Fast and affordable failure analysis

Nicole König

Nicole König >


Bosch offers data mining as new pharma service

  • Recognizing hidden connections and eliminating failure causes
  • Industry 4.0 in practical use: profound data analyses enable efficient production processes
  • Bosch Packaging Technology pools knowledge with Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence and Corporate Research

Schopfheim / Frankfurt, Germany – At Achema, Bosch Packaging Technology presents its new data mining service, which has recently been added to the range of pharma services for solid dosage forms. The service is offered by the Bosch subsidiary Hüttlin. The aim is to evaluate existing machine data more effectively to identify and eliminate root causes. “So far, about 50 percent of deviations have been classified as ‘human error’,” says Dr Marc Michaelis, expert for continuous production and process verification at Hüttlin. “Yet we assume that this is true for no more than ten percent. The rest is often misinterpreted due to missing information. As a matter of fact, there is already enough data available to get to the bottom of the causes. However, there is a lack of knowledge and time to read this data correctly.” First projects have shown that new patterns and failure causes can be defined and remedied in the production process thanks to data mining, and can help to achieve a more stable product quality in the long run.

Correct interpretation of machine data

Thanks to Bosch’s data mining tool, it is now possible to examine large amounts of data for the smallest effects using statistical methods. In general, the data from two production batches is already sufficient to draw first conclusions. The more data is available for evaluation over a longer period, the more details can be identified. All it takes is machine sensors, which already collect data on almost all historical machines, as well as the right tool to disclose the data. “Large investments are not required to use the existing data more effectively. The key to success lies in merging knowledge from different disciplines,” says Michaelis. “Bosch not only has the necessary technical expertise, but also extensive process knowledge in customers’ product manufacturing. To identify reasons for process deviations, which are not obvious at first sight, we teamed up with the statistics experts from our Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence in Germany and the U.S. Together we will raise the data treasure.”

The potential of this approach has already been demonstrated successfully in different customer projects. For instance, when a customer suddenly produced a “out of specification” (OOS) batch, the Bosch experts systematically got to the bottom of things. The recorded data showed that a particular valve was responsible for the deviation. However, the valve had been excluded beforehand since it was considered uncritical in terms of product quality. Thanks to the data analysis, deeper correlations and an undetected cascade of connections could be identified. “Eventually, we found out that the valve provided an indirect indication of a false gas flow in the system, which was not visible at first sight. The problem could then be easily solved by recalibrating the system,” Michaelis explains.

Maintaining consistently high quality

Consistently high product quality is a critical factor in the pharmaceutical industry, since authorities such as the FDA and EMA have strict guidelines for process understanding, monitoring and validation. “To make successful root cause analyses and process improvements, or to develop a control strategy as part of continuous process verification, we offer customers our new data mining service,” Michaelis says. “We are looking forward to further projects to pursue the path of industry 4.0 together with our customers.”

Bosch Packaging Technology at Achema: hall 3.1, booth C71

Dr Marcus Knoell,
phone: +49 7622 6884-121

Contact person for press inquiries:
Nicole Koenig,
phone: +49 7951 402-648

Based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, Germany, and employing 6,100 associates, the Bosch Packaging Technology division is one of the leading suppliers of process and packaging technology. At over 30 locations in more than 15 countries worldwide, a highly-qualified workforce develops and produces complete solutions for the pharmaceuticals, food, and confectionery industries. These solutions are complemented by a comprehensive after-sales service portfolio. A global service and sales network provides customers with local points of contact.

Additional information is available online at

The Bosch Group The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 403,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 77.9 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 72,000 associates in research and development.

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