Advantages of continuous flow manufacturing

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Reference no: EM1373673 , Length: 500 words

Traditionally, in the pharmaceutical industry, small molecule drugs used to be produced in batches. Batch manufacturing of drugs was a time-consuming and costly process with low efficiency and yield. A technology called Continuous Flow Manufacturing is now being developed by a joint initiative between Novartis and MIT in 2007, which is capable of converting drug components into tablets in one continuous process (Das & Beroe Inc., 2012). The process is unique from traditional batch processing methods in that the reactions mostly occur in tubes through which the reactants flow. This is in contrast to large vats in which the reactions traditionally took place.

Some advantages of continuous flow manufacturing with respect to batch manufacturing (Rother & Harris, 2001):

Less space requirements: The equipment used in continuous flow manufacturing is much smaller in size as compared to batch processing.

Faster output: Previously, the API had to be synthesized and transported to another site where it would be converted to pills. The entire process used to take weeks or months for a single batch.

Flexibility in manufacturing: New ingredients can be added to the flow at specific points, and components can be swapped in and out to create different drugs.

Higher cost savings: Total cost savings by adopting continuous flow manufacturing over batch manufacturing is expected to be close to 15% to 50%.

Continuous monitoring: Quality assurance testing can be improved as it is easier to monitor the process in continuous flow manufacturing as opposed to batch processing. The process is more efficient in that monitoring of the product and intermediates can be done in the middle of the process itself, and not as a huge batch at the end. Chances of errors are less in continuous flow manufacturing.

Environmental benefits: Continuous flow systems are more efficient in heat management and waste management as compared to batch processing.

The technology is being regarded as an integral step in lean operations for pharmaceutical manufacturing, due to efficient waste management, lesser space utilization, higher efficiency of process and better quality of products.

What is your opinion on this? 

REFERENCE: Harvard Referencing style

Reference no: EM1373673

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