For Optima Pharma, from the very beginning digitalization has meant what we implement will create added value for you, our customers. We have developed a broad portfolio of digital solutions with this goal in mind. These solutions are used successfully in the initial systems. Optima has also undergone a massive upgrade in terms of cybersecurity. In the following article, read how pharmaceutical production has become more secure and more efficient in the areas of production data management, maintenance, operator guidance and knowledge transfer.
"Successful management of production-related data is a major field of application for digital solutions. These solutions support our customers by making their production more transparent and showing them where there is potential for improvement," reports Marcel Klimmer, Product Manager at Optima Pharma. Customized software solutions are available to intelligently bundle data so that Optima customers know at a glance how their production is doing – from data analysis and successful data management to monitoring of entire production lines regardless of the manufacturer.
Efficient data management enables secure and pharmaceutically validated data collection, serialized traceability of individual products and identifying trends and advantages. Key data can be easily and quickly displayed on a personalized dashboard and accessed worldwide at any time on any device. Production managers will thus always have a perfect overview, even retrospectively. In addition, processes can be video-monitored and analyzed in detail during machine downtimes. This means you can track your production targets around the clock and optimize the overall efficiency of the system. System availability will increase, and downtimes can be significantly minimized. Traceability down to single items allows all process and production data to be assigned to the single item. Rejects in case of a discrepancy can therefore be reduced to the affected items in a batch.
Both data and moving images can be recorded and accessed worldwide. On request, cameras in the interior of the systems will continuously record live images that the customer's employees can view at their production location via their company's network. It is also possible to use them in case of an alarm. If the machine control system detects a fault, it stores a certain sequence before and after the alarm is triggered and assigns a time stamp as well as other production data, such as the batch number. This means that alarms can be analyzed quickly and easily, faults can be remedied and product losses can be minimized. Video material helps assess incidents during production and enables recognition of non-critical situations. Evidence for public authorities is thereby made easier for the customer, transparency is established and uncertainties that can lead to rejection in case of doubt are reduced. Last but not least, the cameras improve the overview for operating personnel.
"Digitally optimized maintenance also increases system availability," adds Tobias Dombrowski, Sales Support Manager at Optima Pharma. Preventive maintenance makes system operators aware of the onset of wear. This means individual parts can be monitored and replaced early on if necessary. Maintenance strategy can therefore be optimized and machine downtimes reduced to a minimum.
Remote access to the system results in maximum security: Together with the cybersecurity specialists LANCOM Systems, Optima has developed an innovative VPN-solution for machines and systems. This makes it now possible to establish an even more secure connection and remotely maintain systems installed at customers' sites. The only one of its kind on the market, the solution allows for monitoring VPN connections, protects the machine network at the customer's site with a firewall and is particularly user-friendly. In addition, our service experts will assist you via virtual tools around the clock anywhere in the world in case of process-related problems – independent of the device and directly on the machine. You only need a mobile end device such as a smartphone, tablet or augmented reality glasses. Your benefits: Travel expenses will be minimized, and you will receive direct, simple and fast assistance in real time. Whether with a VPN remote maintenance or an audiovisual consultation on the machine, together we will find a solution to your challenge.
Digital solutions effectively assist with troubleshooting as well as with production preparation, format change and maintenance work. For example, digital assistants can lead system operators at the HMI step by step through a format change. This is also possible using augmented reality glasses. As an option, the customer's employees can use scanners to scan format parts to be changed. These can be verified with a DMC code to make sure the correct parts are being used. Correct installation has to be confirmed on the HMI. This effectively minimizes the risk of machine downtime due to installing the incorrect format parts, and machine availability is increased. Crashes within machines are therefore prevented, and product losses are also kept to a minimum.
Using a new digital solution from Optima Pharma, agar plates can be scanned and unequivocally assigned. In addition, timing functions are also integrated.
Digital solutions also help with production preparation, format change or maintenance work, which increases process security. That's possible with augmented reality glasses as well.
Production stops due to operating errors are costly in the pharmaceutical industry. A remedy is a digital format change assistant from Optima Pharma. As an option, format parts to be changed can be scanned, which increases process security.
An additional tool assists with handling agar plates, which are used by the customer as proof of germ-free production. Previous, partially paper-based processes have been digitized, and the system assists the operator with assigning sampling locations, monitoring exposure times and reporting. Errors and production stops can thus be avoided, a previously analog and error-prone procedure is digitized and paper can be dispensed with.
The issue of knowledge transfer is another important field of application for Optima Pharma. Information stored on the platform, e.g. videos, support understanding. In addition, individual pieces of information can be stored at any time on each of the tools introduced so that, for example, employees on the next shift are aware of certain issues. New employees should be able to familiarize themselves with your system functions as quickly as possible. Simulations and instructional videos make the first days on the machine easier, save a lot of time during familiarization, thus enabling employees to operate the system quickly and intuitively. Above all, they provide a sense of achievement.
At Optima, knowledge transfer takes place both on the finished system as well as at the design stage in the Digital Information Center. Digital Engineering is a standard component of our turnkey process CSPE (Comprehensive Scientific Process Engineering). Within the CSPE framework, Optima Pharma uses the full potential of Digital Engineering. Strength calculations, flow simulations or determining resonances of individual components assist the Optima developer during the design phase. Virtual machine models simulate important processes at an early stage. Early modifications minimize costs and time-to-market. Training programs are also possible on the virtual preliminary mock-up. Another benefit is that acceptance can take place virtually and be documented, upon request. In addition, using artificial intelligence will open up new possibilities and fields of application in the future. Machine learning methods offer unprecedented potential for pharmaceutical production due to the vast amount of data, most of it unused.