Advancing Digital Plant Maturity for Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers

by , | Mar 28, 2019 | Industry, Life Sciences & Medical, Sustainability

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

At the recent 2019 China International Biopharma4.0 Summit, Emerson’s Ron Rossbach presented Biopharma 4.0—Integrated Software Enabling Digital Capabilities. I’ll highlight some of Ron’s key points.

Ron Rossbach presents at 2019 China International Biopharma4.0 SummitHe opened describing some of the main challenges biopharmaceutical manufacturers seek to address through enterprise digitalization—reducing time to market, increasing capital expenditure (CAPEX) productivity, increasing operational efficiency and improving forecasting & decision-making agility.

The technology involved in digital transformation is but one dimension. Companies need to take a holistic view across technology, people, culture and groups within the organization.

One of the biggest challenges is that there is no cohesive description of what a digital enterprise looks like. Questions arise such as:

  • How do I define the concept of Digital Plant in a way that describes how capabilities can be transformed step-wise and in a way that can be easily understood and measured?
  • What specific capabilities do I need to meet my objectives?
  • Against these capabilities, how mature is my environment today?
  • How do I compare against industry benchmarks?
  • What is my transformational aspiration in the next 3, 5, 10 years?

In the biopharma industry, many initiatives are ongoing to sort through these questions. Some examples include the BioPhorum Operations Group, National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals, and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training.

Ron described how the Emerson Life Sciences industry consultants use a maturity model structure, based on the Biophorum Digital Plant Maturity Model (DPMM). It provides a common vocabulary around digitalization/digital transformation. This approach enables consistent, pragmatic definitions of digital capabilities across the enterprise and assists manufacturers in deciding what capabilities are needed to realize their top-line business objectives.

Digital Transformation roadmap processApplied correctly, DPMM provides the language and mechanism for having the right conversations with the right stakeholders while facilitating agreement on the future vision of the results of these transformational efforts. In this maturity model, levels of advancement include pre-digital plants, digital silos, connected plants, predictive plants and ultimately adaptive plants.

Ron explained that taking a digital transformation road-mapping approach typically begins with an assessment workshop process that defines the starting point for each unique journey. The workshop defines the business drivers and appropriate target end points and then prioritizes which gaps to close and initiates the roadmap.

The digital maturity model addresses capabilities across the enterprise, not just technical or systems capabilities within production. Included are these business drivers:

  • Production Management
    • Sensing, Automation, Scheduling, Logistics, Quality, Compliance
  • Reliability & Maintenance
    • Predictive maintenance, KPI’s, optimization, spares
  • Value Chain Innovation
    • Product Development, Agility, Integration
  • Sustainability
    • Energy Management, Efficiency, Environmental Monitoring
  • Risk Management
    • Cybersecurity, Alarms/Alerts, Emergency Response, Safety & Security

On the people and workflow side of this process, enabling capabilities include:

  • Organizational Enablement
    • Workforce Development, Knowledge Management, Change Management
  • Systems & Data Integration
    • Data Governance, Analytics, Visualization, Business Process Automation, Infrastructure & Architecture

For biopharmaceutical manufacturers, advancing through the digital maturity phases to achieve top quartile performance can mean 14% greater first-pass quality yield, 5 times faster cycle time, 2 times faster inventory turns and 12.5% higher capacity utilization than bottom quartile producers. This quartile analysis comes from the American Productivity and Quality Center APQC).

Ron shared specific examples of improves in raw material control, process control, quality control and real time models and their impacts on business performance.

If you’ll be going to the April 2-4 Interphex conference in New York City, make sure to catch Ron’s presentation, It’s the Climb: Scaling the Digital Transformation Mountain One Step at a Time where he highlights this roadmap workshop process and describes specific opportunities for business performance improvements.

You can also connect and interact with other biopharma and pharmaceutical industry experts in the Life Sciences group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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