The unprecedented power of the Internet of Things (IoT) has urged a vast majority of the companies in the manufacturing sector to make use of this technology to unlock limitless potential. Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are no exception to this, as IoT has the potential to revolutionize all aspects of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process from drug discovery to manufacturing. IoT in pharma manufacturing coupled with big data and advanced analytics can scrutinize massive amounts of data that can be harnessed to improve manufacturing efficiency.
IoT in Pharma Manufacturing
Pharma manufacturing companies rely heavily on batch manufacturing and equipment is usually self-contained. So it requires men and materials to move constantly on the shop floor. Although industrial automation and control technologies are widely used, real-time status of equipment is not readily accessible to make informed decisions that can improve equipment effectiveness. IoT technology can assist to maintain the safety and efficacy of drug products by maintaining specific storage condition and providing extended visibility into shop-floor activities.
Real-Time Visibility into Warehouse Operations
Warehousing is a critical component for every pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Shortage of certain medicines can have serious consequences, on the other hand overstocking can lead to product wastages and higher inventory holding costs. Since pharma companies maintain numerous warehouses spread across vast geographies, warehousing operations amount for a vast majority of the pharma logistics cost. Smart warehouses can increase real-time visibility into the operations by tracking products in the warehouse and optimally utilize operators and transport equipment. IoT technology is essential in pharma supply chain as it can report inconsistencies, optimize warehouse floor space, and monitor storage of sensitive medicines.
Controlling Cold Chain Conditions
Pharmaceutical manufacturers need to be very careful while handling biologics, which are highly sensitive to storage conditions. Such biologics are high-value items with shorter shelf lives carrying strict temperature requirements. IoT technology makes it possible to remotely monitor the condition of the drug and ensure that ambient temperature is maintained at temperature-controlled containers.
Remote Fleet Management
Use of digital technology such as GPS systems can allow remote monitoring of the transport process and ensure shipment visibility throughout the supply chain. A multitude of data regarding vehicle location, vehicle performance, and view of the driver can be collected which can be processed and decisions to optimize fleet management can be taken remotely. Consequently, it can drastically reduce the time-to-market, prevent product spoilage, and lower carrying costs.
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