Learn by Doing. Learn by Showing.
How do the latest capabilities improve operations? Simply put, VR and AR minimize risk by enabling personnel to learn by doing and showing.
One example: VR allows operators to familiarize themselves with the production environment and process in a tangible way during training. Operators can virtually tour the production suite and see exactly where the process skid, tube welding system and other equipment will be located – and then walk through the process. By replicating the real-world experience, VR not only better prepares plant personnel – it also helps identify potential roadblocks earlier.
Once production begins, AR can have a significant impact. For example, let’s say a bioreactor in an upstream process requires managing 50 connections – and each connection involves multiple steps. Typically, an operator works through an SOP step by step, and then verifies via electronic signature that each step was performed.
Though some procedures and methods include visual aids to guide product changeover, the potential for error is significant given the vast quantity of connections and speed at which they must be completed.
Now, imagine that scenario with AR guiding the process. An operator using an AR headset or a tablet simultaneously views connection instructions – which are virtually overlaid on the actual piece of equipment.
Instead of correlating instructions with visual clues, the operator is “shown” exactly where a connection must be made while “doing” it.
Cameras, barcode scanners or RFID technology can verify the manual connections as well as the equipment and tote selections. And electronic signatures can be automatically added to the batch record to help facilitate compliance.
This same technology also improves error detection on mobile equipment in suites that typically lack conventional HMI terminals. Imagine a world where a maintenance technician wearing an AR headset simply looks at a piece of equipment to locate an alarm. It’s closer to reality than you may think.
How close? Take a look at this eBook to learn more about how biopharma companies can implement modern technologies to improve manufacturing consistency and ultimately, speed more life-saving treatments to patients.