Four risk factors jeopardizing automation projects

Pharmaceutical companies are making a beeline to automate manufacturing. Here are four primary risk factors, most of them non-technical, which might hinder the early phases of any automation project.


Chinmoy Roy, manufacturing operations consultant at Free Lane Consultant, talked about the risk factors that might hinder the implementation of any automation project. Courtesy: Joy Chang, CFE MediaManufacturing automation is the enabler of process improvement and product consistency. Pharmaceutical companies are making a beeline to automate their manufacturing. Regulatory agencies are gearing up to face the challenges of automated manufacturing by actively hiring inspectors who have the requisite skills for auditing such systems.

Many risk factors and challenges exist at the early implementation process. According to Chinmoy Roy, manufacturing operations consultant at Free Lane Consultant, most of these risk factors are non-technical in nature and does not deal with the technical complexities of automation. Roy gave a presentation to pharmaceutical engineers on Monday, Nov. 3 at Pharma Expo in Chicago.

Roy summarized four primary risk factors that might hinder the early process of any automation project.

1. Technology risk factors

Technology risks come from acquiring new equipment, using products under 18 month in market, or using products under development. To eliminate the risk, project managers should ensure the team is properly trained on new technology.

2. Engineering risk factors

Engineering risks come from new system architecture, engineering requirements that are not finalized, companies without a sound business philosophy, or the failure on following industry standards. To overcome these risks, companies should track project performances and avoid operation chock points.

3. Communication risk factors

Communication risks can happen within the management team, with clients, with the design team, and in between project team peers. Such risks can be reduce by running monthly reports, regular signoffs and reviews, and meetings with item data and project information.

4. Planning risk factors

Planning risks come from the project managers' lack of automation project experience. To overcome the risks, project managers need to constantly track project performances against the project budget. They also need to conduct risk assessments and validation to maintain an effective risk control strategy.

With all the risks come along with a new automation project, Roy said project managers need to focus on validating critical items only, and use quantitative risk management methods to track their automation progress.

- Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, 

See additional stories from the 2014 Pack Expo and Pharma Expo below.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me