Monday, May 27, 2024

Adaptive manufacturing transforms pharma machinery

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The pharmaceutical industry is currently witnessing a significant surge in the use of automation and robotics for various operations such as production, testing, drug screening, in-line transportation, assembly and packaging. The adoption of automation reduces waste by minimizing human error and promoting sustainable manufacturing processes. Machines, being faster and more efficient than humans in performing repetitive tasks, enhance productivity in the industry. Automation improves track and trace capabilities in production, which has a noticeable impact on supply chain management for the goods.

Technology solutions effectively track inventory as it is being transported and stored, reducing waste, increasing productivity, and resolving issues with the quality of medications. However, automation might present challenges for businesses at all stages of the manufacturing process if not integrated in the right way. To fully benefit from automation, new technology, and equipment must be implemented. The market has immense potential and so is the automation to uproot pharmaceutical industries. It all depends on how fast these industries adopt new market trends that present a variety of opportunities for pharmaceutical organizations, including modifications to current procedures, new ways of thinking, and new cultural paradigms.

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The new way of manufacturing

Automating some operations could be more difficult, particularly if you are serving a variety of markets with different sizes, packaging and labeling laws. Furthermore, integrating these technologies into current systems comes with its own set of difficulties. The establishment of comprehensive quality control procedures and visual inspections is still necessary despite automation. Adaptivity in automation can help to provide solutions for obtaining a position in untouched market segments. Automation has a variety of solutions but adaptivity is the current runner to provide the right and future-proof solution.

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Why adaptivity is necessary? Because, to succeed in a world of mass customization, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer, and omnichannel strategies, you need machinery that’s built to adapt. Today’s consumers expect to get the products they want, when they want them and personalized to their tastes and preferences. To meet this challenge, progressive machine builders are already delivering machinery that adapts to the products being made and packaged, rather than forcing products to conform to a rigidly sequential process.

By adaptivity your production line can even be readily reconfigured to run new products, thanks to a modular design and the use of a digital twin to simulate the new operations. There’s no need for queuing or buffers, for an even smaller footprint. Digital twin optimizes configuration upfront and allows easy adaptation to future requirements. With the adaptive machine, there’s no compromise between flexibility and performance. Replace your rigidly timed sequential processes with dynamic, responsive solutions and discover new dimensions of efficiency and productivity. Thus, the message is clear, and B&R has a special hold in transforming pharmaceutical industries to be adaptive.

Creating adaptive ecosystem

Ecosystems are now a vital component of how businesses generate new revenue and gain a competitive edge. However, in the last few decades, our understanding of how to create adaptive and sustainable ecosystems has radically evolved. As of late, intelligent leaders are embracing a more flexible approach known as the ‘adaptive manufacturing ecosystem’ method that gives an edge and provides better productivity and lesser downtime. Adaptive manufacturing reduces the risk and cost of entering untouched markets while raising the chances of success.

B&R as a technology leader providing intelligent automation products has been co-creating adaptive machines with our partners and providing the benefits of adaptive manufacturing. The use of automation technology can significantly increase resource efficiency and sustainability. B&R plans to advance adaptive manufacturing through innovations because it views it as a powerful lever. As an example, consider a filling line for various-sized and shaped capsule bottles. Any order of the empty bottles is fed onto a conveyor belt. Before filling, the bottles must be positioned vertically, and pick-and-place robots are typically employed to do this. The controller requires real-time information on the location and orientation of the bottle in order to be able to grab it. In order to clamp the bottles between two shuttles on the transport system, measurements are also necessary.

It is important to remember that all these operations depend on the machine vision system’s data and need to be coordinated in a matter of microseconds or less. A machine needs to be able to ‘see’ in order to automatically adjust to constantly changing products and requirements. B&R enables adaptive manufacturing through the implementation of track-based and planar product transport systems, complemented by robotics, machine vision, and digital twins, all governed by its core automation platform.

The adaptive manufacturing process begins with simulation-based design, allowing users to witness the system in action, assess feasibility, and envision its potential, all without any upfront investment in hardware. The system features independently controlled shuttles, enabling the adaptive machine to seamlessly change product formats on the fly without any loss of productivity, ensuring a harmonious balance between flexibility and performance. Through meticulous synchronization of lighting and image capture, machine vision systems accurately detect the shape and orientation of passing products. Additionally, robots possess the capability to adjust their movements, while shuttles can modify their spacing, facilitating highly precise processing and handling operations even at high speeds.

The editorial team of The Packman who handle all the press releases with Sunil Jain working as the desk editor.

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