Biologics and regenerative therapies are driving the pharma industry deeper into the cold chain. Vials and pre-filled syringes that require refrigeration and sub-zero storage are becoming more commonplace. As anyone involved with the inspection and packaging of these products knows, the time spent out of cold storage is limited and, when not handled properly, adds stress to the process.
For years, we have looked at methods to increase our efficiency through process improvement methods. One of the first things Lean teaches is "One Piece Flow", meaning that if possible, perform an action on a product and immediately send it to the next step. Don't accumulate hundreds or thousands of products that are only partially finished. This simplifies scheduling and prevents the production of large numbers of products that might be defective.