Vifor Pharma Wins 2018 Pharma 4.0 Award for Implementation of Augmented Reality System

A press release reveals that Vifor Pharma Group announced that the company and partner Goodly Innovations were awarded the 2018 Pharma 4.0 Award for the innovation of the year in manufacturing execution systems in the pharma industry.

Presented on 24 September in Berlin, the purpose of the Pharma 4.0 Award recognises outstanding implementation in manufacturing execution systems innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Vifor Pharma was the first company to pilot a dynamic team-based augmented reality system (Goodly Innovations’ OptiworX) in a pilot project at its site in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 2017. Augmented reality uses optical devices to create a “mixed reality” (i.e. real and virtual) 3D holographic information, like superimposed text and graphics over the real environment.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging processes are complex. Floor operators must run through many detailed checklists of changeover or line clearance tasks while ensuring that no errors occur. These processes, often managed using printed manuals and checklists, are slow and prone to errors.

Augmented reality turns any task list – no matter how complex – into a dynamic multi user workflow that adapts continuously to real-life operations as each task is completed, such as when the number of operators changes. The application also gives users only the instructions they need at each step in the process. Operators are thus able to do their jobs better and faster, and with much more flexibility and accuracy, even when processes become more complex.

“Applying augmented reality in our operations allowed us to improve the changeover process and increase productivity by up to 50% at our packaging plant,” said Dr. Benno Bischof, Head of Product Group, Technical Operations, in St. Gallen. “We have clearly demonstrated the potential of augmented reality by using it to create a dynamic teamwork system, unprecedented in our industry. -. This is the kind of innovative technology that we strive to use to improve our operations.”


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