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Ph: +44 (0)20 3735 8580

GSK

SUPPORTING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR A MAJOR FACTORY IN ITALY

CLIENT

REQUIREMENT
REQUIREMENT

GSK was planning to build a new sterile manufacturing facility, and needed a tool for the design optimisation and supporting the business case for this multi-million pound investment.

CHALLENGE
CHALLENGE

Capturing the complex processes that required input from more than 30 experts, and developing this in a short timeframe within a technology that was fast and accurate enough to explore the problem and optimise the solution for different scenarios.

SOLUTION
SOLUTION

A dynamic simulation model that provides meaningful insights into the future production line. It allows optimisation of equipment, personnel and utility resources to meet the forecasted commercial demand over the next decade.

Optimising a future facility to proof its value
Optimising a future facility to proof its value

GSK was planning to build a new sterile manufacturing facility in Italy. Its Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED) team had to develop the design concept to support the business case. A key project requirement was to establish the optimal level of resource (equipment, personnel, utility) to satisfy a decade of forecasted commercial demands.   

Managing to be comprehensive, fast and flexible
Managing to be comprehensive, fast and flexible

Product forecasting and demand fluctuations have always represented a big challenge for companies especially during the design of a new manufacturing line or plant. Getting the right product mix, coordination and optimisation of resources such as machines, operators, materials, etc. are some of the challenges that GSK face operationally. For us the challenge, was developing a model that captured all the required complexity while being fast enough and flexible enough to answer the business questions and allow a wide exploration and optimisation of the problem space.

Can this effort be better targeted to focus first on those that we can show are more likely to get a low rating? If so, how do you prioritise? Is there a set of the indicators that can help to foresee the food establishments that are less likely to follow good hygiene standards? Are these indicators even known or recorded anywhere? Facing these questions, Decision Lab had to work with very few data available on food establishments. Going through the unstructured sources such as the scans of handwritten notes that varied between the Local Authorities was not an easy task.

A sim model of the future production line
A sim model of the future production line

The solution was to develop a simulation model for the planned new production line for biopharma sterile products. This accurate operational model would allow GSK to test the future production line and investigate its boundaries by evaluating several “what if” scenarios. It provides understanding on the factors that impact production capacity and operating costs. It also gives specific answers to key questions: how many machines they should buy, what technology these machines will use, and what their operational regime (number of operators, ship patterns, etc.) should be?

A real team effort
A real team effort

We worked closely with GSK technical experts to develop the model, in a highly collaborative and fruitful relationship. It was a cross-functional learning exercise involving about thirty GSK contributors across several counties and disciplines. This approach helped the design and production teams gain a holistic view of the capacity and operating as we uncovered the process logic and operational metrics. It also offered a high level of engagement within GSK, aided knowledge transfer and built confidence in the model and the insights it provides.

We’ve laid the foundation for the future
We’ve laid the foundation for the future

GSK are now entering the construction phase. We are proud that modelling has helped support this. According to GSK, the top 3 benefits provided by the modelling activity are: 1. Faster approval timeline – the trust in the modelling outputs has smoothed the stage gate approval of the concept and allowed to move faster into the next project phase. 2. Increased confidence in the amount of equipment required for the new production line that ultimately led to reduction in CAPEX by a double digit number. 3. The ability to evaluate over 200 different business scenarios in a short amount of time. Our tool has the capability to deliver continued value to the project so that in the future it will be possible to further evaluate capacity requirements as function of the demand forecast variability. The model also has the capability to be extended to people and material flow for the final operational layout.

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We’re a team of innovators who are excited about unique ideas and help companies to create amazing solutions.

Pharmaceuticals

GSK Factory

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