Pharmaceutical Industry is one of the largest fields of production in the world. With an incredibly demanding clientele, challenging development and production processes and high volumes of production, Pharmaceutical Industry is forced to be a pioneer to research and implement new technologies into their production lines. These innovations are vital to keep up with the constantly increasing needs of the world. Efficiency, quality, sustainability and safety are some of the main traits focused on by the innovators in the field of pharmaceuticals. In order to achieve improvements in these traits, production lines of pharmaceutical companies must be in correlation with innovative technologies regarding every aspect of the production. Maintenance is one the fields that require attention to ensure production lines are efficient, sustainable, safe and able to produce high quality products. In this blog post the main focus will be on predictive maintenance applications that are fitting for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

A large variety of machines are used in the pharmaceutical industry. Processing equipment include agitators, centrifuges, blowers, capsule equipment, chillers, pulverizers etc. Post production equipment include CAM Blister Packing Machines, Bottling Lines, Counters, Sealers etc. All of these equipment works with small size products in a highly complicated, fast and precise manner. That’s why components used in these machinery are compact, precisely machined and purpose built. If any one of the critical components in these complicated machines were to fail, quality of the product can be heavily affected and all of the production line might face an unforeseen stoppage. In order to prevent such stoppages and malfunctions maintenance teams need to implement predictive maintenance technologies. Main elements providing and conveying the movement to the machinery are rolling elements, gearboxes, servo and induction motors. Predictive maintenance applications can be performed through many different applications such as thermal monitoring, lubrication analysis, ultrasonic inspection, vibration analysis, electrical analysis etc. Among these different analysis approaches vibration and electrical analyses are the most viable ones due to the ease of application and affordability.

Electrical analysis is one of the predictive maintenance applications fitting to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. Especially on the components such as servo and induction motors used for the generation of precise and continuous movement to the production line. IoT based data acquisition devices paired with current transformers and voltage dividers can provide precise data about the energy consumption and efficiency of the equipment. These measurements can be analyzed to diagnose many different modes of malfunctions such as stator, rotor and connector problems and misalignment, unbalance and bearing failures before they result in a serious failure.

Vibration analysis is widely used in industry for the predictive maintenance of rotating machinery. Vibration data is usually collected through accelerometer instruments. This data can indicate many different modes of malfunction if collected and analyzed correctly. Many generic failure types such as mechanical looseness, unbalance, bearing failure, cavitation, gear failure, lubrication fault, belt and pulley fault etc. can be detected through vibration analysis. Sensemore AI powered predictive maintenance applications can identify anomalies indicating the root causes of malfunctions months prior to the occurrence of the malfunction.

Foreseeing failures, estimating remaining useful life and eliminating catastrophic malfunctions through early detection and corrective actions is the key to create an industry with higher efficiency, quality and sustainability.