IoT Transforms Pharma Big Data to Valuable Data

Written By: Florian Spoerl

We all know how costly unplanned production downtime is. Besides, asset up-time is critical to meeting delivery dates and avoiding drug shortages. What if instead of being caught off guard by such occurrences, you could achieve seemingly futuristic levels of operational efficiency. In fact, you can.

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturing facilities can now practically self-diagnose themselves. Imagine your production facilities with machines talking to each other. What if you could translate their conversations and use it to support your decision-making?

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This is exactly what analytics can enable. Are you aware that your existing production environment already creates a mass of data? All you need to do is take it to the next level and convert that Big Data into valuable data. Here’s what that could look like.

WARNING: Status machine A37: 2d, 17h, 36m until breakdown”
WARNING: Status machine A12: Capacity utilization 53%”

Something seems to be wrong in manufacturing plant B. The tablet-pressing machine A37 will break down soon. In addition, capacity of liquid-filling machine A12 is far below the green range and the batch needs to be delivered to the next process stage in only two days to keep up with delivery schedules.

While you might wonder “How is it possible to get such exact numbers?,” the production manager of plant B has already sent the technical log file to his service technician in India.

Thanks to the chat function in the performance management dashboard on the manager’s mobile device, she and the service technician are now remotely discussing next steps to keep the tablet-pressing machine running. While it would take minimum four days to get the technician on site, he is using Augmented Reality technology to walk a local colleague through the repair. Five hours later, the issue is solved and the performance dashboard is showing a well operating production plant.

Insights like these into machine operation are worth a mint. Simply put, the IoT has the potential to transform operational efficiency in pharma manufacturing.



Have a closer look at this guide to see how you can use Analytics and Augmented Reality to increase your asset up-time and detect anomalies.

Imagine you’ve identified a problem but don’t know how to solve it. What if your colleagues or service technicians could see exactly what you see while standing in front of the machine and guide you through the process? See for yourself and discover Project Chalk – a new form of remote communication enabled by Augmented Reality technology.

How else do you think IoT and Augmented Reality can impact pharma manufacturing? We´d love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any questions about this topic, feel free to reach out to a PTC Medical Device Expert.

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About the Author

Florian Spoerl

Florian Spoerl is a sales manager at PTC. For more than five years he has been working with leading life science companies and gained a comprehensive understanding for the challenge of increasing product and process complexity. Having a background in biosciences, Florian is experienced in working with highly regulated markets.

Currently, he is focusing on evaluating concepts for Digitization in the medical device, pharmaceutical and diagnostics environment.

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