There is nothing like a crisis to spur innovation. The Covid-19 pandemic is not an exception. My Inbox runneth over with announcements—all good. Many are safety related, but this innovation reminds us that the controls and automation sector—both suppliers and manufacturers—plays a vital role in bringing vaccines and new therapies to market.
Honeywell announced Fast Track Automation, a combination of proprietary technology innovations for the life sciences industry that enables vital vaccines, treatments and therapies to move from regulatory approval to full production in as little as two months depending on process requirements. The solution incorporates process automation elements that can be configured in a virtual environment, then implemented rapidly once a therapy is approved and ready to be produced for public distribution.
By the way, this reflects a trend in the industry toward packaging products and solutions to make implementation easier and bette for the user.
Fast Track Automation is a response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, which has highlighted the need to accelerate delivery of medical solutions and devices to patients by focusing on ensuring more efficient production and testing capabilities along with facilitating strengthened supply chain. Life sciences manufacturers are leading the race against time to overcome the pandemic through innovative science. At the point in time when clinical trials are nearing completion, the ability to rapidly pivot and scale up to meet production demand will severely test existing technology infrastructures.
The most efficient way to ramp up the production of potential therapies is to facilitate development of commercial-scale manufacturing earlier, while treatments and prevention therapies are still in clinical trials. Fast Track Automation has been designed to be used in development applications in as little as two months, and then to help manufacturers scale up to full production immediately after the appropriate regulatory approvals are granted.
“Honeywell has provided the life sciences industry with consistently innovative advancements in automation technologies, systems and services for over 30 years, and Fast Track Automation offering is one of our most valuable offerings to date,” said Cynthia Pussinen, vice president and general manager, Life Sciences, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Our solution allows for end-to-end manufacturing process and data visualization, providing real-time visibility and predictive insights while offering benefits like enhanced audit-readiness and data integrity, minimized regulatory risk, increased operational efficiencies and reduced rejects and waste.”
Fast Track Automation leverages the power of the cloud, virtualization, batch software running in the controller, flexible assignment of computing power, remote asset management from a data center, and efficient, fast-track lean project implementation.
The technology prepares manufacturing automation designs in parallel with clinical trials to ensure production is ready to go once a medical therapy is approved. Manufacturers can even use the system to digitize manual steps during clinical trials to better consolidate and analyze data and more seamlessly prepare electronic submissions for regulatory body review and approval. Manufacturers can then use that data to prepare the final production automation design. Additionally, the system can be quickly scaled up or down depending on needed changes and demand.
Fast Track Automation is available now.