SCHOTT is lead investor in Canadian Industry 4.0 Big Data expert Smart Skin
Through this investment, SCHOTT is further advancing its know-how in state-of-the-art technologies
SCHOTT AG, a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics, has acquired a significant share in the Canadian company Smart Skin Technologies. The investment took place during a further strategic financing round encompassing Canadian $ 3.1 Million led by SCHOTT. In addition to major acquisitions, the company intends to make targeted investments in key technologies such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to expand its digital innovation portfolio.
Smart Skin, based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, specializes in the development of Industry 4.0 Big Data solutions for production processes in filling plants. The company has developed a software called "Quantifeel System" that can be used to investigate the forces that vials, syringes and cartridges are exposed to in the filling and packaging systems of pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Identifying problems and weak points in the packaging line
Glass defects and particles are a common and costly challenge in the pharmaceutical industry. With help of the analyses performed by Smart Skin, pharmaceutical companies can identify weak points in the filling system in real time and thus significantly improve their operating efficiencies, while reducing waste and line maintenance expenses.
Evan Justason, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Skin noted, “With its glass expertise, SCHOTT is an ideal partner for us to apply our solution to the complicated filling processes in the pharmaceutical industry. Equally important, we share the same quality-driven culture and excitement when it comes to the technological advancements in the digital age.”
This investment is consistent with SCHOTT’s previously announced plans to grow through acquisitions and investments that would add value to the diverse SCHOTT portfolio, which ranges from astronomy applications to glass-ceramic surfaces in the kitchen to pharmaceutical and medical systems. Through this cooperation, both companies want to raise packaging quality to a new level and improve line yield.
Dr. Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG, commented, “We recognize that young companies like Smart Skin have enormous, cutting edge know-how and potential. At the same time, we understand that Big Data applications are key to improving the manufacturing process on many levels. This investment expands our competencies in this area, helping to serve our customers even better.
Looking ahead, we want to continue to cooperate with innovative, young companies where an investment or partnership would be mutually beneficial.”
As part of the transaction, SCHOTT AG will receive a seat on the Board of Directors of Smart Skin. Fabian Stöcker, responsible for Global Strategy & Innovation for SCHOTT's Pharmaceutical Systems business unit, will assume this role.
Smart Skin Quantifeel System: Smart combination of hardware and software
At the heart of Smart Skin’s system is patented sensor drone technology that mimics the shape of vials, cartridges, and syringes paired with data mining software. Hundreds of sensors measure how these packaging drones spin and tilt as they move through the production line. This makes it possible to identify where they are exposed to unfavorable forces. The data is transferred to a tablet by Bluetooth and to the company’s Quantifeel software, which prepares easily understandable heat maps and records data-indexed videos of the events. With their help, companies can carry out vital adjustments in the filling line and thus significantly reduce breakage. Later on, the drones can help validate whether the corrective measure brought about the desired effect.
More information on Smart Skin Technologies’ innovations can be found at www.smartskintech.com
SCHOTT is a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics. The company has more than 130 years of outstanding development, materials and technology expertise and offers a broad portfolio of high-quality products and intelligent solutions. SCHOTT is an innovative enabler for many industries, including the home appliance, pharma, electronics, optics, life sciences, automotive and aviation industries. SCHOTT strives to play an important part of everyone’s life and is committed to innovation and sustainable success. With more than 15,500 employees at production sites and sales offices in 33 countries, the group has a global presence. In the 2016/2017 fiscal year, SCHOTT generated sales of $2.26 billion.
SCHOTT North America, Inc.
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