Real Time Data Integration and Dashboarding | Automation.com

Real Time Data Integration and Dashboarding

April 292013
Real Time Data Integration and Dashboarding

Pharmaceutical Automation Roundtable (PAR) 2012 - Part 5

By Bill Lydon, Editor

This is the fifth article of a series about the annual Pharmaceutical Automation Roundtable (PAR). I attended the Roundtable in November 2012, hosted by AbbVie, which at the time was part of Abbott in North Chicago, Illinois. Lead automation engineers from pharmaceutical companies all around the world participated. The PAR group members have a wealth of practical knowledge and knowhow to share with other participants, truly learning from each other.

PAR was founded about 15 years ago by Dave Adler and John Krenzke, both with Eli Lilly and Company at the time, as a means of benchmarking and sharing best practices for automation groups among peer pharmaceutical companies. The group specifically does not discuss confidential or proprietary information, cost or price of products, price or other terms of supply contracts, plans to do business or not do business with specific suppliers, contractors, or other companies. This is the most knowledgeable group of pharmaceutical automation professionals gathered in one place discussing automation issues. A range of companies participated including AbbVie, Amgen, Biogen Idec, BMS, Genentech, Genzyme, GSK, Eli Lilly, NNE Pharmaplan, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer.

Topic: Real Time Data Integration and Dashboarding

This presenter discussed real-time data integration and dash boarding. Over the last years his company focused its efforts in standardizing Process Control System (PCS) Platforms across the network using a common blueprint. Part of the standardization process included data collection capabilities of process information into a common repository. They have been exploring new ways to leverage on this standardization, adding value, by pursuing the vision to provide the “right information, at the right time to the right people.” The new challenge is integration of silos of dissimilar data to transform it into useful information.

The information systems group has been developing a framework that allows teams to combine isolated “Islands of Information” including building management, plant utilities, process control, and business data; and transform disparate data into useful information. The proposed framework allows users to view and analyze disperse data in a variety of ways leveraging their standard automation infrastructure. They have a holistic dashboard concept with dashboards defined to help users quickly focus on problem areas.

Lessons Learned

  • As it is a new concept user requirements are vague.
  • Many triggered activities depend on manual operations, and require operational discipline.
  • There is a high level of acceptance by management and stakeholders.
  • Requires involvement from business partners and competes with other business priorities.
  • KPI requirements definitions were not consistent across sites, so agreement on standards from top level management is necessary.

PAR Group Discussion Comments

Individual PAR members from other biopharmaceutical companies injected the following comments on this topic:

“Real-time dashboarding is a “huge deal” at our company. There are sponsors throughout the corporation and when it is delivered well, people use it. The biggest successes so far have been on packaging and dry products manufacturing lines. We have well-defined guidelines for calculating performance, particularly for OEE.”

“We have a lot of interest in dash boarding. We have a big effort at one of our facilities for labeling and packaging to move away from using a white board. There is no corporate initiative - it is site driven today. There are pockets of interest but it not a high priority.”

“There is interest from management but there are no corporate initiatives. There are some people at individual sites that created their own.”

“We have a wide range of dashboard and manual calculated OEE that I am trying to converge. It is more of an information system driven effort.”

“We are currently going through an evaluation of the systems to define dashboard information requirements.”

“We have various systems with data, OEE definition, and KPI definition, but no dashboard standard.

“We have gone through phases - first it was visualizing cost, then efficiency, and next will be monitoring throughput time.”

“Some of the sites are reluctant to use the systems, but if management uses it as part of their weekly plant reviews it gets used.”

“Even though OEE and data integration/dashboarding have gained momentum, it is still difficult to quantify the value to be derived from such implantations.  It is difficult to justify the required investment and annual costs to upper management. Most successes that I have heard of often have a champion in upper management that believes in the inherent benefit of the access to information and ability to analyze the data to improve processes and operations.” 

“Our dashboards have been primarily on packaging lines.”

Other Articles in this PAR Series:

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