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Advanced manufacturing in a leading pharma group: savings’ payback time of 1.4 years for first implementation wave


The Client produces, for the world market, inhalation products in plants in UK, France and USA. The sites’ productivity increase targets are > 10% per year. Industry 4.0 activities are seen as the main lever to achieve this target and, especially as in the production area, several Industry 4.0 elements have already been implemented. To get to the next level the client wanted to have an implementation roadmap for the complete plant network and one partner for the implementation process.

The approach we proposed followed three streams:

  • Collation of a short list of Industry 4.0 opportunities, starting with 3-day site assessments where the focus was on material flow and other production support functions (quality, maintenance) to determine the as-is situation. We designed an overview of the current process execution, with data flows, IT-systems and an evaluation of the first improvement potentials. In addition to this we jointly identified the most promising Industry 4.0 initiatives that had to be evaluated.
  • Identification and evaluation of Smart Factory projects, including the evaluation of investment costs and savings, along with complexity, technical feasibility and implementation effort for a portfolio of 50 Industry 4.0 initiatives, along with a recommendation on which projects should be prioritized and launched
  • Implementation plan on the road to the Smart Factory, designing the detailed roadmap to implement Industry 4.0 projects in three waves, defining work packages, required resources and budget for the first wave.


  • Identified more than 50 Smart Factory projects with a positive business case
  • Implementation roadmap for these projects in three waves, including smart material flow automation, predictive maintenance & digital shop floor management
  • Identified savings have a payback time of 1.4 years for the first wave