How the Pharmaceutical Industry Increases Manufacturing Efficiency

In American Manufacturing

Marlin Steel on April 21, 2015

Pharmacology labs and production centers have many challenges, ones which make rapid production of pharmaceuticals tough.When someone says “big pharma,” what’s the first thing that springs to your mind? For most, the first thing that comes to mind might be a specific medication, or medical insurance, or maybe even a TV ad.

However, what we here at Marlin Steel most associate with the phrase “big pharma” is manufacturing.

Like any manufacturer, pharmaceutical companies have to produce a product and deliver it to their clients/customers in a timely manner. Also like manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies constantly strive to find ways to overcome challenges that impede efficiency and productivity.

So, how do pharmaceutical companies increase their efficiency? Here are a few ways:

1: Eliminating Product Rejections

Pharmaceutical products have to adhere to very strict standards. From the labeling of a product, to the exact combination of ingredients/chemicals, to the sanitation standards of the containers, everything has to be perfect.

If one thing goes wrong, an entire load of products might have to be rejected. Each time products have to be rejected, that is money and time down the drain. Money on materials that may not be able to be re-processed again, and time lost on getting an extra load of product ready, possibly delaying time-to-market.

So, many pharmaceutical companies look for ways to optimize their process so that mishaps such as incomplete sterilizations of containers do not happen.

2: Streamlining Production Processes

Marlin Steel Wire Basket #133007 used in the pharmaceutical industryThe more steps there are to a production process, the longer it will usually take. Slower production processes are less profitable production processes, limiting the volume of product that can be created and shipped out in a day.

Finding ways to remove unnecessary processes, or to make existing processes complete more quickly is key to maximizing profitability.

For example, having to move the jars or bottles for a medication from one type of parts washing basket to another creates a bottleneck that restricts productivity.

3: Improving Useful Life of Production Assets

Having to constantly replace production assets such as machines and bottle baskets is not only inefficient, it can be downright expensive.

Every time a basket breaks and an errant product or bottle breaks in a machine, there is a risk of damage to the machinery, and a halt to production as the basket and its contents are removed from the system and the machine is cleared of foreign objects that could damage it.

Using more robust, well-designed equipment minimizes the risk of items breaking during the production process, which reduces replacement costs as well as production downtime.

How Pharmaceutical Companies Do All of the Above

So, how do pharmaceutical companies reduce rejections, streamline production, and maximize the useful life of their production assets?

One way in which companies in the pharmaceutical industry do all of the above is by using custom steel wire baskets for their production processes. Baskets that are custom-tailored to a pharmaceutical’s production process offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Superior Performance for Cleaning and Sterilization Cycles. When cleaning and sterilizing products and containers, it is absolutely vital that contaminants are completely removed from the items being sanitized, and that the cleaning/sterilization solution(s) can reach the parts easily. Wire mesh baskets allow for plentiful open space, allowing cleaning agents in, and letting contaminants out.

  • Cradle to Grave Processing. Having to switch from one stock basket to another when moving products and containers from one finishing process to the next wastes valuable production time. With a custom steel wire basket, the basket can be designed for compatibility with multiple processes, eliminating the need for time-consuming basket changes in between steps.

  • Durability. With the right design and materials, a metal wire basket can take the stresses of a given product finishing process over and over again for years. By making the basket out of the right materials, the risk of a basket breaking and spilling product into your equipment is greatly reduced. This prolongs the useful life of the baskets as well as your equipment.

With the right product handling basket, pharmaceutical companies can save time and money on the production line.

Discover more ways to enhance the efficiency of a pharmaceutical company’s production with purpose-built steel wire mesh baskets.

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Author: Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel is a leading manufacturer of custom‐engineered products from steel wire and sheet metal. Its industrial material handling containers serve many industries including aerospace, defense, medical and automotive.

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