Interoperability of Data

Thomas Peither on GMP Logfile in “Industry 4.0 – Inspiration for the Pharmaceutical Industry?” summarizes discussions from the ISPE European Annual Meeting 2018.

There is a lot to unpack in the concept of Industry 4.0. The topic on my mind is data interoperability.

“We identified a struggle with the lack of harmonised and consistent information flows in the industry”, said Volker Roeder

I think this is an understanding that a lot of us, especially from bigger companies that grew from acquisitions and mergers, are grappling with. Decisions made 15+ years ago in the ERP (for example) now has widespread impacts as we start aligning and integrating other systems. It is difficult to align the MES, CMMS, ERP, LIMS and QMS if they all think of master-data differently. Its even harder when one branch of the business deals with master data differently than another branch, but both branches are in the same system.

I don’t have a magic bullet. I just think this is an area that will make Industry 4.0 a great deal more challenging than many of its proponents advocate. And it is becoming a bigger part of my professional life.

Read the article, it is well worth the 10 minutes spent.

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