Wanbury's golden batch is powered by IoT

An IoT a day

Wanbury's golden batch is powered by IoT - CIO&Leader

For years, pharma companies have exulted on the profits made by their blockbuster drugs; however, little has been done to upgrade the ancient techniques to modernize their manufacturing processes.

Not Wanbury – because it is modernizing its business with IoT.

The Indian pharmaceutical company that was incorporated in 1988 as a Private Limited Company is the largest producer of Metformin, a drug used to improve blood sugar control in people with type II diabetes. It has over 13 APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredient) in its coterie of products. 

In a report, titled ‘The Internet of Things — Connecting a Healthcare Ecosystem’, IDC noted that nearly 40% already have pilot projects or IoT work underway.

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is all about producing the golden batch,” says Mishra.

Pharma manufacture is largely a batch process that involves mixing of compounds in large containers, followed by long delays to measure the quality of each intermediate product. The information about conditions, status, and quality of each intermediate is gathered in a wide variety of separate systems. Some critical data is still gathered and stored in paper-based logs.

Wanbury is trying to change this.

“IoT has had a slow start in pharma but it has quickly picked up pace in the adoption of future technologies, such as Robotics for packaging and batch record capturing,” says Jitendra Mishra, VP – CIO, Wanbury.

In a manufacturing environment, a “golden batch” is used to describe the ideal batch of a drug. Getting a proper yield is very critical and IoT plays an important role in capturing the parameters of the ideal circumstances under which a golden batch is produced. These parameters include the temperature, air conditioning, overall steam, machine effectiveness, equipment life – critical factors need to produce repeat batches.

Wanbury has implemented a holistic IoT solution in three major functions: Batch manufacturing (production), sales and marketing, and logistics. It has integrated the solution with the analytics and sales platform.

“We are currently in the process of conducting a POC of the IoT solution in batch manufacturing and the production yield has improved substantially,” says Mishra.

The work efficiency of its 3500 medical representatives company has gone up 100%; so has the accuracy levels.  

The company has given the IoT-enabled devices to its salesforce. Sales representatives enabled with iPads, can capture data throughout the day, thus enabling more accurate call reporting and improving overall efficiency. The information is fed to the servers almost immediately. It eliminates the odds for erroneous reporting that can come in the way of making critical business decisions.

Additionally, it allows the central server to capture the number of medical representations in the field on a given day, their locations, and the doctors that they are going to meet. The solution also helps the sales representative to choose the best route to a doctor’s clinic. The company has already gone live with the new IoT solution for their sales.

Mishra, however, says, “It is important to determine the real value of IoT before integrating it with business. This is not a project that IT can operate in a silo. It requires investment, time, and a strong team that can take this initiative forward.”

“Before embarking, an organization must know about its impact on the whole business model, revenue, and its long-term impact,” he says.

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