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Reducing Complexity through Digital Transformation

Martin Mayer
Reducing Complexity through Digital Transformation

The development of pharmaceutical products from the design stage to large-scale industrial production involves numerous planning steps. The volume of digital planning data increases as the project progresses. From concept design, followed by detailed engineering and 3D modelling, to electrical engineering and the development of automation application, all relevant data is stored all-digital for production support and the necessary quality assurance from IQ to OQ. Based on this data, ZETA offers its SMART ENGINEERING SERVICE bringing added value for all stakeholders: customers, plant operators and project delivery partners!

Drawing on its many years of experience in the management of major pharmaceutical projects, ZETA has developed new digitization strategies geared at reducing complexity by using digital process data in a meaningful way. Based on its established engineering toolchain, ZETA offers new Smart Engineering Services (SES) to integrate all project delivery partners into one common software framework. The different domains from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering and automation are addressed and all phases of the project are covered – from concept to detailed engineering to fabrication and qualification.

ZETA’s long standing process know-how in combination with sophisticated software solutions from SIEMENS recently inspired the two companies to enter into a strategic partnership driving the digital transformation of pharmaceutical processes globally. ZETA covers the role of system integrator, and SIEMENS will serve as the global partner for software platforms.

Lately, the demands and requirements imposed by regulatory authorities have become increasingly strict, and consequently, the importance of digital data for documentation and traceability of processes is growing. While in the past the focus was on production data (data integrity, GAMP5, CFR21 Part 11, Electronic Batch Record, ...) and its processing, ZETA’s SMART Engineering digitizes the engineering data, starting as early as the process development stage in engineering. In addition to GMP requirements, customer-specific standards can also be considered in digital engineering processes.

Consistent digitization of all related processes in one software system provides comprehensive data to support the customer’s digital transformation in the field of maintenance & service, spare parts management and qualification & validation. Accordingly, ZETA has developed new SMART SERVICES on the basis of digital data, which are now ready to be used as new applications.

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Smart Maintenance Navigator

Text BoxA successful investment project is completed by swift commissioning. This requires trained personnel and maintenance support. Smooth operation is ensured by means of intelligent tools that are based on the digital plant data. The Smart Maintenance Navigator (SMN) is a descriptive example of this principle: its service ensures lasting optimization of the maintenance process on mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones or wearables.

As a virtual assistant, it creates a link between relevant information for maintenance intervals and plant data and guides maintenance engineers through the plant, supporting them in their daily work. The navigator is the digital twin of the production site, providing 2D or 3D models of the plant, presenting the equipment and describing the work steps to be performed. Essential data on spare parts and the tools needed for assembly work is shown on the mobile device based on the digitally stored manuals. In contrast to paper documents or PC-based systems, the Smart Maintenance Navigator is flexible to use, runs on mobile devices and is always up to date with the as-built status of the plant.

As it is based on modern software technology, the integration of the Smart Maintenance Navigator into ongoing operations is as simple as its application. The flexible design is one of the main benefits of the Smart Maintenance Navigator: the application is user-friendly and operators will not need a complex IT project to use the service. This means the time needed to train personnel on a new and complex plant is far shorter and all maintenance work is done much faster. The Smart Maintenance Navigator supports the first-time-right approach and helps to minimize risks during high-maintenance plant operation.

Webinar tag

Come and join us on the 08th of September 2020, when ZETA hosts a webinar to discuss the subject of digitalization in detail.

Advantages of ZETA’s Smart Maintenance Navigator

  • Your personal assistant is always at your side.
  • Check your plant status at a glance.
  • Maintenance jobs require less time.
  • First time right – also for new equipment/technology
  • Less time needed to train new staff
  • Digital documentation of performed tasks


The ZETA Group designs, builds, automates and qualifies plants for aseptic liquid production processes in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

The engineering portfolio ranges from concept design for pilot plant and basic engineering, all the way through to detail engineering, automation, installation and commissioning. The interdisciplinary project team, composed of biotech experts, process, mechanical and automation engineers, develop fast-track-projects globally. Process characterization, scaling of processes and process design are the key competences of ZETA – from lab to industrial scale.

Close to the customer ZETA provides innovative solutions along the production process of high value APIs. ZETA workflows are based on long-term experience as well as on scientific approach. Magnetic mixing technology and process-controlled freeze & thaw systems for optimal agent storage and transport complete the ZETA product portfolio.

With its ten subsidiaries in Europe and a highly qualified staff of some 700 people, ZETA is among the leading suppliers in the industry. Best-in-class consultancy by ZETA moves projects towards success. ZETA experts design, build and automate production plants at three European sites, carry out GMP qualification and support operations with service packages along the entire service life of the equipment.