Using Automation to Fast Track COVID-19 Vaccine Production

June 1, 2020
Honeywell combines batch software, virtualization, cloud, and more to prepare manufacturing capabilities in parallel with clinical trials.

On the heels of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) creating the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP)—an emergency initiative aimed to support clinical trials that are testing new treatments for COVID-19—Honeywell has introduced a technology package that can help accelerate the production of vaccines.

Last week, Honeywell announced Fast Track Automation. Using a combination of its proprietary automation and process technologies for the life sciences industry, Fast Track Automation enables vital vaccines, treatments, and therapies to move from regulatory approval to full production in as little as two months, depending on process requirements, the company said.

The offering brings together the cloud, virtualization, batch software, remote asset management from a data center, and the flexible assignment of computing power. The technology combination prepares manufacturing automation designs in parallel with clinical trials to ensure production is ready to go once a medical therapy is approved.

Specifically, the set up incorporates process automation elements that can be configured in a virtual environment, then implemented rapidly once a therapy is approved and ready to be produced for public distribution. Manufacturers can even use the system to digitize manual steps during clinical trials to better consolidate and analyze data and more seamlessly prepare electronic submissions for regulatory body review and approval, using this data to prepare final production automation design.

Fast Track Automation is a direct response to the global COVID-19 outbreak. According to the company, at the point in time when clinical trials are nearing completion, the ability to rapidly pivot and scale up to meet production demand will severely test existing technology infrastructures.

“Our solution allows for end-to-end manufacturing process and data visualization, providing real-time visibility and predictive insights while offering benefits like enhanced audit-readiness and data integrity, minimized regulatory risk, increased operational efficiencies and reduced rejects and waste,”  said Cynthia Pussinen, vice president and general manager, Life Sciences, Honeywell Process Solutions.

Fast Track Automation, available now, can be quickly scaled up or down depending on needed changes and demand.

Click here for more on Automation World’s COVID-19 coverage.

About the Author

Stephanie Neil | Editor-in-Chief, OEM Magazine

Stephanie Neil has been reporting on business and technology for over 25 years and was named Editor-in-Chief of OEM magazine in 2018. She began her journalism career as a beat reporter for eWeek, a technology newspaper, later joining Managing Automation, a monthly B2B manufacturing magazine, as senior editor. During that time, Neil was also a correspondent for The Boston Globe, covering local news. She joined PMMI Media Group in 2015 as a senior editor for Automation World and continues to write for both AW and OEM, covering manufacturing news, technology trends, and workforce issues.

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