With increasing pressure on costs, pharmaceutical manufacturers need to find productivity gains to remain competitive. Yet this must be achieved in the context of an increasing demand for quality and safety throughout the Supply Chain, the need to release batches to the market faster, with a reduced cycle time, whilst maintaining a flexible manufacturing environment.

While some companies consider investing in more flexible equipment with faster changeovers, the upfront cost is considerable, and delays and deviations will still occur at the remaining steps of the manufacturing process. Significant time may still be required to keep track of production, quality, inventory and maintenance operations, whilst ensuring compliance. As a result, real gains in productivity may not be achieved. For example, relying on paper based and hybrid systems to keep track of operations has important consequences, with industry estimates for lifescience manufacturing showing that:

  • Incomplete entries or manual transcription errors occur in 1 out of every 10 entries
  • A paper batch record can take up to 16 hours to create
  • Average review times are up to 48 hours per batch

However, with pharmaceutical MES solutions like eBR (electronic Batch Records), Weigh & Dispense or Equipment Management, pharmaceutical manufacturers are achieving gains of >25% in productivity, as well as reducing the time and stress associated with managing manufacturing using paper and hybrid systems through Review by Exception (RBE).

The savings are considerable, yet for manufacturers of Generic and Branded pharmaceuticals, there are particular challenges, and it is essential that pharmaceutical MES solutions are adapted to deal with them. With a broad range of industry-specific experience behind it, LZ Lifescience’s Shopfloor-OnlineLifescience Edition MES solution has been specifically developed to meet the challenges of pharmaceutical manufacturing:

  • Essential functions like Electronic Batch Records (eBR), Weigh & Dispense, Equipment Management, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and Electronic Work Instructions (eWI) for Setup/Cleaning
  • These are the core functions that deliver the highest productivity gains for most manufacturing operations.
    • For example: eBR can accelerate release times by 50-80%
    • Weigh & Dispense functions provide 100% verification of raw material and quantities
    • Equipment Management can ensure compliant equipment usage in line with validated business rules
    • Electronic work instructions can add huge time gains as well as increased compliance for tasks that need to be carried out outside of the batch or device history record e.g. setup and cleaning records

In our experience, applying the 80/20 rule to MES is possible: i.e., 80% of the gains come from 20% of the functions.

  • Providing pre-defined workflow templates and a library structure for building master batch records. This drives down the implementation costs of eBR, as well as making solutions simpler to support. The library structure with building blocks means that the same blocks can be re-used across many manufacturing lines. They can also be configured to run on any manufacturing line, without custom support or coding
  • Full integration with existing systems. Shopfloor-Online Lifescience Edition has been developed with a universal data interface (UDI) so it can integrate to a full range of control systems, ERP systems, training databases and many other systems. It integrates to ERP systems like SAP, Oracle, JDE, BPCS, QAD & IFS and many more. It can integrate to existing PLC/SCADA, OPC Server and other control system technologies.
  • Web based to avoid heavy IT footprint. Shopfloor-Online Lifescience Edition is a web based application that can be installed in your data center, which may not even be on site. It can be accessed from any existing PC, windows tablet or laptop using Internet Explorer instead of having many dedicated workstations for configuring and executing a system. This eliminates the need to purchase dedicated workstation PCs to access the application.
  • Modular licenses, only pay for what you need. Rather than charge customers for all modules, we will only charge for modules that you require.
  • Rapid Implementation and Manufacturing Gains: with typical implementation times of 6-9 months, Shopfloor-Online Lifescience Edition enables a Manufacturing team to get started quickly with:
    • Simple intuitive screens and drag & drop master batch record configuration. During operation, users work with popup forms that indicate the next steps and that work at the speed of the user. Data collected by the system is presented in easy to read tables and these tables can be configured to closely match your existing batch records or another format you require.
    • Pre-defined building blocks to get started quickly on setting up your existing product batch records, saving hours of work and paper creation.
      • Support for Business Case development and Training. Understanding the time constraints in manufacturing, LZ Lifescience has developed a rapid review process which can automatically calculate business benefits from key data.

If you would like us to provide this for your business, please contact us.

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