PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 19 n
the technology with the use case, not the other way around.
Make sure to clearly define what you want to accomplish and
why, and then identify exactly where to apply the technology.
Also, if you do opt for RFID technology, remember that the
sooner in the supply chain that you introduce RFID tags, the
faster you can recoup the cost.
RFID is here to stay and the opportunities are rich for the
pharmaceutical industry. It is an ideal time to consider how
RFID can benefit your organization and set yourself up for new
efficiencies that drive profitability and keep customers safe.
exactly where assets are located at all times to maximize efficiencies, raise productivity, and safeguard costly items.
For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer may use active
RFID to know exactly where, within the four walls, a cage of highly
tracked Schedule III drug product is located.
During the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, active RFID
is especially useful in monitoring temperatures. Equipped with
battery-powered sensors, specialty RFID tags are able to collect
real-time temperature data.
Operators can then view this information to make sure that
product does not reach an unsafe temperature during production.
If an unsafe temperature is reached, it is easy to pull the product
from the supply chain or adjust its expiration date.
Hybrid RFID – Optimal Visibility
Given RFID’s growth and the seemingly endless deployment
options, it is not surprising that manufacturers are looking for
ways to utilize both active and passive RFID to realize even more
efficiencies. Unfortunately, using both types of RFID within the
same operation creates visibility and workflow issues– manufacturers often end up with two databases, housing disparate asset
A rising trend in RFID is a Hybrid approach in which a single software system marries the data captured from both the
active and passive tags to provide a complete, unified view of
all assets. So, manufacturers can use active RFID to monitor
temperatures and track equipment during production, while
employing passive RFID to track material flow and validate
processes throughout the supply chain.
With insight into all assets and inventory, manufacturers gain
optimal traceability for optimal efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. As an added benefit, such a system can allow you to set
up rule-based alerts, create custom reports, and even integrate
other lines-of-business (LOB) applications like ERP systems.
The Future of RFID
As RFID continues to build momentum, there will naturally
be more and more applications for the technology throughout
the pharmaceutical industry. The Internet of Things (Io T) is
poised to open up a whole new breadth of opportunities.
For example, RFID-enabled medicine cabinets could automate inventory replenishment, track expiration dates, and
monitor temperatures. Or, Io T-enabled data will allow manufacturers to create an instant recall and prevent the sale of
product from certain lot/date codes at retailers. And, over the
next five to ten years, we will most likely see these capabilities pushed down to the consumer level.
No matter what the future brings, the most important
thing to keep in mind when implementing RFID is to match
THERMAL − STRESS − REACTING CHEMISTRY − OP TIMIZATION
MULTIDISCIPLINARY CO-SIMULATION − DISCRETE ELEMENT MODELING (DEM)
MULTIPHASE FLOW − FLUID STRUCTURE INTERACTION