Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility Design
Client: A major global consumer pharmaceutical firm
The firm was waiting for FDA approval of
2 new drugs. In order to be able to deliver the drugs to market as soon
possible, they had to design and build the new manufacturing facility
during the approval stage. This put them in an extremely risky and costly
position. They decided to minimize the risk as much as possible by engaging
ProModel Corporation to help develop a simulation solution which they
could use to do much of the planning and “what-if” analysis
associated with this highly unpredictable situation.
The overall client objective was split into two phases. The first phase
was to design the facility and determine the long lead time equipment
requirements such that it would be able to handle projected demand
10 years out into the future. The second phase, at a more detailed
level, was to determine the best ways to run the plant in order to
The first phase was essentially a one time project to generate the
best facility design. This phase required the answers to high level
questions such as:
• Which overall facility layout would best be able to handle
maximum projected demand for 10 years into the future?
Determine the right type, quantity, and placement of equipment for
the long lead time equipment items that are essentially integrated
with the construction of the facility.
Phase two provided a reusable solution which would help them determine
how to optimize the plant from the initial opening as well as how to
maintain optimal performance as demand and other variables changed
over the years. Detailed objectives in phase two included:
• Identify the most effective staffing requirements and shift
Discover the reliability obtainable for the major equipment cells.
Eliminate manufacturing and packaging cell bottlenecks.
Determine the number of totes required and the best material handling
Develop the production scheduling and sequencing strategy.
The solution included simulation models designed to help the company
visualize and analyze the hypothetical plant performance (capacity,
cycle times, and costs) by experimenting with parameters such as
differing forecasts, variations in product introduction timing based
on when and if the FDA approvals came through for each drug, the
number of lots per campaign, setup and changeover scenarios, and
different staffing/shift combinations.
The models were constructed to allow for easy experimentation with
the following system variables:
• Equipment parameters and downtime
Lots per campaign
Number of totes used in manufacturing
Completion of this project provided the client with several advantages
over more traditional facility design methodologies:
• A more robust, versatile facility design, able to handle a
wide range of product demand scenarios
The optimum type, size, and quantity of equipment
More accurate prediction of the quantity, positions and cost of the
required workforce resources
Higher degree of confidence that maximum projected customer demand
could be met for the next 10 years
The graphic below is an
example of the animation used to help visualize and analyze the proposed
new facility. This type of visualization helped with the design of
the facility layout per the objectives in phase 1.
Once a proposed layout was
developed, the client needed to determine if it could handle the
maximum projected customer demand for the first ten years. The maximum
annual customer demand for the first 10 years was projected to be
160 lots of Product 1, and 150 lots of product 2. In the example
below, the client tested the ability of the proposed layout and scheduling
strategy to meet the maximum projected demand by varying the number
of lots per campaign.
In this case, an experiment
was run with 5, 10, and 15 Lots per campaign. Only the 15 Lots per
campaign scheduling strategy allowed them to meet maximum customer
demand of 160 Lots of Product 1, while simultaneously being able
to produce 150 Lots of Product 2.