Digitising Assembly Line Procedures – Dr. Reddy Laboratories

Learn how Dr Reddy’s Lab digitised their assembly line processes to enable remote assistance, reduce changeover time, and provide training using Augmented Reality.

About the Client

Since its inception in 1984, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has grown to become a well-established pharmaceutical company having a global presence with 18% of its sales revenue coming from India. They operate through three verticals, viz. Pharmaceutical Services and Active Ingredients, Global Generics, and Proprietary Products. 

Dr.-Reddys-1

With an aim to bring medication within reach of all, they specialise in manufacturing generic medicines. From tablets to capsules to injectables and cream, providing generic formula for expensive innovator medicines becomes their significant portfolio.

The Challenge

Dr Reddy’s Lab wanted to digitise their assembly line processes to enable remote assistance, reduce changeover time, and provide training using Augmented Reality.

The core solutions they were looking at were improving productivity, reducing variations, reducing equipment maintenance costs, and improving the workforce by rapid upskilling and reduced dependence on experts. The KPIs of these benefits were reduced training time using AR, efficient updating and maintenance of SOPs, fewer breakdowns, extending the life of equipment, reduced supervision requirements, and simplified troubleshooting.

Tech Involved

WOWSOME Installed two applications in relevant environments.

  1. PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture
  2. PTC’s Vuforia Chalk

Vuforia’s Expert Capture is an AR-based Training and Instruction Application. Through this software, the trainers could digitise their training documents for streamlining all the training processes. The new trainees could now have access to the modules and step by step guide to perform each of their activities. This implementation would enable Dr Reddy’s Lab to reduce their person-hours spent in training every year. 

Vuforia’s Chalk is a remote assistance application enabled with AR technology. Expert guidance and assistance could be provided from a central location to the employees at various sites simultaneously using this application. This saved time and costs of travelling eliminated the need for the physical presence of expert personnel during downtime, and reduced dependence on human interactions.

Our Solution Design Process

The implementation process had multiple sessions of a carefully directed workshop providing hands-on experience for the staff. We had prepared step-by-step procedural guidance and remote assistance on assembly lines modules. 

After the installation, we had trained the workers and the decision-makers in operating the applications, giving voice commands, and selected in charge amongst those who were able to learn the techniques first. 

The purpose was to measure the impact on one use-case that has been identified as the ideal example for influencing the final decision for enterprise-level scaling up – upstream, downstream and to multiple plants and locations. 

WOWSOME had taken a target of reducing the time taken to start the batch to 70% of its current time, save time in changeovers by 40%.

The process of the project was divided into four parts:

1. Alignment, Training & Orientation

We prepared to meet with each stakeholder to align on logistics, use cases, and schedule. 

We provided device & application Training, along with Device and Software orientation.

2. Capture, Edit, Publish & Review

We captured the identified high-value procedures, edited, published and viewed the procedure and process deliverables.

3. Perform Changeover with AR

We performed the procedure under guidance from VEC software and Initiated remote assistance using Vuforia Chalk. 

We also captured the Duration of the Session.

4. Executive Readout & Closure

We scheduled, joint readout of results to executive sponsor(s)

  • Hands-on experience with relevant AR software for Procedural Guidance & Remote Assistance 
  • PTC Vuforia Expert Capture and Vuforia Chalk applications installed and applied in a relevant environment 

 

  • Capture expert’s way of executing changeover procedures & enablement of on-demand remote assistance 
  • First, a line worker would consistently execute steps under augmented guidance from the expert’s optimal way to complete those steps 
  • If unable to complete steps or the worker encounters an anomaly – ability to initiate a live remote assistance session with the available expert’s optimal way to complete those steps 
  • If unable to complete steps or the worker encounters an anomaly – ability to initiate a live remote assistance session with the available expert through an AR video calling medium 

 

  • Validation that AR software will drive the proposed value 
  • Achieve reduced turnaround time during Type B chnageovers on Blister Packaging Lines in FCO-2 

 

  • Validate usability of devices in the work environment 
  • RealWear HMT-1 or Microsoft Hololens (primary) & mobile devices (secondary) 

 

  • Report on competitive options to PTC Vuforia software 

 

  • Secondary evaluation report of alternate solutions

 

Apart from the learning of the technology, the team learnt to tackle linguistic barriers, train technologically distant workers using the applications, and adapt to different working conditions.

Working with WOWSOME exposed us to the working of a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, and we plan to use this knowledge while implementing it in future companies in the sector. 

Summary

The pharmaceutical giant, Dr Reddy’s Lab, asked us to implement Augmented Reality Technology at their plant in Hyderabad for improving their workforce, efficiency, reducing downtime, and facilitating training modules. 

Throughout the four stages of implementation: Alignment, Training & Orientation; Capture, Edit, Publish & Review; Perform Changeover with AR; Executive Readout & Closure, we were able to implement PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture and Vuforia Chalk at the plant and achieve objective targets to achieve the client’s targets. Faced with many localised challenges, we had to adapt our practices to best suit our application to their nature.

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