Technology Excellence in API Manufacturing

Talking with Liron Shakoof and Tali Katav from the Manufacturing Sciences & Technology team (MS&T) was really pretty inspiring. They described in great detail, and with a lot of passion for their work, how the role of MS&T is to lead the product life cycle management using technology excellence.

What does that mean?

Developing a product in small amounts is one thing. But manufacturing that same API in large quantities is another thing entirely.

The goal of the team is to work with the sites on the manufacturing processes to ensure the products are the very best they can be, from all angles, and throughout the product’s journey – from development to launch and throughout its whole commercial lifecycle.

This goal is what they describe as “technology excellence”.

Connecting global expertise with local know-how

The team is a global one, one that works across all Teva api’s manufacturing sites and coordinates with all global functions. In addition, there is a local team at each site that specializes on the products and technologies on that specific site.

The global MS&T technology team supports the sites with all technology and process challenges. Each technology lead supports a different site in Teva api’s wide network. The technology leads are a focal point for the local sites for technical support, troubleshooting, process enhancement and draw on shared experiences from other sites.

Excellence in the people

Creating technology excellence depends on 3 unique and equally important functions. The first is investing in the people.

Each local MS&T team has a team of engineers, as well as chemistry and analytical experts, to support their site’s product portfolio.

In addition the global MS&T team is built out of subject matter experts to further enhance the site knowledge on best practices, cutting-edge technologies and global view assisting with challenges in the most efficient way.

They use their expertise in product optimization, sustainability and green technology, powder technology, and process simulation tools, to see the ‘bigger picture’ across all sites and align all processes to help Teva api’s manufacturing across the globe move along smoothly.

Excellence in the technology

The onsite MS&T teams, with the support of the global team, are always thinking about how to optimize the technology used on site. So whether it’s online recording of data or operational optimization, there are always new ways of doing things to better the processes.

For example, using computational tools to better design the engineering parameters such as mixing and heat transfer. These ensure we achieve ‘right first time’ in scale up/down and line transfers. Computational tools are also used to optimize utilities performance and reduce cycle time.

When a specific request comes in from a customer, the local and global teams together analyze and evaluate the data to provide an answer. This might include providing a new PSD grade, supporting higher volumes, increasing efficiency.

Excellence in the process

It’s not enough just to deal with issues as they arise and evaluate the product in the short term. A lifecycle management plan is needed to constantly evaluate the product from different aspects – regulatory, patents, capacity, technology and operational efficiency.

There’s always forward planning, and taking into account different milestones along the way. Timing is critical. Planning is crucial.

Front of mind for the MS&T team is to develop alternative processes or technologies, implement alternative raw material suppliers or solvents recoveries, and scale up or down based on updated demands.

Collaboration is key

The MS&T team most certainly do not work in a vacuum. Their work involves collaboration with so many teams across the Teva api network, both global and local. This collaboration is vital for operating efficiently, and ultimately providing the customer with a solid product, on time.

For example, they support the finance team with all the data needed to determine cost. They work with the operations team on validating data and looking for additional opportunities. They work with procurement to find alternative suppliers for raw materials and intermediates.

It’s clear to see just how instrumental the MS&T team are in identifying and implementing efficiency-enhancing solutions to optimize process flows and ultimately create the very best products.