Digitalization of pharmaceutical manufacturing: successful investment

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Keeping up with the latest technological advances is important for drugmakers, but investing in new technologies can be difficult. Neri Ivanois, sales manager for Siemens Financial Services Industrial Equipment in the UK, studied how Industry 4.0 formed the pharmaceutical industry and explained why financially sustainable technology is key to achieving digital benefits.

In the current economic consequences of Covid-19, the next generation of digital technology (also known as Industry 4.0) is more important than ever for manufacturers across all industries to improve performance by increasing manufacturing productivity, more accurate planning and forecasting, greater competitiveness, and better financial sustainability.

Even in these turbulent times, digital transformation is well known in manufacturing.

For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, digitization and data analytics can reduce the high downtime that pharmaceutical companies typically experience. Communication between IoT machines and machine learning artificial intelligence provides uninterrupted processes, predictive maintenance, and automated corrective actions.

According to one commentator, this reduces unplanned downtime by 30 to 40 percent and significantly improves the efficiency of the entire team.

Take the pharmaceutical industry to the next level

The pharmaceutical production environment is highly sensitive and strictly regulated. The smallest errors can have an impact on life-changing patients and have disastrous commercial, legal, and reputational consequences for manufacturers.

A few years ago, the global pharmaceutical giant had to remove more than 500,000 pills because of factory packaging and human monitoring errors.

Through digitalization and automation, companies will not encounter similar errors in the future, suffering from past financial and brand negative impacts. The company has introduced digital and robotic sensors and invested in highly available computing to avoid data transfer problems between units.

This creates a fully automated production line with by-product benefits such as maintaining cleaning processes, capturing and managing electronic batch records, dramatically simplifying process performance analysis (through root cause analysis), and identifying and implementing improvements.

The integration of digital information with supply chains and distribution chains has also significantly improved supply and demand management. A manufacturer that offers a wide range of treatments has established information links with all hospitals in a single location.

Linked to the clinical information systems of these hospitals, anonymous patient data from selected specialties can be collected and production can be better planned using predictive analytics. The pilot has proven a high degree of accuracy and will be deployed in phases throughout the UK.

Take advantage of digitalization with smart finance technology

“Productivity varies from industry to industry, but up to increased manufacturing productivity and the ability to produce the same number of products with fewer or higher numbers of products– — it has a significant and reputable positive impact on costs and — —

Known as the Digital Productivity Bonus (DPB), this effect is the focus of siemens financial services research based on the testimonies of more than 60 international industrial companies, expert management consultants and academic experts from 11 countries.

This study analyzes the potential benefits of the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in the UK. The resulting total is an estimate of the pharmaceutical industry’s potential financial benefits from increased manufacturing productivity resulting from digital transformation. The switch to digital technology is estimated to bring in £973.1m of PPB for the UK.

While digital promotes financial sustainability, access to smart and appropriate financial technologies (Industry 4.0 finance) is critical to companies’ ability to make sustainable investments in new fourth-generation digital technologies and automation devices. Industry 4.0 Finance covers many requirements, from buying a single digital device to financing a new plant.

Funding technology has been developed to allow organizations to apply virtually all or all DDBs to financing digital technologies and devices, allowing bonuses. Simply put, these financing methods are designed to coordinate payments for DPB yields and next-generation technologies.

Generally speaking, this will help make digital technology updates affordable and potentially cost-effective (or better) for manufacturers that are particularly important in today’s climate. Funding agreements can also cover other costs, such as installation, and provide the flexibility to update technology as it evolves.

Investing in the future of pharmaceutical manufacturing

Industry 4.0 financial arrangements are provided by professional vendors who not only have a deep understanding of how digital technology works, but also how to implement it in practice to achieve DPB and other digital benefits.

Funding agreements are integrated into value propositions and may be offered at the start of the sales cycle. In other cases, the technology provider refers the customer to one or more funding providers to finance the sale.

In addition, professional financiers can develop financing plans that cover not only acquisition costs, but also a wide range of costs associated with the use of equipment and technology, greater transparency of customers’ expected operating costs.

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