Production, development drive automation buys

Production management software and analytics software are two of the fastest growing automation technologies being deployed by pharmaceutical manufacturers. 

"Much of the current automation focuses on projects with immediate return on investments, projects that are the result of consolidation of manufacturing operations, and standardization of applications across the entire enterprise," says John Blanchard, principal analyst at ARC, in an announcement. Blanchard has authored a report, Automation Expenditures for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industry Worldwide Outlook.

For some suppliers, he notes, analytics help reduce production cycle time and throughput. For others, analytics help evaluate solvent extraction schemes, reducing the number of experiments performed during drug development. 

"Even with tightening budgets and the current financial crisis, the market for automation products and systems in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry continues to be moderate to strong," Blanchard says.  He projects pharma/biotech automation expenditures to exceed $3 billion by 2012. 

- here's the announcement