any interested suppliers will need to visit our manufacturing site at Filton where it is intention to stage the pilot, to gain a fuller understanding of the process.
NHSBT intends to hold a supplier day on Monday 2nd September in Filton to show all potential suppliers the facilities and to hold a question and answer session. Therefore all potential suppliers will need to email their request to participate together with an overview of their system to Hannah Evans.
II.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

48921000, 30177000

II.6)Scheduled date for start of award procedures
II.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
II.8)Additional information:
The Contracting Authority intends to use an eTendering system in this procurement exercise and reserves the right to use a reverse auction.

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Information about reserved contracts

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about European Union funds
The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.2)Additional information:
The Contracting Authority intends to use an eTendering system in this procurement exercise and reserves the right to use a reverse auction.
VI.3)Information on general regulatory framework
VI.4)Date of dispatch of this notice: