Pharmaceutical industry increases automation, digitization

Aug. 15, 2022
White paper and infographic from PMMI highlight key trends and industry growth.

(Herndon, Va. — Aug. 15, 2022 — PMMI Release) The pharmaceutical industry registered $800 million in sales in 2020 and is forecast to grow at a 7.6% compound annual growth rate through 2026, according to Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Trends Shaping the Future, a white paper published in March 2022 by PMMI Business Intelligence, a division of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

The pharmaceutical industry must keep pace with changing product formats and production preferences. The shift toward higher-value injectables and customized runs is driving the expanded use of contractors, while also pushing manufacturers toward more automated production lines.

Meanwhile, the pace of digitization is accelerating to meet DSCSA requirements, address cybersecurity concerns, achieve operational visibility and support blockchain product tracking, according to an accompanying infographic, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, The Future Ahead.

The white paper and infographic also note manufacturers must adjust to steady growth in direct-to-consumer e-commerce channels and consumer preferences for sustainable practices. To meet sustainability objectives, 67% of pharmaceutical manufacturers are lightweighting packaging, 53% are increasing post-consumer recycled content, 47% are seeking more energy-efficient equipment and 40% are changing packaging formats.

Supply chain challenges have created shortages and delivery delays in packaging materials, raw materials, equipment and parts. These delays and shortages have postponed both product launches and operational improvements. As a result, pharmaceutical manufacturers are seeking closer collaboration and cooperation with OEMs and suppliers of packaging and raw materials. To achieve this goal, pharmaceutical manufacturers want OEMs and suppliers to offer aftermarket service/support, integrate new machines, enhance equipment accuracy and reliability, simplify changeover, maximize machine flexibility, deliver parts quickly, and provide support for concept models to visualize equipment, as well as for installation qualification and operational qualification.

PACK EXPO International, held this year at Chicago’s McCormick Place Oct. 23-26, will provide many opportunities to see packaging and processing innovations for pharmaceuticals, biologics, nutraceuticals and medical devices, particularly in the targeted Healthcare Packaging Pavilion in the West Hall. With more than 160 exhibitors, the 90,000-square-foot Healthcare Packaging Pavilion provides a life sciences packaging show within the show. In addition, cross-over solutions abound at PACK EXPO International with over 2,000 total exhibitors from 40+ vertical industry markets over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.

Register by September 30 for just $30 and get your badge in the mail for immediate access to the show. For more information and to register, visit

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