In this four-part blog series, we’ll explore how Merit for Life Science optimizes critical business processes for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Watch for our other blogs on inventory management and product safety, inventory splitting and sub-batching, and controlling storage conditions.
Weighing and Dispensing in Life Science Manufacturing
Weighing and dispensing is a critical process for pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers. These processes include removing specified amounts of bulk raw material from their source containers and dispensing specific quantities into other containers.
Pharmaceutical and biotech organizations require that strictly controlled processes be used when materials are measured out or transferred between containers, in anticipation of moving them in the warehouse or distributing them; providing samples for R&D purposes, lab testing, stability or purity testing; or preparing them for use in a manufacturing process.
Why Weighing and Dispensing Materials Properly is So Important
Weighing and dispensing can take many forms. However, life science organizations must monitor, control, and manage this critical process very carefully for a variety of reasons:
- The measurement process itself is very sensitive
- The conditions under which the materials are handled must be tightly controlled for environmental reasons
- Staff must ensure materials don’t experience damage
- Protocols for cleaning and handling are required to prevent cross-contamination
- Corruption must be avoided in the measurement or dispensing process while materials are transferred from storage containers to intermediate containers in preparation for being used in the manufacturing process
Therefore, having weighing and dispensing functionality tightly integrated into the core ERP and inventory management platform the organization is using for materials management is extremely important. Also, having key controls in place enables quality personnel to define quality and regulatory standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the dispensing processes.
Weighing and Dispensing with Merit for Life Science
Here’s a look at how Merit for Life Science facilitates these critical functions:
Critical material identification and rules
As users define the characteristics of each manufactured product within the system, they are able to identify the product components in the items formula that will require a dispensing process. Subsequently, as manufacturing orders are scheduled for that item, the system automatically creates and enforces a set of rules for those critical materials.
Transferring raw materials
As these critical raw materials are staged from the warehouse and moved to the production suite or the production areas, users must acknowledge these rules and walk through a structured process so that those materials can be properly dispensed and prepared for production.
What this usually involves is moving materials to a controlled site or place in the manufacturing building or the warehouse where they are staged and sent through the dispensing process. Material is removed in measured quantities from one container and then stored into an intermediate container where it can then be used or transferred to the production process in a managed and controlled manner.
Quality checks during dispensing
When executing the dispensing process, it is critical to complete quality checks both before and after the dispensing process takes place. By using Merit for Life Science to complete this process, users can ensure that the environment is suitable and appropriately controlled to ensure quality throughout the dispensing process.
Audit trails and e-signatures
In addition, using Merit for Life Science helps create a clear, transparent, and rigorous audit trail of exactly what was done, when, and by whom. The dispensing process may include multi-person acknowledgements and multi-person electronic signatures for key steps in the process.
Weighing and dispensing is an important part of the Merit for Life Science ERP solution. Our processes support manufacturers in maintaining quality controls throughout manufacturing processes, so that they can protect materials from damage and contamination. By doing so, they can take safer products to market, driving revenues and increasing profitability.
Take the next step:
See how Merit for Life Science can help improve weighing and dispensing and other manufacturing production processes.