We’re back from last week’s ACHEMA 2022 and still excited about the many great conversations we had with pharmaceutical companies and machine manufacturers.
Now that we have spent a couple of days reflecting on our observations, they have condensed into three main topics that came up again and again.
Here’s our take on all three of them:
⏱ Shorter batch changeovers
The shift from few machines continuously running large batches to multiple machines running small batches is here. This has put batch changeovers in the spotlight.
The realization that extreme amounts of production time goes to waste changing from one batch to another has sent the pharmaceutical industry scrambling for ways to reduce BCO time. The possibilities for digitization of batch changeovers include everything from automatically changing machine configurations for new formats to automatic reporting. From a purely technological perspective, there is no part of the BCO process that cannot be optimized.
The only question, really, is where to begin. If pharma manufacturers are to remain profitable, there is no way around looking into this. Future winners will be those who best manage to solve the challenge – most likely they will be the only ones left.
👩💻 Automated line clearance
Much talked about as one of the keys – or maybe THE key – to significantly decreasing batch changeover time, automated line clearance was a hot topic at ACHEMA 2022.
With potential reductions in inspection time easily reaching 75% or more depending on the degree of automation, the business case for pharma manufacturers is clear and there is no doubt we will see more solutions in the coming years offering varying degrees of automation.
What will be interesting to see is the speed of adoption of automated line clearance in the industry. The prospect of leaving something as crucial to compliance and patient safety as line clearance to technology could be daunting – and for sure requires careful consideration of the validation aspect – and some manufacturers will probably be inclined to wait and see.
But that leaves a definite opportunity for digitalization first movers among pharma manufacturers to get ahead of the competition before automated line clearance becomes the de facto standard.
The green agenda is everywhere, also at ACHEMA 2022. From our perspective as a software company, we see tremendous potential in creating the process transparency that enables informed decisions and ultimately helps reduce the use – and waste – of resources in manufacturing.
Applications range from better process control for reducing scrap to better utilization of assets, prolonging the lifetime and increasing the productivity of equipment to postpone or eliminate the need for investments.
And the good news is that the technology for this is already here, ready to help pharma manufacturers put the abundance of data they already have to good use in pursuing their sustainability goals.
Did you observe something at ACHEMA 2022 that we didn’t cover here? Head over to our LinkedIn page and join the conversation.