Pharmaceutical industry challenges

21 March 2022

The pharmaceutical industry is growing at an exponential rate. In 2020 alone, pharma revenues worldwide totalled 1.27 trillion US dollars. Whilst we’ve always known that this industry has been at the forefront of new developments and technology, the COVID-19 pandemic really shone a light on just how incredible its capabilities really are.

A pharmacist handling a row of test tubes with gloves on

However, the pharmaceutical industry is incredibly competitive and incredibly complex. Therefore, it doesn’t come without its challenges.

This is where pharmaceutical companies rely on the expertise of pharmaceutical manufacturers to create the solutions that solve their pain points and combats their challenges in the market. 

In this article, we explore the most common of these pain points and challenges within the pharmaceutical industry and how Sewtec can help companies overcome them with our labelling and packaging automated systems.

Managing high-speed production lines

Pharmaceuticals are produced and manufactured in large volumes to meet demand. Those that aren’t getting products out at high speed run the risk of falling behind the competition. This highlights the need for streamlined and high-speed automation when it comes to product handling. And whilst yes, high-speed production can only be a good thing in terms of efficiencies, working at such a pace can cause issues such as misalignments and blockages on production lines.

Workers having to manually fix these issues every time they occur feels counterproductive. At Sewtec Automation, we supply unscrambling feed systems and sortation systems that ensure that products flow through efficiently and without issues. We also specialise in supplying product handling systems designed to handle medicines and drugs with the delicacy that they require. And because all of our solutions are bespoke, they are built with your volume needs and production speeds in mind.

Regulation and compliance

The pharmaceutical industry is awash with rigorous requirements standards to adhere to in order to ensure a high level of quality and safety. Keeping on top of these is of the utmost importance and our automation systems can help you consistently achieve compliance and give you that all-important peace of mind.

Sewtec’s solutions help your business adhere to the following standards:

  • TÜV SÜD validation – correct sterilisation within the packaging processes, including the safe reprocessing of reusable devices according to international standards.
  • The Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) – regulations are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that each batch of medicines meet quality standards and are safe and effective. 
  • ISO Cleanroom Classification – gives the concentration of airborne non-viable particles in any class to avoid contamination in pharmaceutical sterile preparations. Our ergonomic, stainless steel machinery can be supplied to meet this classification.

Our solutions also ensure that your products are clearly labelled and that packaging shows all the correct information required. 

Testing and inspection

If there’s one industry where product testing and inspection is paramount, it’s the pharmaceutical industry. When dealing with people and animals’ health, nothing can be left to chance. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that products are safe for consumption and meet industry standards before they leave your facility. 

Whether it’s accurate weight measurement, metal and foreign particle detection or checking visual aspects such as liquid levels, quality inspection and label readability – there are plenty of boxes to tick before a product can be put on the shelves ready for sale.

With this in mind, automating essential product verification and testing processes using industrial vision systems is vital for any manufacturer looking to maximise Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Industrial vision systems can provide full visibility of each test as it happens, giving live results at the point of manufacture.

Thanks to Sewtec’s extensive knowledge of third-party cameras, our expert team of industrial automation integrators and in-house software engineers can integrate high-quality hardware with specialist software knowledge to maximise the effectiveness of the testing and inspection processes.The result? An automated testing or verification system integrated at the core of your production line.



Drug recalls

Whilst most drug recalls are minor, they can be a real disruption for pharmaceutical companies – not to mention a potential threat to public health. Whether it’s for harmful, counterfeit or defective drugs, it’s important that companies have the infrastructure in place to trace products in order to recall them efficiently if needed. This is done by applying accountability throughout the supply chain.

This can be done via an automated track and trace system. Over the years, track and trace systems have become a vitally important part of the pharmaceutical sector. They apply unique identifier codes at each packaging point that get verified, validated and authenticated before the product can move onto the next stage of the production or packaging process. These codes stay on each product long after they’ve reached their intended destination. If a drug recall occurs, tracing products back is considerably more accurate and smooth.

Here at Sewtec Automation, we have years of experience in inventing, designing, manufacturing, installing and supporting track and trace systems for clients in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond. This expertise allows us to create high-speed automated track and trace systems that bring an extra level of accuracy, quality and safety to your production line.

Minimising errors

Errors in the pharmaceutical industry can really damage performance and reputation – and that’s the last thing you want in such a competitive space. In the worst cases, errors can even lead to lawsuits. When companies rely on human input, the chance of errors increase. That’s why it’s important that pharmaceutical companies automate their processes to drive efficiencies and consistency and reduce the chance of mistakes.

At Sewtec, we specialise in automation systems for the pharmaceutical industry. Whether it’s systems to monitor dose control, correctly sealing packaging, labelling or quality control – we can build a system that solves your pain point and gives you peace of mind that errors will be significantly reduced.

Are you a pharmaceutical company in need of a turn-key solution to meet your automation requirements? Streamline your processes and keep up with the competition by speaking to Sewtec Automation about your next project.

Get in touch with us today via our website or call 01924 494 047