A new three-year innovation project dubbed Quality by Design in the Food and Pharmaceutical Industries (QbD) aims to develop sensors and statistical tools to improve monitoring of production processes, writes UgensErhverv (Business Weekly).
A cohort of companies and the University of Copenhagen are joining forces on the project, which is being financed with DKK 18.7m (USD 3.3m) from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and DKK 30.7m (USD 5.4m) from the companies involved. Lene Vognsen, head of research at dairy group Arla Foods amba, one of the project partners, says:
"We hope that the result will be some technologies that can help us improve our production processes. We would like to have better 'eyes' to look into our matrix, which is milk. The more data about the milk we can get during the production process, the better. With new sensor technologies we can perhaps get a lot more data at once, instead of looking for one substance at a time. We would like to know more about our product while we are making it, so that we can gain better process management, better quality control and achieve efficiency improvements."
Current process management on an industrial scale is often impeded by slow data analysis procedures. Tests are for example brought from production to a laboratory, and days can pass before the results are ready. Professor Rasmus Bro at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, says:
"The pharmaceutical industry in particular is using very outdated process management. This is because of the very heavy requirements from the authorities that apply to the industry. The result is unfortunately that you do not always produce in the most sensible way, but in the way which has been approved. We hope the QbD project can help pave the way for new sensors and spectroscopic methods, where you can monitor your production in a much faster and efficient way, ideally in real-time."