Plug and play: The value of plug-and-play automation in single-use technology

It is pretty clear that automation can improve efficiency, track performance and liberate operators from mundane routines. But with it comes cost and time factors around customization, communication and validation. So, the challenge is not just how to automate, but how to do it well.

Using a ‘plug-and-play’ approach can greatly enhance the benefits of automation. By standardizing the communication framework, it can substantially cut the time and effort needed to implement equipment in a flexible, single-use technology environment.

Cost savings
Using a plug-and-play architecture can lead to significant cost savings, as illustrated in the table:

Activity/function Estimated person-hours saved Estimated schedule reduction Estimated cost savings
Interface integration design, development, implementation and testing 300+ hours 2–3 months $60–80k
Tools to help detect, diagnose or help facilitate communications 20–60 hours 2–6 weeks $5–25k
Troubleshooting communications 30–80 hours 3 weeks $15K
Workarounds and diagnostic tools 20–40 hours 2 weeks $8k
Licence cost of third-party solutions 16–20 hours* 1 week* $2–8k

* Time estimation for a validated environment under change management control

This deliverable has been published via the BioProcess International website.

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