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White Paper

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Driven by the Internet of Things

 

Pharmaceutical manufacturing plants across the world will soon encounter radical changes in their operations, with the increasing use of sensors on the manufacturing floor. This network of sensors which can drastically improve patient outcomes is referred to as the Internet of Things for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (IoT-PM).

In this paper, we identify the potential application use cases as well as the challenges to leverage the IoT in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Further, we analyze how a service oriented platform based approach can address these challenges.

The major applications of IoT PM include Remote Monitoring of Equipment and Monitoring & Control of Serialization through distribution channels.

Connected pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and associated IoT technologies will be primarily used to achieve the following capabilities:

  • Gain real time visibility about the plants for equipment availability and utilization
  • Proactively maintain equipment based on the logged events, information derived from these logs via analytics and making informed timely decisions
  • Ensure compliance at all times and opportunity to respond in real-time for exceptions
  • Minimize waste by monitoring equipment used for serialization throughout the distribution channels

 Emerging Challenges in IoT - PM

  • Managing equipment diversity and interoperability
  • Data integration
  • Scale, data volume and performance
  • Flexibility and evolution of applications
  • Data privacy

 Benefits of leveraging a service oriented platform based approach

  • Lowered cost of care: OEMs and distributors will improve their operations and lower inventory costs, optimizing savings across the value chain. This will positively impact patients too.
  • Improved patient outcomes: The serialization process will ensure that quality drugs are purchased. Healthier pharmaceutical operations will ensure that costs of drugs are lowered, making them more affordable for patients.
  • Real time monitoring: Equipment and sensors will be monitored and exceptions will be responded to in real time. This will not only minimize waste by stopping production of out-of-specification products or intermediaries, but also help manage inventory of intermediaries.
  • Improved decision making: Senior managers as well as plant managers can have reports generated in real-time as IoT-PM enables the possibility to use dashboards. It provides visual feedback and enables analytics on multiple units within a manufacturing plant as well as across multiple plants across the world.

Conclusion

IoT-PM will drastically change the maintenance and monitoring process of manufacturing plants.Its economic impact is predicted to save trillions of dollars annually. Recent advances in sensor, internet, cloud, mobility and big data technologies have led to affordable sensors and connectivity devices, vastly increasing the potential of IoT-PM to influence further changes.