Benefiting from Emerging Technologies
When most people hear “Facility of the Future,” they immediately think about robots, automation, virtual reality, or logging in with a Facebook account, security issues aside. However, when I hear “Facility of the Future,” I think of lean manufacturing and flexibility. The majority of my career has been on the design side, where I focused on building facilities. Historically, the projects I have seen have been product-specific with already defined tech transfer documents and building equipment and systems around those parameters. However, I have seen a shift in validation and process design throughout my career to include a wider operating range for future flexibility. It seemed to be a common theme that companies were doing more upfront to design and validate a wider operating range within the equipment for future products or future generations of an existing product that may follow a similar process. The industry shifted from designing a specific product with no forethought into future changes or capabilities to investing in a design with those future capabilities in mind to increase flexibility.