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Takeda takes digital transformation further

Each year, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) recognizes pharmaceutical manufacturers for outstanding achievements in the industry. Thanks to the hard work and innovative thinking of our team, Takeda was named the Facility of the Year Awards Overall Winner in 2022.

This recognition goes to those who applied at least one tech innovation to their facilities while demonstrating the ability to change a company culture towards a future-ready environment. Gunter Baumgartner, Takeda Head of Global Engineering, helped oversee the many teams that make paving the way towards this future possible at our Singen facility.

This award shows that our industry is paying attention to us, that we are an innovative company and supporting development from within
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Gunter Baumgartner - Takeda Head of Global Engineering

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The Singen teams implemented digital technology into a full manufacturing cycle and opened the door to using new and innovative approaches across all 30+ sites of our global production network. These are approaches that can, in time, be implemented across each site within the whole organization.

“We made the correct decision early in the project life cycle of going digital, out-of-scope, and thinking outside the box,” Gunter said.

This outside-the-box group introduced award-winning digital solutions, ultimately leading to a higher-quality vaccine candidate for dengue. Dengue is a virus that has exploded in cases within the last two decades — from 505,430 in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2019. The team’s approach led to productivity and efficiency improvements within the Singen facility, making the Dengue vaccine more accessible to address the rapid increase in cases.

Among the technologies integrated into the facility are autonomous mobile robots that help transport raw materials to production areas, as well as an IT upgrade to support the automated network within the facility.

The ISPE recognition marked another chapter in a long line of awards that reflect Takeda’s innovative transformation throughout the years.

“Last year, we received an award where we were the first pharmaceutical company with a fully automatic line clearance system combined with self-learning artificial intelligence,” Gunter said. “This was an industry breakthrough, reducing a manual task that would take hours into something achieved in five seconds.”

As a Takeda leader, Gunter believes in the value of constantly looking forward. This FOYA award, for him, signals how Takeda is on the right path towards building a workplace where new ideas can flourish.

We know an agile mindset is important for the entire engineering organization and being prepared for 5 to 10 years down the line
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The ultimate goal, to be an innovative service provider for all customers, has meant constantly challenging ourselves to strive for continuous improvement.

“I push my team to work towards building a better workplace and believe this is just one reason why Takeda has been awarded Best Employer in several countries. We have more than 2,500 engineers in our manufacturing network preparing for future challenges like automation, going digital, and ongoing process improvements.”

The challenges undertaken by Engineers at Takeda, and throughout the rest of the company, go beyond individual self-improvement. Discovering faster, more efficient methods to manufacture and deliver vaccines means less energy spent — bringing us ever closer to our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. Through new technology and digital innovation, we continue reducing energy consumption and carbon emission, supporting both our immediate and global communities.

“We are not doing this to be the best,” Gunter said. “We are doing this to improve manufacturing and supply to our patients. There are challenges, but nice challenges — for Takeda and for the planet.”

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