Delivering value through digital manufacturing

Roche is transforming healthcare and helping clinicians improve care through innovative tests and digital insights. There are huge advantages to having digitalisation in healthcare, as it can lead to quicker, more targeted treatments and improve patient care.

Digitalisation is also important as we manufacture diagnostic products. A leader in advanced manufacturing, Roche Diagnostics Global Operations is harnessing the power of digitalisation to ensure product quality, reduce waste and create efficiencies for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Examples can be found throughout our global manufacturing and supply chain network, which includes more than 7,000 employees and nine operations sites worldwide. This network produces and delivers approximately 29 billion healthcare tests annually used by doctors and clinicians across the globe to identify and diagnose disease.

Digitalising the factory

Across our network, the digital journey started with converting paper-based production to paperless production. Electronic record systems now interface with other operating systems to mine and analyse data in real-time.

We are utilising global data mesh technology to track production metrics and develop analytical tools. Data hub dashboards with live production and testing information are helping our manufacturing teams visualise real-time quality data. With these dashboards, we are using trends to work toward predicting test results, allowing our teams to make quicker adjustments, save time and resources, and ensure product quality.

Our teams in Tucson, Arizona, U.S. and Rotkreuz, Switzerland are using CT scanning technology commonly used in radiology laboratories to ensure that moulds to make product components meet specifications. This technology speeds up the manufacturing process while improving measurement precision. Similarly, at our Branchburg, New Jersey site, equipment has been re-engineered with laser calibration tools for data-driven quality optimization.

Also in Rotkreuz, our digital transformation includes replacing older manufacturing technologies with state-of-the-art equipment that simplifies our processes while enabling us to meet increasing demand from our customers. One project to increase manufacturing capacity involves a high degree of automation and the use of artificial intelligence.

Our Rotkreuz team also is digitising its production lines. In the next couple of years, “digital twins” of more than 100 consumable lines will be created. This will enable production lines the size of a gymnasium to be conveniently walked through virtually on a computer or smartphone.

Operations in Mannheim and Penzberg are pushing toward full connectivity across processes through four main initiatives: automated production scheduling, digital shop floor management, digital quality control and digital product information. All initiatives have one common goal to enable data-driven decisions.

Empowering our people

In addition to paperless production, our team in Suzhou, China is using a platform called Digital Obeya that empowers employees to make better decisions with data, e.g. for predicting material availability and scheduling production. The site is also using plant simulation technology to proactively manage the complexity of production ramp-up.

Global Operations is investing in digital skills development by adding staff who can identify digitalisation opportunities and drive efficiency improvements. Our employees are focusing on technology, processes and organisation to continue evolving the digital, data-driven plant.

Our team in Branchburg has even formed a Digital Ambassador Network focused on elevating the digital skills of employees in manufacturing. Operations Mannheim has established the Data2Value Community to advance the data hub concept. The goal is to train and inspire our organisation on data-driven decisions within the context of our connected plant.

Across the globe, digital manufacturing is a priority and an ongoing journey for Roche Diagnostics.

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