How Industry 4.0 Transforms Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

ACG analyzes the journey it has been since 2017 to implement Industry 4.0 technologies in its capsule manufacturing lines.

Industry 4.0 and turning points

The inflection point of a curve is the point at which the curve has a considerable change in trajectory. The change can be ascending or descending.

The same goes for business performance. To move forward on an upward trajectory from a turning point, organizations must make certain strategic and decisive decisions. In today’s world, technology-driven transformation driven by Industry 4.0 technologies is one of these preferred options. Progressive organizations have made this decision to propose new business models, improve customer experiences, create smart products and services, and transform operations. ACG began its Industry 4.0 journey in 2017 with a focus on transformation operations.

Industry 4.0 in ACG, a case in point

It was a busy day at the ACG capsule factory. The maintenance team received an email and SMS alert about the growing evolution of energy consumption in capsule manufacturing machines in one of the production rooms. The machine learning algorithm had analyzed and detected an anomaly in power consumption, taking into account the operation data of the machine, production data, energy consumption data, local meteorological data, reference data of similar machines and SKUs (stock maintenance units).

As soon as the anomaly was detected, automatic root cause analysis was activated to give clear and actionable information to the end user. In this case, the root cause was the malfunction of the heating coils. These heating coils drew more than normal current in the context of the SKU in production. Although the symptom referred to abnormal power consumption, malfunctioning heating coils have a significant impact on product quality. Appropriate alerts were generated showing the anomaly, root cause, and possible corrective actions based on standard operating procedures. The maintenance team went into action to replace the heating coils thus avoiding any impact on product quality. This is one example of how Industry 4.0 can add value to manufacturing operations.

Today, ACG is well on its way to the 4.0 industry journey with a range of appropriate solutions deployed in functions spanning planning, production, maintenance, service, supply chain powered by technologies such as industrial IoT, machine learning, vision by computer, advanced automation, augmented and virtual reality.

The trip

The reduction of machine failures and the improvement of the OEE (overall effectiveness of equipment) in the manufacture of capsules was the key business engine with which began the journey of Industry 4.0. Pilot projects were started focusing on state control, breakdown analysis and state-based maintenance of capsule manufacturing machines. The first few days were spent solving problems ranging from sensors, connectivity, data ingestion to the IoT platform, transmission, data management, data analysis, and more. Since then there has been no “looking back”.

Today, more than 1,000 machines are connected to our IoT industrial platform that transmits more than 30,000 real-time parameters covering process data, power data, machine status data, alarms, alerts and much more. month. What started as a condition control initiative has become a series of Industry 4.0 initiatives covering production planning, condition control, predictive maintenance, energy optimization, capacity of process, quality, safety, increased operator, remote service and more. These solutions are driven by industry 4.0 technologies such as industrial IoT, advanced analytics, machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics, augmented and virtual reality.

People and change management: the five Cs

Industry 4.0 is a major change initiative that encompasses technology, processes, and people. Effective people and change management practices have helped us steer our Industry 4.0 journey in the right direction. Our change management focuses on five Cs: clarity, consistency, commitment, capabilities, and consequences.

To provide clarity and consistency, we conducted several training sessions and workshops to raise awareness about Industry 4.0 and its relevance to our business. To drive engagement and accountability, a hub and speak organization was created with clear ownership and goals aligned with our annual performance appraisal process. Review and governance mechanisms were established with the top leadership of the organization. Our rewards and recognitions program helped to further improve motivation and commitment.

Creating, deploying, and adopting Industry 4.0 initiatives requires a range of technology and mastery capabilities. Active collaboration with home ecosystems, continuous improvement cells, and hands-on training sessions help us develop the necessary skill sets. We partnered with leading EdTech companies for online training on Industry 4.0 technologies. With a constantly changing technological landscape, skills management is a continuous effort.

Industry 4.0 is about transformation and change and there are consequences to any change. This leads to concerns and perceptions about pain and gain. We conducted workshops throughout the organization to address these perceptions and concerns, delve deeper into the impact of change, and articulate the business value gained from Industry 4.0 initiatives. ACG will continue to focus and improve change management practices to ensure effective adoption and valuation of Industry 4.0 initiatives.

The way forward

So far, our journey in Industry 4.0 has gained significant advantages in reducing downtime, improving OEE, reducing delivery time, optimizing energy consumption, improving capacity, defect reduction, first step performance improvement, configuration time reduction and more.

While the current focus is on operations transformation, ACG is expanding toward creating smart connected products and services, developing enchanting customer experiences, and creating digitally driven business models. The future is bright. The future is digital.

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