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Unlocking smarter pharma packaging production


It’s time to think smarter. For pharma businesses of every category or size, disruptions and bottlenecks come with significant consequences – but can the packaging supply chain work harder to avoid this?  

Today’s pharma supply chains are complex and interconnected, as globalisation becomes the standard rather than the exception.  

Whether caused by demand outstripping capacity, inefficiencies or malfunctioning equipment, supply chain bottlenecks are prompting pharmaceutical companies worldwide to streamline their packaging production. Left unattended, repeated disruptions can bring increased costs for business, harm customer satisfaction and damage a brand’s reputation. 

Instead, smart packaging manufacturing systems can provide a suite of benefits that help pharma brands maintain a crucial competitive edge. At MM Packaging, we know that an automated workflow can be a very powerful production tool, easing the pressure on manufacturing for pharma businesses and ensuring treatments reach patients as quickly as possible. 

What does smart manufacturing look like? 

The word "automation" still tends to conjure images of science fiction, but as technology scales and advances, automation through the manufacturing supply chain has never been more accessible. Examples in the pharma supply chain can include anything from robot-equipped assembly lines to simple, task-specific process enhancements like sensors or gating mechanisms.  

Bringing powerful efficiency benefits, automated packaging solutions can also be used to enhance areas such as labelling, carton production, inspection and more, to boost throughput and reduce the potential for errors. 

By replacing time and labour-intensive manual processes with digital technology, pharma businesses can expand capabilities and meet tighter lead times. Production teams can spend more time on value-adding tasks, and less time on troubleshooting and maintenance. This, in turn, better equips businesses to meet spiking demand levels through greater agility.  

Automation can also contribute to business-wide sustainability in a number of ways, including more effective use of energy, and reducing the potential for human error during the packing process, resulting in less waste, which has an ultimate cost to the environment. 

To further enhance pharma workflows, automation can be combined with digitalisation tools to enhance data collection and monitor inventory as it moves throughout the supply chain. This data can help to identify further bottlenecks and areas for improvement, as well as help businesses forecast demand and adapt to accommodate fluctuations. 

Furthermore, supply chain transparency and efficiency can be boosted when combined with cutting-edge serialisation technology such Clear Code®. The solution uses a CO2, fibre or UV laser alongside proprietary colour-changing coating technology to produce high-contrast precise patterns or codes tailored for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Vision Systems.  

This next-generation coding system produces codes that are completely scuff and smudge-resistant and are not susceptible to environmental degradation, providing companies with track and trace capability as well as the ability to remain agile in the face of market changes. 

Finding the right solution 

Although the benefits of smart packaging manufacturing are clear, for businesses looking to drive competitive advantage, the most effective option is to work closely with a partner that understands the intricacies of the pharmaceutical supply chain, such as the team at MM Packaging. 

Our team knows that there is no ‘one size fits all’ template for supply chain automation – workflows are simply too varied from one business to another, and we strive to stay ahead of the curve with our manufacturing techniques, which enable us to lead the market on many fronts.  

MM operates 28 dedicated pharma packaging manufacturing sites that are fully equipped to offer services such as co-packing, meaning our customers can take advantage of our state-of-the-art equipment and fully automated logistics. Combined with our expertise in sustainable packaging design, operational bottlenecks and delays could soon become a thing of the past. 

To find out more about how MM Packaging can support your business in overcoming disruptions, get in touch by emailing: