For most manufacturing businesses, a considerable chunk of their annual budget is allocated for equipment upkeep alone. This is because adequate, well-planned maintenance is fundamental for keeping the plant floor safe and functional.
This is especially the case in industries with products that directly affect the health of the public. In such organizations, the fallout from machine failure problems can attract stiff penalties and fines as well. The pharmaceutical industry is a sector that falls into this classification.
The Peculiarities of Asset Maintenance for Pharmaceuticals
Ordinarily, the finished products from pharmaceutical companies are intended to relieve or heal sicknesses. But, issues with production or quality control often result in drugs that may complicate the condition of patients, or even worse. Because of this, pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment and maintenance processes are subject to more scrutiny than other businesses.
Pharma plant owners must always be mindful of the following:
Heavy regulatory controls
Every step of the manufacturing process must comply with strict standards such as the Current Good Manufacturing Processes (CGMPs) to guarantee the integrity and potency of the finished products.
Equipment downtime is more complicated
Equipment downtime in any industry comes with several inconveniences but for pharmaceuticals, they face the additional problem of microbial multiplication in mixtures during machine breakdown and the heavy losses caused by wasted batches.
In fact, Manufacturing.net reports that pharmaceutical manufacturers commonly lose up to $500,000 per scrapped batch due to interruptions from downtime.
The grave consequences of contaminated drugs
Even slight deviations during production can contaminate drugs, affect patients, and negatively impact brand reputation.
Yet, pharma brands still need to thrive and remain competitive in this strict sector. To succeed, they need innovative ways to generate enough revenue, comply with strict production rules, and optimize efficiency while minimizing operational costs.
Interestingly, the core principles of GMP are strict about the quality of equipment maintenance. Choosing a powerful and modern computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is therefore key.
How CMMS Helps Pharmaceutical Industry
A CMMS will help pharmaceuticals attain the best practices as demanded in their sector in the following ways:
Eliminate reactive maintenance
A high frequency of reactive maintenance or emergency repairs is of the major signs of poor operational structure in a plant. This will definitely not do in an industry as sensitive as pharmaceutical manufacturing.
A CMMS comes with several features like work order management and planned maintenance that will help to give a more structured approach to maintenance and eliminate unplanned shutdowns, wasted materials, contamination, etc.
Smoother documents and data management
CMMS gives you a powerful platform for document management and reporting. Instead of spending time trying to manage cumbersome paper records, all the members of the team can update and view documents even from remote locations at any time using mobile devices, tablets, or computers.
This makes it easy to meticulously document all the procedures and instructions required to prevent contamination or error. All this documentation can also serve as evidence of compliance during an audit exercise.
Of course, the safety of pharmaceutical staff is also important. They work in an environment where a malfunctioning or misaligned equipment could douse them with dangerous chemicals.
CMMS can be integrated with predictive capabilities so that staff will get alerts about potential machine failure well in advance and take appropriate actions.
Improve quality control
Use a CMMS to schedule all maintenance tasks from the most basic ones like cleaning to more advanced ones like critical equipment inspections and testing.
This will help to protect drugs and other products from contamination right from the beginning of the production cycle till they reach the final consumers.
Our CMMS solution is designed to help pharma brands stay ahead of the requirements in this sensitive industry. It comes with many other features that will help your business achieve a safer facility with maximized plant availability. Schedule a demo today. Let’s talk and find out how we can help you achieve operational excellence.Free DemoFree Demo