The logistics of moving pharmaceutical and healthcare products can be challenging at the best of times, let alone in the current climate. As well as seeing a significant increase in demand, these businesses are also facing challenges of reduced staff availability and the need to create a safer working environment.
During busy times it can be difficult to maintain high standards of production for any business but this is simply not an option from a safety aspect with pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses. So how can this increase in demand and decrease in staff availability be counteracted? One of the main ways is by the introduction of social distancing machines, but let’s have a look at some other options too.
Assess your current operations
Before you can even start to make positive changes to deal with increased production, you need to review your current processes. Things may appear to be running smoothly on the outside, but sometimes when you delve a little deeper you might find that costs could be accumulating. A few questions that you need to ask yourself are:
- Are there any bottlenecks within your current processes?
- Is increased speed causing a reduction in quality?
- Are your packers able to work safely whilst social distancing?
Consider machinery & automation
Many traditional pharmaceutical and healthcare companies will still rely heavily on manual labour within their processing lines. However, the pandemic has caused a revolution in that aspect as social distancing measures are having to be adhered to within a factory environment.
Robotics and automation can help to alleviate some of the pressures associated with an increased product demand. Collaborative robots work alongside humans, allowing you to automate some of the more repetitive tasks that staff are currently carrying out.
Audit your packaging
As well as looking into your operations, now may be a good time to review your packaging and consider any need to make it future-proof. If you are looking to upgrade from manual to automated processing lines, you don’t want to find yourself having to review your packaging a few years down the line. Now is the time to make sure that your trays have denest features, for example, and are able to be easily pulled apart by a denester. Otherwise investing in new machinery is not going to speed up your throughputs immediately if the packaging is not suitable.
Social Distancing Machines
Social distancing is extremely hard to implement in a busy factory environment. One positive test result could leave an entire shift of workers self-isolating for 10 days. In order to keep your pharmaceutical and healthcare business running during this difficult time, automation could be the answer to your problems.
Not only will this help with the COVID situation, but social distancing machines can save space on the factory floor, increase productivity, increase efficiency and reduce operational costs. Why not give the team at Euroflow Automation a call on 01205 357887 to see how we can help improve the operations within your pharmaceutical and healthcare business.