Invest at the start of a life cycle: standardize packaging-line components and introduce remote connection for maintenance procedures
Pharmaceutical manufacturers could reduce costs significantly by standardizing packaging-line components and introducing remote connection for maintenance to all production lines. The initial investment is substantial but it will create savings during the life cycle of the equipment and lines.
Esa Kittilä, who is in charge of Servicepoint’s lifecycle services, recommends drawing up a plant standard for the equipment components used at the packaging lines. It would be worthwhile to carry out this task for example now when plants are investing in technology relating to both medicine-package serialization and integrity protection. “Above all, a standard for components would make the maintenance of lines more cost-effective. Purchasing different equipment components from different component manufacturers and storing the components ties down our customers’ money”, states Kittilä.
Experience of different components
Components of different manufacturers cause no problems for automation integrator Servicepoint because the company has several decades worth of experience from using all sorts of components in various industries. The company’s operation and the previous business activities of its owners have in fact been expressly based on the maintenance of packaging lines. Nowadays, the company is offering a comprehensive service for the automation of packaging lines. The service includes consulting, planning, manufacturing and installing of packaging lines as well as integration and life cycle services for the automation equipment. “We create automation in co-operation with our reliable and highly qualified partners. For example, Systech International, the world’s leading company specialised in brand protection, is our equipment partner in serialization projects. Our common market areas are Europe and Russia”, says Kittilä.
Maximum benefit from the remote connection
In addition to standards, Kittilä recommends introducing a remote connection for maintenance to all packaging lines of a plant. For example, Servicepoint uses a protected Tosibox VPN remote connection that automatically transforms the internet connection to a direct and safe connection between two terminals. This product is the only remote connection on the market which works in all common broadband services and other internet services. “With Tosibox we can access the customer’s packaging-line control systems to provide quick assistance in fault situations. Our maintenance staff is able to monitor the situation and find easily even very specific faults which would be unnoticeable when standing next to the line”, says Kittilä. “Remote monitoring brings savings to our customers as lines can be kept running and faults can be resolved in a cost-effective manner.”
Servicepoint’s lifecycle services comprise of fault rectification, maintenance, and spare part services, 24/7 support, and training services. If needed, service and maintenance tasks can be carried out by Servicepoint personnel working constantly on-site. “Our activities aim to produce added value to our customers, and that is why we bring out measures they can use to boost their operation. For example, it is a good idea to have a selection of critical spare parts stored away at all times. Thanks to this precaution, any possible interruptions in production will be as short as possible”, states Kittilä.
Key Account Manager
Servicepoint Kuopio Oy