Wyeth used SIMUL8 for two different pharmaceutical manufacturing projects, both taking less than a month from start to finish - resulting in a saving in excess of $1m.
Simulation allowed risk-free testing of redesign of material storage and system management. It also helped Wyeth make an informed decision regarding the trade-off between wasted stock and a new validation process.
Raw materials are brought into Wyeth in large containers. For drug formulations, each must be individually weighed in a ‘pharmacy’ for particular lots. This can take time as the pharmacy must be cleaned between each raw material.
To make subunits of raw materials readily available for production the concept was developed to pre-weigh the materials and store them in bins. But how many bins did Wyeth need and what size?
Once weighed, the subunits had to be used within 30 days. Wyeth had to quantify how much material might be lost. Shelf life can be extended beyond 30 days using a costly validation process, Wyeth had to asses whether the savings in material would justify the cost of the procedure.
Using SIMUL8 Wyeth optimized the process to reduce the number of bins saving both floor space and reducing rack costs.
Additionally, it was shown that the cost of validating longer than 30 days would save over $300k per year in raw material waste costs. That validation is now in progress as a direct result of the SIMUL8 project.
SIMUL8 proved that by changing how they managed the system, Wyeth could gain capacity and avoid the additional expansion expenditure. As a result, the expansion project was cut from the annual budget and funds reallocated to another project.
Use of simulation between these 2 projects, each of which took less than a month from start to finish, resulted in avoiding costs of between $1million to $2million.