Vifor Pharma Wins 2018 Pharma 4.0 Award for Implementation of Augmented Reality System

Friday, September 28, 2018 Drug News
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ZURICH, September 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Vifor Pharma Group today announced that the company and partner Goodly

Innovations were awarded the 2018 Pharma 4.0 Award for the innovation of the year in manufacturing execution systems in the pharma industry.

Presented on 24 September in Berlin, the purpose of the Pharma 4.0 Award

is to recognise outstanding implementation in manufacturing execution systems innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Vifor Pharma was the first company to pilot a dynamic team-based augmented reality system (Goodly Innovations' OptiworX) in a pilot project at its site in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 2017. Augmented reality uses optical devices to create a "mixed reality" (i.e. real and virtual) 3D holographic information, like superimposed text and graphics over the real environment.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging processes are complex. Floor operators must run through many detailed checklists of changeover or line clearance tasks while ensuring that no errors occur. These processes, often managed using printed manuals and checklists, are slow and prone to errors. Augmented reality turns any task list - no matter how complex - into a dynamic multi user workflow that adapts continuously to real-life operations as each task is completed, such as when the number of operators changes. The application also gives users only the instructions they need at each step in the process. Operators are thus able to do their jobs better and faster, and with much more flexibility and accuracy, even when processes become more complex.

"Applying augmented reality in our operations allowed us to improve the changeover process and increase productivity by up to 50% at our packaging plant," said Dr. Benno Bischof, Head of Product Group, Technical Operations, in St. Gallen. "We have clearly demonstrated the potential of augmented reality by using it to create a dynamic teamwork system, unprecedented in our industry. -. This is the kind of innovative technology that we strive to use to improve our operations."

"We set out to reduce the format change time by 30%, which at the time of our first prototype seemed like a bold objective. Now that we have real-life data from multiple installations, we are blown away by the results. Improving overall equipment effectiveness by 15 percentage points exceeded our expectations. It was also amazing to see error rates drop to virtually zero or on-boarding times become vastly accelerated," said Robert Hoffmeister, CEO of Goodly Innovations. "We are very grateful for the trust and constructive feedback we got from the supportive teams at Vifor Pharma during this important early phase. Now we are just as excited to see the interest in OptiworX grow so rapidly in the industry."

The 2018 Pharma 4.0 Award took place as part of this year's Pharma TRACKTS! and Pharma MES Berlin conferences.

Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is the partner of choice for specialty pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma; Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma, a joint company with Fresenius Medical Care; Relypsa; and OM Pharma. Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX Swiss Exchange, VIFN, ISIN: CH0364749348). For more information, please visit: .

Goodly Innovations is a leader in augmented reality solutions for regulated industries. For more information, please visit .

SOURCE Vifor Pharma

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