ManufacturingJuly 30, 2020

Life Sciences in the Age of Disruption

Short-term Scheduling for Production and Quality Control Labs.
Avatar Tom Muth
Life sciences in the age of disruptions.

The landscape of life sciences is undergoing a significant shift. From innovative research in fields like biology and pharmacy to the emergence of disruptive companies, the industry is in a state of flux. This transformation holds promise, offering new avenues in therapy discovery and biosciences. However, it also presents challenges and uncertainties. In this era of disruption, understanding the dynamics of life sciences has never been more crucial.

Life Sciences Industry

The Life Sciences industry is a multifaceted field, incorporating sectors such as medical device manufacturing, molecular biology, and public health. In recent years, the industry has been in the eye of the storm of digital disruption, with technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) playing pivotal roles.

  1. Medical device manufacturers are leveraging these technologies to improve the efficacy and personalization of their products.
  2. In the realm of molecular biology, innovation is thriving, driven by a surge in related patents.
  3. Meanwhile, public health organizations are using digital tools to enhance their services and response to health crises.

This disruption has led to a rapid evolution in life sciences, leading to both significant opportunities and challenges.

Short-term Scheduling for Production and Quality Control Labs

In the age of disruption, effective production planning and optimization approaches are even more important to ramping up or down production, or pivoting to production of new products. To future proof operations, a robust planning and scheduling approach is a key foundation to the factory of the future. This is especially true for Life Science manufacturers who have the added complexity of Production, Quality Control Labs, and R&D. These all need to be coordinated on their own, but are also interdependent on each other and need to be optimized collectively.

From a planning and scheduling perspective, the short-term plans and schedules are typically lacking visibility or the required real-time feedback on changing constraints to be truly effective. If you’re like most manufacturers, then your plant and supply chain are undoubtedly operating at some level of effectiveness today. Still, questions remain. How quickly are you able to identify a change in constraints, availability of materials, and resources, equipment? And how quickly can you react to any of those changes or simulate potential scenarios in advance so you can keep the plant operating efficiently and keep promises to customers?

Prioritizing Production Planning and Optimization

As it turns out, we find that more than 50% of manufactures are still doing their short-term planning and scheduling in spreadsheets, which has many disadvantages and can be difficult to maintain.

This is where Production Planning and Optimization or (APS) plays a key role in Life Sciences by planning and optimizing capacity simultaneously with labor certifications, shelf life of material, equipment resources, maintenance and laying out schedules using a finite capacity approach.

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