IIoT / Distributed Control / Systems Integration

GE Healthcare, Rockwell Automation collaborate on bioprocessing automation

Apr 17, 2019

To help drug manufacturers improve efficiencies, get to market faster and deliver personalized medicines, GE Healthcare and Rockwell Automation reported March 28 that they're combining their automation, IT and single-use solution expertise to build digitalized bioprocessing operations. The two companies will help biopharmaceutical companies create flexible and scalable facilities of the future, focused on rapid response to market demands, streamlined production technologies and adaptable manufacturing environments. GE Healthcare has also joined the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork as an OEM partner to help drive a best-in-class distributed control system offering.

"As GE Healthcare and the healthcare ecosystem move toward precision health, flexible and scalable solutions are critical for companies to efficiently manufacture smaller batches of tailored medicines," says Kevin Seaver, executive general manager, Bioprocess Automation and Digital, GE Healthcare. “Our collaboration with Rockwell Automation is an integral part of our strategy to confirm we deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs of the biopharma 4.0 era.”

Fran Wlodarczyk, senior vice president, Architecture and Software, Rockwell Automation added, “Our collaboration with GE Healthcare will help make bioprocessing operations more agile. The facility of the future reimagines what’s possible in production of biopharmaceuticals. It uses connectivity, information, and modular equipment to create smaller-scale, more efficient operations. As GE Healthcare becomes a member of our PartnerNetwork program, our joint work will help GE Healthcare bring the Connected Enterprise to life, so they can meet demands for more targeted drugs and get products to market faster.”

For example, the two firms report they can help clients;

  • Gain greater efficiency with FlexFactory single-use equipment integrated with Figurate bioprocess automation that improves reproducibility, repeatability and compliance;

  • Digitize batch files and processes to reduce review times by weeks and even achieve real-time reviews; and

  • Deliver instructions to workers with augmented reality to improve batch execution, operations, equipment setup and training.