Back when I was playing in manufacturing, we had a proofing process for NEW labels and at each re-print.
The vendor contacted us and sent proofs (for new items) that were signed off on by customer, legal, and the QA department. After we all agreed that the labels were correct, we stored a copy of the signed proof electronically. When the printed labels arrived, we printed a copy of the proof and the production and QA people took a sample label from the incoming load and compared it to the printed approved proof. If they matched, we compiled them all together, scanned them, and stored them as proof of label verification on receipt.
Similar steps taken at each re-print or new shipment arrival.
In the manufacturing process, we had the label listed on the work order. A copy of the label was electronically available (via the proof and scan) and was compared to the labels to be loaded on the line. The production manager and the QA manager verified that the label loaded in the equipment was accurate and a copy (physical copy of label or section of film to be used) was attached to the work order as part of the production records. We also captured all codes printed during the process as well (printed on cartons, film, labels, cases, etc. ) Generally this was either through securing a printed example of the finished packaging or through printing (inkjet) directly on the back of the production order.
So, for a particular run of say cake mix in a carton with a separate packet of inclusions, you would have:
- Production work order
- Print of proof and approved label
- Physical copy of the label used on the line (obviously it should match the proof and approved label)
- Print of proof and approved carton
- Physical copy of the Carton used on the line. We ran the carton through the entire packaging process to apply the product and lot code via inkjet or embossing. (obviously it should match the proof and approved carton)
- Physical copies of both the cake mix film with product and lot code imprints and the inclusion packet.
- Print the back of the production work order with case code that would be inkjetted on the case.
The QA and production person would initial each step to say "yep, I'm ok with this and I'm saying it is accurate"
They would both sign the production work order. Then production would start. Took about 5 min tops at startup.
They also proofed the cartons and labels brought over to the production space from the warehouse prior to startup to ensure that they had all the same cases of material on the production line. If more materials were needed during the production run (another pallet of cases to be brought to that particular line for example) then the process would start again for the new load being brought in.
The idea was to have copies of the items used in production during the run.