Predictive maintenance and business process automation for a pharmaceutical site

Digital field services / Industrial control systems Life Sciences France

Context and challenges

This client is a South African group that supplies name-brand and generic pharmaceutical products.

One of its production sites is specialised in the manufacture of sterile injectable forms, from the deployment of the active molecule up to packaging of the final product.

One of its departments is tasked with keeping the automation fleet operational and managing the computer databases to secure access to the workshops and production facilities.

In this context and as part of integrating new production equipment, Assystem was appointed to perform predictive maintenance, maintenance in operational condition of servers and piloting automation of business processes for its manufacturing equipment.

Project scope

  • Support for the machines on the site, including both preventive and curative maintenance:
    • 24/7 curative maintenance of automated production equipment (Stromboli filling machine, ETNA bottle inspection machine, etc. on call)
    • Preventive maintenance of automated systems to ensure reliable automatic operation
    • Continual improvement of automation (improving cycle times, quality)
  • Maintenance in operational condition of data servers and production applications: user database (maintenance, operators), access to HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) and production areas
  • Obsolescence management:
    • Revamping of automated machines and equipment instrumentation and control with new technologies (robotics, quality vision)
  • Steering and acceptance of various business process automation projects:
    • Modification of Palletisation Identification – Identification of nests (syringe holder) (Equipment Code, PO Number, and Batch Number) that come from the filling machine
    • Modification of PP002 program to integrate a steam regulation set-point specific to the SIP (sterilisation in place) process for the Groninger filling machine
    • Modification to the management of recipe changes on Guns_Warmup (recipes used to choose a program according to the expected results of the process) on the Ebeam machine from the new Stromboli high-speed filling line

Client benefits

  • Improved efficiency thanks to the involvement of versatile teams with expertise covering all the technologies on the site
  • Upskilling of the customer's maintenance teams
  • Reduced downtime of the facilities thanks to the introduction of an on-call organisation
  • Facilities brought into compliance, in line with pharmaceutical requirements

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