Although a hot topic among biologics manufacturing companies, there is no consensus on what actually constitutes a ‘digital plant’. Is it a paperless plant or a fully automated facility, what makes it the factory of the future? Answering these questions through developing a single model covering the continuum of digital maturity stages for a Biopharmaceutical Production Plant, was the task of the Digital Plant Maturity Model (DPMM) team when they embarked on the project in early 2016.
The DPMM workstream was comprised of manufacturing IT leaders from BPOG member companies and within two months they had completed the initial draft model and tested it at one member’s manufacturing plants. The assessment proved valuable in providing the team with learnings. From this the team revised and simplified the model, developing a scoring tool to be used in future maturity assessments.
The DPMM provides a high-level characterization of a digital plant as it advances through the five levels of maturity from a predominantly paper-based facility to a fully automated, adaptive, collaborative, self-optimizing, autonomous plant that is also fully integrated to the end-to-end, internal and external value chain.
Amongst the benefits of the model is its ability to act as a tool against which companies can assess their level of technological maturity and point the way to where investment is needed to improve manufacturing operations, enable future manufacturing processes and capabilities and capitalize on the potential value of manufacturing data and analytics. The DPMM can also be used to inform software suppliers about the capabilities that the biopharmaceutical industry needs and help influence the future direction of software products.
‘The Development of Digital Plant Maturity Model to aid Transformation in Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing’ is the first paper to be published on the model and is available to download from our website. The second DPMM paper will be published later in the year and will dive deeper into all aspects of the model itself.
Alongside the publication of the white paper, the team is gathering feedback from internal and external experts, and applying the DPMM internally to benchmark member company plants. What is learnt from these activities will be used to further refine the model.