SANTO: from traditional to digital - WorldMonitor

SANTO: from traditional to digital

‘Industrialization 4.0’ is one of the main trends in the transformation of participants in the global economy, which means a departure from traditional industrial production to optimizing the company’s activities based on process automation, extensive data analysis, the use of innovative te...

‘Industrialization 4.0’ is one of the main trends in the transformation of participants in the global economy, which means a departure from traditional industrial production to optimizing the company’s activities based on process automation, extensive data analysis, the use of innovative technologies, and artificial intelligence. What experience did SANTO gain by participating in a pilot project to create seven model digital factories?

Perhaps it would not be an exaggeration to say that, having embarked on the introduction of the ‘digital industry’ among the first model factories – seven domestic companies – today SANTO clearly demonstrates the advantages of the new technological structure 4.0 in the pharmaceutical industry. The company is implementing the largest investment project to modernize existing production, with a focus on digitalization. In the framework of the project ‘Industry 4.0.’ the company is building a modern laboratory, updated infrastructure, logistics facilities, equipment for new research and implementation. Significant funds are directed to the digitalization of production processes, the introduction of innovative control systems, which today already provides for optimization processes within the company, reducing risks and costs, increasing productivity and production efficiency.

So, SANTO uses modern equipment in production that meets the international quality standard GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). New equipment helps to automatically control technological processes; in case of violations, the system immediately ‘notifies’ personnel about what happened. The master, on the basis of information from engineering systems, evaluates and coordinates the technological process as a whole, and the chemist performs the necessary analysis on laboratory equipment and confirms the quality of each series of products produced in accordance with the requirements of the standard.

By the way, product quality issues are key for the company. To track work in this direction, various departments use TrackWise and Power BI quality management systems and business intelligence. Using TrackWise, SANTO manages quality indicators, responding to changes, deviations, timely analysis and drawing conclusions from complaints, quality reviews, etc. Power BI software is used in the development and preparation of interactive reports, which facilitates end-to-end data analysis and faster identification of findings. The report also facilitates the multi-level sorting of visualizations (histograms, charts) by time and categories. All this data is open to those responsible in the process. Using the Power Map QUALITY system, specialists determine the dynamics of strategic and operational goals, and can also compare the company’s results with the data of key indicators of other industry enterprises.

These solutions allow you to effectively plan and execute complex projects involving many departments – from the production unit, R&D, portfolio, to commercial services. Thanks to the implemented systems, we can solve one of the most difficult tasks facing modern enterprises – coordination and management of processes, including the development and introduction of new drugs to Kazakhstan and international markets.

In addition, all stages of the technological process are registered in SAP ERP, an enterprise management system that automates not only financial accounting but also production process management, which makes it easy to upload a particular report on a topic of interest: a calendar schedule for each piece of equipment, the work of equipment and personnel, the movement of raw materials, samples of samples and finished products in comparison with the standard. The possibility of obtaining different types of reporting allows you to control budget expenditures associated with the production and release of products, as well as factory expenses. A maintenance system is also used, greatly facilitating the process of maintenance of production equipment and engineering systems due to more constructive accounting of movement, planning, and the purchase of spare parts. This makes it possible to increase the efficiency of scheduled preventive repairs, as well as conduct transparent accounting of the working hours of technical personnel, excluding subjective assessments and overstatement of the amount of necessary costs. Both systems can improve the quality of the budgeting process, automate budget control and optimize costs.

I would also like to mention the WorkDay software, the main HR system that combines human capital management processes. From now on, employees have personal accounts with advanced functionality: information about the unit and position, personal information, compensation package, absence calendar. The programme allows you to objectively evaluate the implementation of business goals and employee performance. The head can approve online business processes, as well as see the pros and cons of employee professional growth. Thanks to the optimization of HR processes, the work efficiency between HR and other departments within the company has increased.

