Continuous Process Automation
Although we have been involved in continuous process automation projects, it is fair to say that to date the number of such projects executed has been much lower than the occurrences of batch and discrete projects. However this is likely to change over the coming years – especially within the healthcare industries – as the use of PAT (Process Analytical Technology) in development & manufacturing becomes more and more widespread. The use of PAT enables the monitoring of critical to quality product parameters in real time, (with synTQ® sub second responses are not uncommon), and this in turn enables many processes that are normally batch manufacture based to become continuous process based. This in turn means that a small continuous process with low manning can produce as much high quality product as a large, relatively highly staffed batch process with higher yields and lower wastage. In turn the facility to site the plant becomes smaller, and the time from raw materials in to finished good out is drastically slashed. Thus we believe that in the years to come continuous processing will become as common – if not more common than batch processes.