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Pharma packaging plant upgrade

The July 7 Web page for the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports pharmaceutical maker Wyeth plans to invest $30 million in a Richmond, VA, area plant upgrade that will include automated packaging equipment, an electronic inventory system, and robotic materials handling. The Consumer Healthcare Products Division facility produces nonprescription health products such as Dimetapp, Robitussin, and Preparation H. Mike Berg, managing director of the facility, says the upgrades will move the plant toward a paperless system, aimed at improving efficiency. "Everything is designed to be state of the art, fast-paced, and efficient."

Sounds like this plant is in the vanguard of the Make2Pack or "Process to Packaging" trend in which all machinery on a line is integrated horizontally and the collected data is sent up to operations. This same trend, backed by the Open Modular Architecture Controls (OMAC) Users Group and World Batch Forum, is growing in food and beverage operations as well.

--By Jim Chrzan, Publisher
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