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Applied Materials

November 2017 Issue 2

Amos DorWelcome to the second issue of SmartFactory Rx ALERTS, a quarterly newsletter for pharma manufacturers looking to improve productivity, quality, and automation through innovative improvements in manufacturing practices. ALERTS provides technology and innovation updates for the pharma industry, including productivity improvement case studies and the latest in Applied Materials products.

We welcome your feedback and ideas for future issues and look forward to working with you to achieve revolutionary improvements in manufacturing productivity and quality.

Amos Dor, CTO & Director, Automation Products Group Pharma, Applied Materials

Integrated Predictive Maintenance Platform Reduces Unscheduled Downtime and Improves Asset Utilization

Why Predictive Maintenance (PdM) for the Pharma Industry?

The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry depends heavily on its equipment, running at high efficiency and within spec. As pharma manufacturers move towards a 24/7 schedule, a primary operational risk is unexpected equipment failures and downtime, resulting in lost productivity. To strike the right balance between cost, reliability, and compliance, pharmaceutical companies can gradually shift their maintenance strategy from a preventive approach to a predictive solution that leverages advanced analytics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

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The Applied Materials SmartFactory® Solution

The SmartFactory Rx suite of products leverages Industry 4.0 principles and technologies to provide capabilities such as PdM that optimize manufacturing process performance, asset utilization, and supply chain. SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control collects, aggregates, and contextualizes real-time data from interconnected sensors and automation systems, and then models the behavioral pattern of equipment using machine learning techniques. The PdM capabilities within SmartFactory Rx uses predictive analytics in conjunction with SmartFactory Rx Advanced Maintenance, or a pre-existing 3rd party computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), to provide more accurate predictions of upcoming needed maintenance events and prevent unexpected machine breakdown. This ensures maximum asset utilization and also reduces costs.

Collaborative Production and Maintenance Operations

With SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control, plant-wide process and condition monitoring can be fully integrated into one platform so that operators can monitor process performance and maintenance users can simultaneously analyze equipment health. See Figure 1.

SmartFactory Rx Solution
Figure 1 SmartFactory Rx Solution — Integrated Predictive Analytics and Maintenance Platform

SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control provides users with an array of advanced analytics, including machine learning to effectively monitor equipment behavior patterns, predict time-to-failure/remaining useful life, and issue alarms. These tools can be used to discover root cause contributors and develop a prescription library with corrective actions to fix problems before they occur. More importantly, machine learning techniques enable the condition monitoring system to evolve and get smarter over time, identifying abnormal vs normal operating conditions and learning new equipment behavior. Figure 2 illustrates the maintenance strategy for SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control (1) Process Health Monitor and Dashboard, (2) Analytics Launcher, (3) Graphical Strategy Editor, (3a) Prediction Block, (3b) Notification Block, (3c) Work Order Block.

SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control
Figure 2 SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control

Figure 3 illustrates the maintenance strategy for SmartFactory Rx Advanced Maintenance (1) KPI Reporting (showing Maintenance, Drug Substance, Buffer).

SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control
Figure 3 SmartFactory Rx Advanced Maintenance


The SmartFactory Rx suite of Analytics & Control and Advanced Maintenance offers a unique and integrated approach to collaborative production and maintenance operations, revolutionizing how users perform maintenance. IIoT enables users to assess equipment remotely and machine learning provides the ability to continually improve model prediction accuracy to optimize operations. SmartFactory Rx Analytics & Control is a powerful platform to drive the rapid implementation of PdM strategies and maximize equipment availability and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Applied Materials looks forward to working with your organization to uncover the full potential that these technologies can bring to your manufacturing operations. For more details, see Ref [1,2].


[1] Integrated Predictive Analytics and Maintenance (download full article here)
[2] James Moyne, Predictive Maintenance in Semiconductor Manufacturing

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