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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Adopting Automation

For decades, robotics have been available, but have been either too costly or difficult to implement. With significant improvements to software and machine-learning, along with more cost-effective robot manufacturing, robotics have become a viable option for players throughout the supply chain, including small-scale operations.

Robotics have never been as adaptable as they are today, and this will increase exponentially in the near future. This flexibility, in conjunction with radical improvements in software, will fuel an explosion in robotics implementation.

Robotic Opportunities

Automation offers a wealth of opportunities in the pharma industry. Recent advances in automation technology have made it more accessible and userfriendly. Upgrading or creating manufacturing lines with more automation increases reliability, safety, compliance, security, and, in most cases, efficiency. These benefits have made automation more than a show piece for highvalue lines, but a major component in modern manufacturing.

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John McCullough, Continuous Improvement Engineer at Sharp Services, leads the US departmentís lean development and transformation. His background has been focussed on lean transformations over the past 10 years in industries such as pharma, chemical, and consumer products. John has experience in operations management, continuous improvement/operational excellence, industrial engineering, material requirements planning systems, and quality management. He has a masterís degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University, US, and an undergraduate in mathematics and physics from Moravian College, US. 

Justin Ludwig, Operations Project Manager at Sharp Services, designs and implements novel mechanical and electrical solutions to improve packaging processes and equipment. 
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John McCullough
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Justin Ludwig
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Clinical and Regulatory Operational Excellence Forum

1. Innovative technologies are expected to take clinical development, licensing, and other regulatory processes to the next level in the future. What do you see are the biggest challenges facing companies when trying to cope with continued data growth in a fast changing environment? Pharmaceutical companies are heavily regulated and introducing change needs proof of acceptance by the authorities. The chance that authorities do not agree with that change makes the industry risk averse. Changes in a stable GxP environment are almost by default seen as a risk, however, not adapting to new technologies should also be seen as a risk! Therefore, ICH developed the ICH Q8, Q9, Q10, Q11, and Q12 guidelines, to anticipate change and implement changes much faster, with less of a regulatory burden. Nevertheless, industry is not picking up with the desired pace. Why not?
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