Packaging equipment that's MES-ready

As pharmaceutical manufacturers move from paper-based to electronic Manufacturing Execution Systems, it will bring different requirements to packaging machinery OEMs.

Here’s how Jim Ricigliano, associate director MES in the business process management group at Wyeth, describes the thought process now influencing machinery purchases at Wyeth since the firm implemented a multi-site electronic MES initiative about a year ago.

“In evaluating equipment, including packaging equipment, we want it to be what we call ‘MES-ready,’” says Ricigliano. “Part of that means the OEM will need to eliminate certain work instructions in the proprietary software programming of their machines, because our electronic batch record from MES will provide that. Another thing packaging machinery OEMs should be aware of is that the communications protocol we’re pushing is OPC. I guess the simplest advice I’d give to packaging machinery OEMs who want to do business with a customer who is implementing electronic MES is that they need to plug and play right along with that customer. They need to shift away from proprietary programming and focus more on mainstream standardized communications protocols.”

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