Posted on: 19th December 2016

A popular topic among biologics manufacturing companies: the concept of a digital plant has been the ultimate goal for some time. Defining exactly what that is, however, has proved much harder and among the definitions are: ‘a paperless plant’, ‘a fully automated factory’, and ‘a factory of the future’.

Responding to this challenge, the BPIT team developed a model the ‘Digital Plant Maturity Model’ (DPMM) that describes the stages of maturity from simple paper-based plants through to the fully automated and integrated ‘adaptive plant’ of the future. A full description of the DPMM model and how it was constructed, is laid out in their white paper “The development of a Digital Plant Maturity Model to aid transformation in biopharmaceutical manufacturing” which will be available on the website here.

The collaboration that developed the model comprised 20 industry experts from 11 major biopharmaceutical companies who had expertise in manufacturing, IT, automation and analytics. Their strength lay in not only understanding the industry and its technology but also the evolving biologics market and the innovations that will enable it.

The DPMM was developed to cover not only what is possible today but also to define an advanced level adaptive plant that is currently beyond the capabilities of current manufacturing and IT technologies. The content of the model was developed with the BioPhorum Technology Roadmap work as well as with input from some key IT vendors and initiatives such as Industry 4.0. The DPMM will allow companies to transform their manufacturing capability by addressing the difficult questions such as:

  • How do companies define the concept of Digital Plant in a way that describes how capabilities can be transformed step-wise and in a way that can be easily understood and measured?
  • Compared to the measures in the DPMM, how mature is my environment today?
  • How do I compare against industry benchmarks?
  • What are the prerequisites for moving up the maturity curve?

The illustration below shows an example high level assessment of a plant against the digital plant maturity model.

dpmm-model

The white paper introduces the DPMM and its uses as both a tool for companies to plot their digital journey and also to identify the common challenges for companies wishing to rise up the maturity levels.

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