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.
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