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Digital Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities for Pharma and Food End Users

The digitalization of production processes creates new challenges for end users. How are they reacting and what choices are being made by Italian companies in the pharma and food sectors?

And, above all, how do they attribute new technological and business values to these challenges?

At a recent round table discussion titled “The Digital Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities for the Manufacturing Industry,” we collected and shared experiences in the field from some of our customers in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Luca Pezzano from IBI Lorenzini, Alessia Crivelli from Farmaceutici Formenti - Grünenthal, Davide Cascella from Idea 75, Tiziano Petrucciani from Molteni Farmaceutici and Sigfrido Velicogna from Ibsa Farmaceutici Italia – in collaboration with the Rockwell Automation Italy team – are working in the direction of 4.0 production systems, through the implementation of MES, serialization solutions (based on standard PharmaSuite® software) and process technologies in their various facilities across the country.

The Enabling Technologies

Among the enabling technologies underpinning the ongoing digital transformation in industrial process control within pharma and foods production, MES software was defined as one of the fundamental building blocks by Idea75 and Farmaceutici Formenti (Gruppo Grünenthal).

MES is capable of standardizing production processes, while at the same time integrating them and rendering them more homogeneous, with a positive impact on corporate organization and employee productivity, all without any negative effects on production processes.

In Molteni Farmaceutici and IBI Lorenzini, serialization was first deployed as a regulatory requirement but was then progressively transformed with the adoption of PharmaSuite software from Rockwell Automation in order to implement new process management practices within their facilities – maximizing and optimizing the collection and analysis of data along the entire supply chain.

The importance of the integration, management and integrity of data along the entire supply chain is a fundamental aspect for IBSA Farmaceutici Italia too.

In this and others examples, process technologies, logical control of production lines and environmental condition monitoring must guarantee maximum stability and safety along with scalability and improved interactions with line operators.

For pharmaceutical producers, it is essential to have stable and scalable platforms that not only work together to prevent data loss, but also facilitate data analysis and comparison as quickly as possible.

The Word of End Users

Based on the feedback from these end users, it is obvious that those who are seeking to create Smart Industry 4.0 production processes must also deploy ever more integrated, rapid and slim-line data management using “cognitive” automation process.

As these Italian end users have confirmed to us, in the world of Industry 4.0, there are and always will be improved forms of standardization and open, integrated platforms.

To continually drive this digital transformation, it is therefore necessary to invest in software and technologies that render data and information more useable and transferable to those who truly need them, with a closer connection between IT and OT, providing support for decisions without precedents.

Above all, never forget that digital transformation involves three fundamental elements: people, processes and technologies.


Roberto Motta
Roberto Motta
Business Development Lead Network & Security Services, Rockwell Automation
Roberto Motta
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