This week’s big story: Augmented reality in pharma manufacturing and the supply chain
Apprentice.io recently announced it is launching a new platform for pharma manufacturers that will integrate augmented reality, voice recognition and artificial intelligence (AI).
The company has raised US$100m in Series C funding to expand its operations and launch the new cloud-native platform, with the aim of helping drug manufacturers reduce human error and inefficiencies.
The platform grows more intuitive over time, using AI, machine learning and AR to help improve yield, quality, and speed-to- market. By following AR overlay directions, operators can follow enhanced audio or text instructions that are specific to their equipment and the layout of their facilities.
The launch of the new platform is the latest indication that AR in the pharma sector is here to stay.
How AR could transform pharma supply chains
Unlike the immersive experience offered by virtual reality, AR overlays digital information onto real-world elements, enhancing existing information with additional digital details.
This means an operator at a warehouse can walk around a facility receiving alerts in real time, such as which equipment needs repair, stock replenishment, or a notification ahead of time that routine maintenance is due. This can avoid downtime, therefore lowering costs.
It can also enable remote maintenance, which has become essential since the global pandemic began. For an organization with several facilities that may not be located close to an engineer, this can be invaluable to prevent disruptions to supply.
AR can be a useful training tool, providing step-by-step digital instructions for complex, paper-based standard operating procedures (SOPs) that would otherwise require a substantial time investment and run the risk of errors.
It can even improve logistical operations, providing additional information when scanning packages in transit, such as transportation instructions and anything relevant to regulations and compliance.
Yet another example of how it can benefit the pharma sector is in the construction of manufacturing sites. In January this year Novo Nordisk announced it was building three new manufacturing facilities and expanding one existing site, with most of the additional capacity to be dedicated to the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
While building is ongoing, workers will use AR technology to review the designs of the facilities onsite, simultaneously viewing them through a mobile device, making it possible to compare the real-world design with the digital model to solve problems while they are on the premises.
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This content was originally published here.