Reconfiguring machines easily and safely with Lion

When medications are being packaged, no mistakes are permitted. The augmented reality application Lion from the Körber Business Area Pharma makes quality-relevant resetting processes safe and easy.

The garage-sized machine that the developer Theresa Toldo is standing in front of will soon be delivered to a customer. The machine will be used to put various medications in different kinds of packages. The requirements for this machine are complex: Mix-ups are prohibited, and absolutely no residue from the previously packaged product can be left in the machine. Clearing the machine of any product or material residues by means of previously defined steps in the form of a checklist is known as line clearance. It is crucial to success in the pharmaceutical industry and is prescribed by law.

To help customers improve their mastery of the challenge of flawless processing, the Körber Business Area Pharma has developed Lion. Using this system, operators are led through the process end-to-end by overlaying — that means augmented — images right at the machine. The physical checklist is replaced by a digital one, and the work steps to be are directly represented at the machine in virtual form.

If a new pharmaceutical product has to be packaged on the machine, the operator must carry out a check to ensure that the machine is clear of any product or material residues and must also change a defined number of machine parts and settings. This process is called a “format change.” Theresa Toldo demonstrates how Lion is used to carry out a format change. She puts on a special set of goggles that recognize the machine and represent all the relevant information about the necessary work steps directly at the corresponding positions in the machine. Which screw must be adjusted, and how? Which values have to be taken into account? The Hololens goggles can do things that used to be the preserve of highly qualified and trained experts. They guide the developer through the complete process by providing precise instructions. The big advantage of this solution is that although resetting processes are still necessary, they are now carried out efficiently and flawlessly. The solution ensures the quality assurance that is so important for pharmaceutical production.

For Toldo, the reconfiguration process is easy. Thanks to the goggles, she can look directly into the machine to see which work steps must be carried out in which sequence. That also includes the documentation of the process, which is already done by the camera automatically. The work that has been accomplished is photographed at certain locations, and the pictures are automatically integrated into the documentation. Thanks to Lion, the previously necessary cross-checking against paper-based checklists is now a thing of the past.

Efficiency gains

are recorded by machine operators using Lion, partly because errors are avoided and time for documentation is eliminated.

All the participants are simultaneously connected

But Lion can do even more. The developer is not the only one who can see the work steps that the Hololens goggles are prompting her to carry out. Her colleagues can also follow her work steps on their displays. The collected data and know-how are valuable for several reasons. Firstly, in the future they will make it possible to support customers remotely; secondly, they will help to optimize customers’ processes; and thirdly, the information that has been gained will be integrated into the development of future generations of machines.

lWith this technology our customers seamlessly document quality-relevant processes.r

Frederik Thiele, Product Lead Lion Suite

Lion is the answer to the key questions and needs of the pharma industry. This application ensures that machine operators always have the knowledge they need for their work at their fingertips. The system behind these smart goggles makes it much easier for customers to operate their production machines and production lines and makes quality-relevant resetting processes easier and more reliable. “With this technology our customers seamlessly document quality-relevant processes,” says Frederik Thiele, Product Lead Lion Suite. “That raises quality control to a new level and increases the utilization rate of the machines.”

Theresa Toldo’s mission for today is finished. She takes off the goggles with a smile and says, “It’s simply brilliant!”

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