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Facing rising market demands and the limitations of aging facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers are increasingly turning to pharmaceutical manufacturing automation studies to explore how automation can optimize production processes and deliver a significant return on investment (ROI). These studies are crucial for identifying the most cost-effective solutions while ensuring strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and minimizing disruptions to existing workflows. This article will delve into the common challenges faced by pharmaceutical manufacturers in their pursuit of automation, and how automation feasibility studies can provide a roadmap for successful implementation.

The Need for Pharmaceutical Automation

Image of automated pharmaceutical manufacturing line


Case Study: Genesis AEC and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

Identifying Automation Opportunities

Spanning a city block, the campus offered numerous opportunities for a transformative impact. Working with the owner and their designated representatives, a Genesis AEC automation team identified areas with significant cost implications and high potential for automation-driven returns.

Focusing on a Pilot Reactor

With the client consensus, the focus was narrowed to a specific building and a targeted manufacturing line. Within the targeted manufacturing line, a pilot reactor was designated by the owner as the focus for a feasibility study.

The Feasibility Study

Genesis AEC, in partnership with the owner, delved into automation options, studying personnel-equipment interactions, while preserving approved SOPs. The primary objective was to ensure client alignment with any potential changes while clarifying why some options were not
feasible based on constraints from upper management.

Cost Estimation and Project Approval

Genesis AEC used the insights from the pharmaceutical manufacturing automation study to help the client develop a preliminary cost estimate. The study’s findings were essential for creating accurate cost projections, thanks to the comprehensive design requirements and information gathered. The project is currently awaiting capital funding approval, with Genesis continuing to contribute through ongoing support in feasibility studies, cost estimation, and presentation development.

The Importance of Partnering with the Right Firm

A Flow Chart Illustrating the Selection Process of Studies in the PubMed Database. Image Credit: Namrata Dagli


Previously, the owner had a negative experience with a local systems integrator for a similar project. The costs exceeded the initial estimate, the timeline was longer than expected, and the client felt that the systems integrator was not responsive to their concerns. As a result, they were hesitant to hire another systems integrator for a feasibility study. Instead, they chose to work with an engineering firm like Genesis AEC to represent them and protect their interests.

In summary, pharmaceutical manufacturing automation studies are vital tools for manufacturers aiming to modernize and optimize their operations. By thoroughly evaluating potential automation opportunities, these studies not only identify the most cost-effective solutions, but also ensure seamless integration with existing processes and minimize disruptions. Moreover, such studies empower pharmaceutical companies to make informed decisions that align with their operational goals and financial limitations. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve, embracing automation through comprehensive feasibility studies will be increasingly critical for companies to maintain their competitive edge, boost efficiency, and drive long-term growth.