People Innovation Excellence

Lean on a Chopper


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The future of lean manufacturing, at least for pharmaceuticals, might arrive via helicopter or boat. According to the news site in-Pharma, Pfizer Director of Process Analytical Support Steve Hammound said the company has spent five years and millions of dollars creating reliable, transportable production units that can put a manufacturing process anywhere in the world. This gives the pharmaceutical giant the ability to make products anywhere in the world but recover that manufacturing asset if the market turns or political situations become untenable.

The pods are a response to two changes in Pfizer’s strategy: the desire for lean, continuous manufacturing to limit wasted inventory and a push to produce products locally.

Hammond acknowledged that it reverses the previous strategy of consolidating production in huge, centralized manufacturing plants.

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