A digital engineering training centre has been created at your enterprise with equipment unique to the pharmaceutical industry, where you can hone the skills of adjustment technicians using special simulators and online programs before setting up on real equipment. Rather rare experience for the country. Please tell us more about the centre itself and the results of its work.

When we developed the project of the SANTO educational centre in 2019, we had two main goals. Firstly, this is an increase in the level of technical training of our specialists in the field of information technologies and technical support of production in accordance with modern requirements. Secondly, improving the technical literacy of students of specialized secondary and higher educational institutions as future qualified personnel for the industry. We have created two specialized classes: information technology and process control automation. The rooms are equipped with ergonomic workstations, monoblocks and an interactive whiteboard connected to Wi-Fi, where up to ten students can study.

The training concept is based on employees acquiring programming skills in accordance with the requirements of IEC 61131-3. They learn to use programme elements to create, configure and optimize programs, develop visualisation of technological processes, program controllers, create logic programs, various interfaces along with consistent system integration into universal systems. All this is provided by SCADA systems Siemens WinCC, Oracle, MS SQL, SAP.

The automation class is equipped for modeling process control. Here, the training programme is aimed at studying the principles and laws of process control, mastering the skills of selection and application of industrial controllers in modern industry, compiling and debugging work programmes, building automation systems based on programmable controllers. Over the past year, a team of specialized specialists have prepared training programs for SANTO’s main technical specialties, such as mechanical engineer, mechanic, instrumentation and repair fitter, technical operator. In order to study the modeling process and design fundamentals, the class is equipped with a MakerBot Replicator Plus 3D printer and a RangeVision Spectrum 3D scanner.

In the second direction, a cooperation agreement was signed with the innovative college of Shymkent. Students of specialized skills undergo practical training on the basis of a digital educational centre. The acquired knowledge and practical skills will allow children to better navigate the modern technology of process control, to become good, qualified specialists in the future.

What experience could you share with companies that have yet to implement the Industry 4.0 programme? What recommendations are important to consider when implementing such large-scale projects?

The digital industry programme involves the complete automation of business processes, accelerating their implementation and introducing additional quality control. As part of the state pilot project ‘Model Digital Factories’, implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, our company conducted an audit of the implementation of new processes together with specialists from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and representatives of QazIndustry (at the time of the audit, Kazakhstan Development Institute Industries) with extensive international experience. Since the programme’s inception, several projects have been completed in accordance with the recommendations, including a repair and spare parts warehouse management system, implementation of a reporting system and monitoring of key performance indicators. Some projects, such as the development of a drug labeling and tracking system, are still underway. By the way, today Khimpharm JSC also participates in the pilot to create a system for tracking and labeling of drugs in Kazakhstan along with other market participants. Unambiguously, the audit experience, as well as the company’s readiness for digital innovations, allowed us today to demonstrate leadership in the level of digital infrastructure in the industry.

Over the past two years, SANTO has accumulated some experience, on the basis of which it recommends that future participants in the digital programme begin to form a project team and conduct an audit of current business processes. Such an audit is best done with third-party consulting companies with sufficient experience in this regard. This step will allow the project team to take a fresh look at the current processes, evaluate the current level of automation in accordance with the requirements of the Industry 4.0 programme, and identify weaknesses and directions that need to be developed. In addition, the project team, together with the auditors, needs to develop recommendations on the priority stages of the implementation of the programme and the cost of its implementation.

It will be necessary to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of recommendations, in which it is important to take into account the cost of implementation and implementation time. Implementation of individual recommendations may take more than a year.

Also in the process of implementing the programmes, it is extremely important to consider the following: the head of the company must clearly understand that automation entails significant costs; the project should have a transparent management system, with specific terms of implementation; employees participating in the project team should understand that the goal of the project is to automate processes and accelerate the implementation of current tasks, and not to reduce staff. It is important to realize that digitalization will evolve from a one-time project to a company’s image. That is, the constant introduction of changes in business processes as a reaction to changes in the market or consumer behavior will become the norm. Indeed, this is the global goal of digitalisation.

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