Design of a Simulation to Analyze and Improve a Pharmaceutical Process

NNE Team: Megan McGahren, Leen Ajlouni, Jenny Banh, Keqin (Catherine) Ding

2017-2018: In collaboration with NNE and one of their clients, this student team designed a simulation using Factory Talk Arena (FTA) to compare a new gel capsule packaging line to an existing line, and also assessed the utility of such simulations for future NNE work.

The team first conducted background research on simulations and the FTA software and determined the design requirements for the project. The team visited the packaging line at the client’s facility and conducted an on-line time study of the packaging operation. Using an iterative development process, the team accomplished their simulation design work: exploring functionalities within FTA, identifying and selecting concepts for each phase of the existing line simulation, adjusting the existing line simulation for the optimized line, and verifying both simulations with the NNE and client liaisons. The team then used the simulations to conduct analyses regarding time outputs, bottlenecks, and operator utilization.

Project deliverables include annotated simulations of the existing and optimized lines, a video tutorial of the two simulations, and recommendations on the added value and limitations of simulations.