Automation Check in the pharma industry

Zühlke automation workshop – a key step for production scale up

The biotech and pharmaceutical sectors are gearing up to deliver some highly innovative new products. These range from personalised medicine and drug profiling, to advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) such as tissue-engineered, cell and gene therapy products. Over the next few years we expect to see some major innovations in this area.

To fully exploit their commercial potential, however, established companies and start-ups alike have to overcome the fact that large scale manufacturing of these innovative products is a major challenge. To help you move forward in this area, we’re offering a free one-hour ‘automation workshop’ with our experts. 

Interested in looking at how we would tackle automation-related challenges in your business?

Why you need smart automation

Manufacturing new biotech or pharmaceutical products is a highly complex endeavour. It normally involves numerous laborious manual steps, requires highly qualified employees, and often requires a high sterility environment. As in many other industries, the best, most successful way of manufacturing these products is to use automation to scale-up production.

But for pharmaceutical and biotech products, this can be challenging. Where processes can’t be automated one-to-one, for example, lack of experience makes it hard to assess the effects of the changes required, or to assess whether a specific method will work at all. In addition, high levels of technical complexity mean that businesses are often unable to find commercially available equipment able to perform specific manufacturing processes efficiently.

Infographic automation workshop

To overcome these challenges, here at Zühlke we recommend the following:

  • Use agile approaches to carry out continuous iteration cycles under controlled conditions
  • Understand the high level of complexity of your processes and break them down into smaller, more manageable problems 
  • Take an interdisciplinary approach to technology and biology and consider the various technical languages and approaches used by automation specialists and academia
  • Where possible, transfer production steps to closed-system disposables, which allow for a fully automated process workflow enclosed in a sterile disposable

The key to successfully scaling up production is smart automation. That needs innovative, experienced partners. To help you move forward in this area, we’re offering a free one-hour ‘automation workshop’ with our experts. 

A real world example of production scale-up

Daniela Marino, Cutiss
Our biggest challenge was the scale-up. At this point we needed a partner who understands what we are doing. Luckily, we found this in Zühlke.
Daniela Marino

Life science start-up Cutiss has set itself the goal of revolutionising treatment for burns victims. By using custom, lab-grown skin, they hope to significantly reduce scarring or even prevent it altogether. Until recently, the production process was a time-consuming, labour-intensive manual process.

Working together, Cutiss and Zühlke quickly developed a prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of automated cell isolation. A closed system concept provided the solution to automating the existing manual process. Cutiss is now in a position to develop the process further to produce a commercially viable product. (For more on this, see our Whitepaper.)

Interested in looking at how we would tackle automation-related challenges in your business? We’re offering a free one-hour ‘automation workshop’ with our experts.

About Zühlke 

Automating complex processes and developing medical-grade products is no easy feat. A scale-up in production takes multi-disciplinary experience and requires proven processes. With more than 50 years experience in the medical field, that's exactly what Zühlke offers.

We bring together mechanical engineering, electronics and software experts in well-oiled project teams at 14 locations worldwide. These teams develop state-of-the-art devices and solutions for the global pharmaceutical, biotech, medtech and healthcare markets. Our comprehensive service includes design control, risk management and GxP-compliant production support. 

As a Zühlke partner, you benefit from our in-depth understanding of the entire development lifecycle, our value engineering (cost reduction) methodology, and our regulatory and technological expertise. The advanced, cost-effective, compliant solutions we build together enable you to scale up your biological processes. 

If you’re interested in how we would tackle your automation-related challenges, book a free one-hour ‘automation workshop’ with our experts.