For pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, repeatability is a primary goal when developing new manufacturing software solutions. The concept is simple – you select a facility or production line for the initial project, creating a software solution to deliver on your manufacturing and business objectives. Once you have that operational and delivering results, you can then look at deploying the solution in additional facilities and production lines.
While the concept is straightforward, achieving this repeatability is close to impossible using traditional on-premises architectures, as the copy of the solution never fully works on subsequent deployments. Even when developers give as much consideration as possible to repeatability, problems still arise. Those problems mean that, in subsequent deployments, code changes must be made, and fixes implemented.
This is because there are always unique features in every subsequent deployment of on-site manufacturing software solutions that aim to be repeatable. Those unique features can exist in a range of areas, including data capture and extraction, as well as the hardware and networking that exists in the facility. Server builds, function delivery, and equipment communication protocols can also have unique elements that prevent fully repeatable deployments. The hardware resources on-site can also present challenges, as can the ability of the system to handle the processes required to copy and redeploy the application.
At SL Controls, we have first-hand experience of these challenges as customers regularly ask us to deploy tried and tested manufacturing software solutions on different lines or facilities. Developing an answer to this repeatability challenge became a key priority.
Building Solutions in the Cloud
Developing cloud-based solutions is the key to overcoming the challenges of achieving full repeatability of manufacturing software solutions for companies in the pharma and MedTech industries. This is because the developer must create a solution that uses remote resources and that also fits within the architecture of the cloud.
So, for example, when a solution is developed to deliver data between a production line and the cloud, that solution must be tailored to the cloud. This makes the solution repeatable on any similar production line or facility, as it uses the architecture of the cloud rather than any on-premises architecture.
Not only are cloud-based manufacturing software solutions fully repeatable, but they can be copied and redeployed in seconds.
Benefits of the Cloud-Based, Build Once, Deploy in Seconds Model
- Reduce resources required for subsequent deployments – with the traditional approach using on-premises architecture, subsequent deployments of manufacturing software solutions usually require highly skilled developers to implement. With repeatable cloud-based solutions, the process of copying and redeploying is automated.
- Save time and money – the provisioning of the software solution on additional production lines or facilities takes seconds rather than days, weeks, or months. Plus, there is no requirement for further coding or development, increasing the savings further.
- Improves agility – having the ability to deploy essential manufacturing software solutions in new environments will make your business more agile and better equipped to react and adapt as required.
- Ensures greater consistency of deployment – the automated nature of redeployments ensures consistency, prevents configuration drift (where the software solution is changed with each deployment resulting in a situation where there are multiple versions in operation), and eliminates the potential for human error.
New technologies, systems, processes, and practices are making it possible for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to transform their operations, enhance competitiveness, and improve profitability. Successfully, efficiently, and cost-effectively deploying manufacturing software solutions multiple times is one of the challenges to overcome. Cloud architectures provide the answer. To find out more, contact us at SL Controls today.