The future is now, according to Cognizant, and they have plans to become a one-stop-shop for all those in life sciences looking to build the factory of tomorrow – today. Part of those plans include their acquisition of Ireland’s own Zenith technologies, a provider of manufacturing software systems designed to manage, control and optimize a plant’s operations.
Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, Zenith Technologies was founded in 1998 and operates sixteen offices spanning five continents. They offer consultant options, enterprise integration, ongoing maintenance/optimization services and a secure, cloud-based ‘incident room’ to help their partners manage emergencies.
In essence, Zenith helps their life science customers streamline their manufacturing processes using ‘Industry 4.0’ technology – the trend towards the utilization of IoT sensors and devices to gather information; advanced data analytics using AI and machine learning to monitor and manage the process; and automation to cut down on the need for human intervention in production.
Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant, provided his perspective on how Zenith will help his company grow: “In acquiring Zenith Technologies, we expand Cognizant’s IoT portfolio and extend our life sciences domain expertise by becoming a single-source provider of end-to-end smart factory capabilities.”
The soon-to-be-combined companies will provide a wide-range of services, including factory design consultation, machine sensor and controller instrumentation, supervisory control, and data acquisition, to manufacturing execution systems, batch automation, enterprise resource planning integration and managed services.
Cognizant has existing capabilities to provide Industry 4.0 services to medical device makers through initiatives such as their OnePlant business unit. Their acquisition of Zenith will allow them to expand further into pharmaceutical manufacturing, leveraging the company’s specialization with process efficiency and regulatory compliance.
“Together, we are better positioned to help clients realize information and operational technology convergence in their manufacturing operations, and advance the development of life-saving drugs, biologics, specialized pharmaceuticals and medical devices,” Humphries added.
Zenith’s current client roster will also prove to be a boon to Cognizant, with nine of the world’s 10 largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers working them to improve their production capabilities. Another advantage appears to come from Zenith’s international presence, with many of their locations in Ireland, Germany, India, Singapore and other sites operating in close proximity to Cognizant clients’ manufacturing facilities.
Zenith’s 860 employees will join the Cognizant Life Sciences unit after the acquisition is complete. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to satisfactory closing conditions and regulatory review.
“In joining Cognizant, we are bringing together two respected life sciences service provider brands with complementary technology and manufacturing operations expertise,” said Joe Haugh, CEO of Zenith Technologies. “It’s an exciting time for us, with the life sciences industry embracing digital transformation to enable more flexible and efficient manufacturing facilities to bring new treatments to market faster.”
Advances in research has led to a need for more complex, precise systems capable of manufacturing specialized materials within certain parameters. The IT industry has seen a surge in demand for ‘smart factories’ as the life sciences industry evolves with the advent of IoT technologies.