Highlight Report

HFS Highlight: Atos and Siemens develop “Process Digital Twin” solution for the pharmaceutical industry

June 8, 2020

In May 2020, Atos announced that it is collaborating with Siemens to build a digital twin solution that is expected to increase efficiency and flexibility in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. This “Process Digital Twin” solution leverages IoT, AI, and advanced analytics to develop a digital replica of pharmaceutical production processes. At present, the solution is under the testing phase in the pharmaceutical industry (i.e. in beta phase with pharmaceutical client) and expected to hit the market in H2 2020.


The “Digital Twin” solution works as a framework with the necessary technology ingredients


The “Process Digital Twin” is an IoT-enabled virtual replica of a specific step in the pharma manufacturing process, generating data of the operations. By combining virtual and physical representations of the process, and using predictive models and real-time analytics, the solution can identify the key elements of the manufacturing environment. The solution optimizes pharmaceutical manufacturing operations and quality to potentially bring products to the market faster. Some of the key benefits of the solution are:


  • Reduce time to market (creating economies of scale and optimum use of resources)
  • Lower costs through reduced waste (up to 20% savings)
  • Ensure high quality of products (an increase of up to 10% product-margin)


Atos also follows an end-to-end approach for the implementation of the solution including the necessary consulting, data science, integration, infrastructure, and security services. This solution is a new part of Atos’ “Smart Pharma” offerings.


More co-innovation from Atos and Siemens


The Strategic Alliance between Atos and Siemens started in July 2011 to combine their IT solutions and services resources. Since then, they both engaged in a joint investment program for solutions and product development in the areas of additive manufacturing, digital twins, machine intelligence, etc.


For this digital twin solution, Atos provides its Codex expertise in AI and IoT solutions and services related to IT infrastructure, consulting, integration and data science whereas Siemens provides its digital enterprise expertise in OT systems for pharma particularly Simatic Sipat for real-time quality monitoring and StarCCM+ & HEEDS for process modeling and simulation.


This digital twin solution has the potential to be leveraged across the other process industries, such as chemicals, by adjusting the technology building blocks.


Bottom Line: As the enterprises are going through complex product design and operations management, a digital twin is the best available option to validate the concepts and assumptions. 


A digital twin is a fail-safe option for enterprises before new product introduction and operations management. For process industries, quality, availability, and reliability of overall manufacturing operation are the critical parameters as these industries have matured process management practices in place. With Atos-Siemens collaboration, this process digital twin solution can differentiate in domain competency against the other available solutions of their competitors. This has particular relevance at the moment as the world continues to combat a global pandemic and all eyes are on the pharma sector to drive vaccine and related development activities swiftly but safely.


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