Siemens is banking on automation and digitalisation to tap into Indian pharma space

Indian pharma sector is key to the growth strategy of Siemens. The company has been investing heavily in the development of smart, customer-focussed local innovations using automation and digital technologies. Eckard Eberle, CEO, Business Unit Process Automation, Siemens explains their strategy to Raelene Kambli

How does Siemens operate in India’s pharma space?

Siemens has identified pharma as a key growth vertical. It has a dedicated team to interface with customers in this sector. We engage deeply with customers to identify their challenges and needs, and then develop smart, customer-focussed local innovations. The solutions are based on feedback from the process industry and CXOs from within the sector and are conceptualised and validated to solve many of the challenges faced by the industry. Our strength is our ability to combine automation knowledge, digitalisation and domain know-how, for the process industries – whether it is pharma, cement, beer brewing or chemicals.

What growth prospects do you see in the Indian pharma market?

The Indian pharma market is expected to grow at 15 per cent market per annum until 2020 from today’s $30 billion. The Indian pharma industry has a 33 per cent cost productivity advantage compared to the US market and India has over 500 US FDA-approved manufacturing sites. This makes India a very attractive proposition for exports and India stands today as the largest exporter of generic APIs in the world. The prospects are bright.

What are the tasks have you set in achieving your business goals in Indian pharma?

We are focusing on innovation by integrating technology and automation into processes that make the pharma industry more efficient. Over a period of time, we have acquired knowledge in the process industry encompassing chemical engineering, manufacturing, automation, information technology especially understanding local manufacturing nuances and bottlenecks. With this, we are in a unique position to comprehend and assimilate local industry challenges and translate this knowledge into developing innovative and indigenous solutions for solving some of these challenges. It is this very thought that has led to the setup of an Innovation Cell within our Process Automation Business Unit at Siemens India. We have already worked on several process problems to help the pharma industry improve yield, enhance manufacturing flexibility, simplify processes and achieve regulatory compliance.

How will Siemens solutions help pharma companies with their process innovations?

Some of the Siemens digital solutions for pharma companies and their benefits:

Improve yield: Siemens’ SIPAT software enables process analytics in the development and production stages. Consistent and reliable quality is ensured by analysing process data based on mathematical models and by real-time feedback into the system. The solution can bring an immediate yield improvement of one per cent per batch and can pay back within one year.
Enhance manufacturing flexibility: Siemens’ process automation solution enables batch planning, scheduling and overall management of the production order. It consists of SIMATIC PCS 7, SIMATIC BATCH and Preactor – interfacing with Siemens’ electronic batch record(SIMATIC IT eBR) and also ERP systems. This setup enables a more flexible workflow, easier recipe management and reduced human intervention. This decreases batch cycle time by up to 15 per cent.

Process simplification: The XHQ operational intelligence software aggregates, relates and presents operational and business data in real-time – enabling data transparency and continuous improvement of the manufacturing process. Additionally, data can also be uploaded to MindSphere to perform process analytics and generate insights to drive process simplification and intensification.

Regulatory compliance: Siemens’ electronic batch record solution SIMATIC IT eBR enables paperless manufacturing within regulated processes. It supports operational and manufacturing efficiency in both manual and highly automated environments – designing, executing and approving the batch record. Additionally, the increased data integrity helps expedite regulatory approvals.

Furthermore, our DCS(PCS 7) is fully compliant to cGMP and FDA 21CFR Part11 out of the box with standard documentation to support the validation V cycle of the project.