Automation in the course of industrial transformation: automation added value to the Tobacco Industry

by: Gurhan Coban – External Opinion Leader and Gokhan Coban – Tobacco Division Executive Consultant @ PQE Group

In the last decade, the tobacco industry has been evolving to produce innovative solutions for new generation products. In parallel, tobacco manufacturers’ have been adapting their production lines to keep up with an increased market demand, trying to improve their products quality and ensuring their compliance to regulatory requirements.

This process has brought the focus on digitalization as the best solution to face the new production volumes and quality. As a matter of fact, manufacturers are trying to find solutions to automatize their production and data handling systems, in order to reduce human impact and its possible negative consequences.

In nutshell, their goal is to:

  • Avoid rework and inefficient workflows
  • Make deployments and improvements quickly. Customize the processes without a single line of code and being able to act independently to improve it
  • Scale the operations without additional headcounts and without compromising security
  • Stop wasting time with manual and repetitive tasks by creating automated processes to increase efficiency
  • Use data to make better and faster strategic decisions, counting on KPIs to have a deeper understanding of production processes

How to achieve those ambitious targets? The answer is hidden behind the in-process control systems that play a key role in the digitalization in regards to:

  • Increase Automation
  • Manpower reduction
  • Human errors reduction
  • Reduction in Laboratory workload
  • Increase the gathering and use of data to improve processes
  • Robust electronic batch record management

The future of tobacco industry: approaching new regulations and standards

Tobacco manufacturers are keen to introduce new IPC systems in their production lines to ensure their digital transformation and their competitiveness on the market.

digital transformation and their competitiveness on the market.
On the other side of the coin, digitalization brings Data Integrity challenges. How to cope with issues like traceability, increased data integrity, e-signatures, data handling and last but not least data security is a big question yet to be answered.

The industry is now becoming familiar with the concept of regulations in regards to manufacturing and testing processes, some companies might feel not ready to successfully face all the new challenges coming from these changes, but it is of vital importance, to ensure product safety and access to market, that every topic is timely and attentively addressed.

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