The pharmaceutical industry brings with it unique challenges. For one, regulation is far stricter than in most other manufacturing processes, often requiring climate controlled facilities and tamper-evident packaging to ensure the integrity and safety of every product manufactured.
Automated systems can be more complicated than manual systems, which can sometimes make them hard to justify. However, with international regulatory standards increasing in importance and additional liability being placed on pharmaceutical manufacturers, better information handling is no longer a matter of preference. It is a requirement. As food and beverage manufacturers have been realizing over the last decade, recalls and audits can be exceptionally time-consuming when data management is lax. A robust system of automation can help manage data by automating necessary reports, recording batch information, and ensuring that regulatory conditions for equipment and facility sterilization are met during production.
Security is a growing concern in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Proper automation can ensure traceability for production to meet regulatory standards such as FDA 21 CFR Part 11. In addition, SCADA systems using applications built with InduSoft Web Studio’s security features can enable password protection for individuals and groups, intellectual property protection for applications, and can even help monitor the physical security of pharmaceutical plants by automating access to doors and secure areas of the facility. By developing secure automated systems now, pharmaceutical companies can begin to develop policies for security throughout the company that will make it easier to implement IoT technology as it becomes more widely available.
Strong security for pharmaceutical companies can also help decrease liability risks by automating records that cannot be altered. Automation vastly improves the reliability of data, and reduces errors. In the event that something goes wrong, it’s far better to have access to data that clarifies who or what is responsible.
IoT technologies may play a large role in how pharmaceuticals are packaged and distributed in the coming years. With device manufacturers exploring ways to automate pill delivery in hospitals and nursing homes effectively and safely, it’s necessary to begin thinking about how interconnected systems connected to the internet can be made secure.
Strong foundations, like automated systems built around software like InduSoft web Studio can give pharmaceutical plant engineers all the functionality they need to create stable, secure automated systems that not only meet regulatory standards, but increase the efficiency and safety of pharmaceutical manufacturing.