Change Over Efficiency is a Necessity
There has been more focus on operational efficiency than on changeover efficiency. Like in the automotive industry 25 years ago. Car models used to be made in dedicated facilities but car manufacturers shifted to flexible manufacturing many years ago, using lots of robots and modular design platform solutions that makes a modern and agile manufacturing environment.
The pharmaceutical industry has very few robots, mainly in the packaging and warehouse facilities. This will have to change because in other industries flexibility goes hand in hand with robots but also because pharmaceuticals should preferably be manufactured with few or no operators in the manufacturing areas around the critical processes, especially in aseptic processing. Besides facilities with high potent ingredients and drugs have a very complicated and expensive challenge to ensure the containment and EHS requirements for manual operations.
And a New Paradigm is Needed
There is a need for a new manufacturing paradigm to meet the future needs of the pharmaceutical industry as specialty medicine continues to grow — and new, small products (from a volume perspective) are needed within immunotherapy, orphan drugs and even personalised medicine. The industry and its equipment manufacturers will have to start moving and dare being first movers in these new areas. We need some innovative partnerships and some first movers which dare to demonstrate the new flexible and agile solutions with a high effectiveness.
Because we will need these agile, flexible and effective solutions to meet the demands for the pharmaceutical facilities of the future...