Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, is a pioneer in developing affordable and innovative medicines. DRL manufactures and markets a wide range of pharmaceuticals in India and overseas. The company has over 190 medications and 60 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for drug manufacture, diagnostic kits, critical care, and biotechnology products. As part of their overall vision to digitize manufacturing operations, DRL identified the packaging process as the first operational area for AR implementation. The existing packaging process was complex and thus, heavily reliant on expert workers. Breakdowns were required to be physically attended by the experts – resulting in output and productivity loss. The primary intent of the engagement was to improve overall efficiency and quality of packaging.
Blister packaging process was complex to carry out and instructions difficult to remember due to different types like thermoforming and cold forming.
Knowledge of packaging process was limited to subject matter experts and expert workers – making it a high dependency task on limited individuals.
Challenges in creating work instructions because the workers did not have the required expertise.
Unplanned downtimes due to large errors and breakdowns negatively impacting the supply of final medicines output.
WOWSOME hand-held the expert frontline workers with on-site guidance to record and create work instructions for the blister packaging process. Virtual work instructions were created using a combination of images, videos, and audio in regional language to make it an easy-to-navigate tool for frontline workers who are not experts or recent inductees. Complete training and onboarding for 20 professionals were conducted on-site providing them with an overview of the solution, benefits, and hands-on expertise with hardware and software.
The curated virtual work instructions of blister packaging process were used by new workers using a hands-free device (RealWear HMT-1).
Remote assistance tool was introduced to frontline workers for changeover process to connect with subject matter experts on-demand whenever they needed help/guidance with troubleshooting.
26% faster output in blister packaging production unit.
20% reduction in changeover process time.
Significant reduction in downtime due to breakdowns where a physical visit by expert was required before the introduction of the technology.
DRL plans to scale up the solution for different manufacturing processes across different plants. DRL team found the solution to be beneficial since it is easy to implement with a low learning curve of adoption for frontline workers and involves immersive meetings with added sharing of supplementary media within the calls/meetings.
The experience was found to be best on Assisted Reality Headsets like Wear HMT-1 and Mixed Reality Headsets like HoloLens 2 based on category of users and local risks.
A detailed roadmap for the scale-up was presented to the management with diverse software and hardware options along with an integrated approach such as the Immersion Kit by WOWSOME.
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