Four Pillars for Life Sciences Line and Facility Efficiency

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Life Sciences & Medical

Alan Johnston

Life Sciences Industry Consultant

The overall Line and Facility effectiveness is becoming an increasing area of focus for Life Sciences manufacturers, where they are continually striving to gain the most from all of the available assets and materials. Challenges such as resource bottlenecks, impacts of variability, lack of visibility to production floor schedule changes, and off-line testing limit line and facility efficiencies are all factors that can be addressed to improve and enhance efficiencies.

There are four core pillars we look to address in order to support manufacturers in achieving line and facility efficiency goals.

Maximizing yield and throughput

The inability to measure and respond to critical quality attributes in real time, less than optimal equipment performance, and constrained critical resources contribute to lower product yields and reduced facility throughput.

Emerson has addressed these challenges by introducing appropriate connectivity which will provide real-time data to calculate performance and quality indicators, record and trace raw material and finished product, and analyze machine availability.

By converting from paper-based sample management to electronic in-process quality assurance, we can eliminate errors in collecting samples, ensure proper data entry, reduce sample times and improve production performance by faster response to exceptions.

The ability to move analytical measurements in-line and be integrated into the automation system for real time analytics enables optimized recovery of protein to improve consistency and reduce cycle times. By incorporating sensors with best in class stability metrics we are able to achieve greater control of quality critical parameters, reduce time to re-calibrate and reduce the associated costs.

Cost of materials

Inefficient addition or blending/mixing of expensive materials, mistakes in forecast demand, and overall waste during production can lead to higher than planned material consumption costs and poor production performance.

Existing preventative maintenance work processes can take too much time and don’t always target key equipment effectively. By optimizing maintenance practices, refining reliability strategies and adding new equipment sensors, it is possible to reduce time and effort performing routine preventative maintenance. This in turn also will allow efforts to be focused on critical failure modes, better management of critical equipment failures and reduce preventative maintenance practices (using condition monitoring).

By using modelling and real time scheduling we can ensure adequate quantities of buffer and stock solutions are available as required.

Consistency and Repeatability

Inability to accommodate material and equipment variability, inconsistent operator performance, production upsets and disruptions can lead to costly delays, quarantines, ineffective use of personnel, or material and product losses.

By using in-line analytical techniques, the control of critical process attributes can consistently be executed. Having the capability to measure process parameters more consistently and precisely will allow the optimization of drug substance consumption and increase the consistency of drug product blending. It will also reduce the potential for off-specification products, material waste and consistency of final product.

Utilities efficiency

Energy inefficiencies caused by inconsistent equipment operations, leaks, cleaning constraints, clean-in-place (CIP) issues, water shortages, etc. contribute to unnecessary energy usage, avoidable utility consumption and lost production time.

By having the ability to monitor and measure and to integrate field devices helps bring together diverse data source and analyse overall facility energy use, reduce consumptions and increase profitability.

Cleaning and sanitization represent a significant impact to quality and productivity. Having the ability to visualize and automate the cleaning and sanitization of process equipment ensure optimized availability, equipment scheduling and a reduction in the potential for human errors. It will also optimize the usage of cleaning chemicals and labour and will make a richer source of data available to incorporate into electronic reporting.

Visit the Life Sciences & Medical section on Emerson.com for more on the automation expertise and technology to help regulated manufacturers in the Life Sciences industry to increase operating efficiency and optimize production.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.