Biotech facilities, just like any other factory, rely on the smooth running of their equipment to reach predetermined output targets. Similar to other production facilities, they are also not spared from the tedium of maintenance and all it entails. After all, in the pharmaceutical industry, preventing equipment from breaking down through proper maintenance helps improve plant availability, reduces process disruption, and potential losses that could be costly.
While traditional preventive maintenance is still widely used, there are many benefits to shifting to a move proactive maintenance method instead. Reducing time-based maintenance for a more efficient, data-driven method can save hours of downtime, man hours, and costs.
Automating the maintenance process
Maintenance can be a labor-intensive task, which counts on a lot of human intervention. Understanding which processes can be automated in a facility can help save time and money, as it takes advantage of tools that can do remote calibration, self-documentation, and other processes. This not only cuts down on the man hours needed, but also helps manage and prevent potential human error during the maintenance process.
Scheduled versus predictive maintenance
While scheduled downtime has been the more traditional way to carry out maintenance activities, it is not necessarily the most efficient. This can result in unneeded production stoppage, as some equipment may still be in good working order and do not need maintenance at the moment. Depending on the scale of the facility, predictive maintenance can help reduce the amount of time-based maintenance, saving companies days of shutdowns.
Fully automating one’s operations may not be ideal for some, especially for processes that need strict supervision. Predictive maintenance can be used in tandem with more traditional maintenance practices, helping companies improve their processes without compromising the more crucial steps in production. This increased productivity can spell the difference between barely hitting one’s output target for the year and surpassing targets with flying colors.