In the production of high-quality pharmaceuticals, aiming for excellence in all production areas is the overarching goal of a well-defined and holistic course of action for process optimization. The strategy is to further simplify and streamline processes, improving their efficiency and effectiveness while reducing human errors.
Although challenging, this offers significant potential to fulfill the increasing expectations of customers and regulatory bodies for ever more efficient and flexible production processes.
Essential to this task is a pathway that involves an intelligently designed internal optimization process that takes a holistic approach by spanning the entire production system. This includes processes, employees and technologies across all production locations, departments and hierarchies of the production.
The result is a realignment and development of the entire system in the best way possible.
ProdEx is an effective method for ongoing process optimization
The internal optimization process of production, called ProdEx (Production Excellence), is indispensable at Vetter for a positive development of a production that is highly regulated, customer-transparent, complex and know-how intensive.
With ProdEx, achieving sustainable results is accomplished by creating a team of internal experts and the involvement of all executives. The goal is to design and implement solutions ‘from production for production’ using internal resources. The team manages the launch and implementation of the measures and controls the overall coordination of subsequent steps designed to further improve processes.
The result is a holistic approach for all production locations as well as with other technical departments.
Achieving the best possible results from the implementation of these measures is accomplished by combining and customizing aspects of a large spectrum of known and self-developed process optimization methods. These include:
- Lean Management
- Six Sigma
All measures are set out into five clearly defined pillars
ProdEx generates successful results
Vetter has been applying ProdEx to its manufacturing process for the past six years.
Process optimizations resulting from ProdEx demonstrate significant results. These include:
1. Systematic waste disposal – checking and terminating processes that have no identifiable value-added elements:
- Total work reduction for affected employees ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours per day/per employee
- Reduction of the burden for employees in production and surrounding areas
2. Implementation of a digital micro-malfunction management system
- Increase of technical availability in aseptic filling, packaging and automated visual inspection – increase in performance up to 12%
3. Development of a comprehensive program to avoid human error based on the pillars ‘Process – Organization – Human Factors’
- Significant reduction of the human error rate by 15% within three years
These examples illustrate that it is possible to simultaneously combine widening process optimization and increasing quality.
ProdEx results – A critical contribution to the results of a company-wide optimization system
Through ProdEx, Vetter has improved production flexibility and increased efficiency, all while meeting an increase in quality assurance requirements from customers and regulatory authorities. At Vetter, aiming for excellence in all production areas is the overarching goal of ProdEx. The results achieved are integral to the Vetter Optimization System (VOS), which paves the way for a company-wide continuous improvement process.