Case Studies

Decision Making for Investment in Innovation

Business decisions are frequently complex and, where innovation is concerned, uncertainty in the assessment of the alternatives on offer adds to the complexity. Britest can provide a structured decision making approach which enables decision makers to capture key business and technical information and the business benefits sought. This case study describes how we were able to help a speciality chemical manufacturer considering various investment options to enhance their production flexibility.

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- COMPLEX DECISION MAKINGInnovation




KUDOS - Sharing collective process insight

Right across the process industries manufacturers use similar unit operations and face similar challenges as they strive to optimise their performance. At the same time, collaborative research projects often struggle to disseminate fresh insights about process technologies widely and in ways that endure. Britest Knowledge and Understanding Domains (KUDOS) collate process understanding, generated through projects, in a form that allows process sector companies to learn about different process operations and challenges.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION- KNOWLEDGE SHARING- OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCEProcess DesignSkills DevelopmentTechnical FacilitationTraining




Mapping the Manufacturing Value Stream to Spot Improvement Opportunities

When the technical team responsible for a market-leading medicine within a high-profile global, science-led biopharmaceutical company wanted to establish where process improvement opportunities existed for the product line, they turned to a Britest study to summarise process inputs, outputs and key information. The study allowed the manufacturing value stream to be seen end-to-end in great detail for the first time ever, highlighting value gaps and the scale and location of improvement opportunities, and catalysed both "quick-win" actions, and a plan to deliver the pipeline of improvement projects identified.

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- OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGPharmaProcess ImprovementTOOL - Process Information Summary Map




Overcoming Analytical Sample Preparation Issues to Improve Method Reliability

Analytical scientists at AstraZeneca were able to rapidly and effectively identify and eliminate subtle procedural variations in a test method being used to make product quality decisions with significant cost implications for any batch wrongly rejected. Britest tools were used to visualise the sample preparation regime in detail, breaking it down to identify potential sources of variation, and prioritise these for further investigation in a factorial experimental design. Re-wording the test method restored the method to control, saving $10-50k per out of specification result prevented.

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- PROBLEM SOLVINGAnalytical ChemistryPharmaTOOL - Rich Pictures




Improving Access to Organisational Knowledge: A Visual Understanding of a Key Unit Operation

A large company in the pharmaceuticals sector has been able to transform the availability and hence use of existing information and existing work on the commonly used isolation technique of pressure filtration. Britest Rich Pictures and Cartoons provided an elegant format to portray and summarise current information and understanding, and by digitising these into a dedicated internal site, AstraZeneca were able to produce an easy to use guide to pressure filtration development.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION- KNOWLEDGE SHARINGSkills DevelopmentTOOL - Rich Pictures




Optimising Plant Changeover / Cleaning Processes

A Britest methodology to support the optimisation of changeover/cleaning processes was used to help FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants address capacity constraints. Improvements to significantly time-consuming steps, and opportunities for improvements to existing CIP equipment were identified, along with a more ambitious opportunity to reduce the cleaning cycle time from 2-3 days to 12 hours through targeted use of a key cleaning solvent.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATIONProcess EfficiencyProcess ImprovementSpeciality ChemicalsTOOL - Process Information Summary MapTOOL - Rich PicturesTechnical Facilitation




Increasing Production of a Speciality Chemical by 50% to meet demand

This case study describes how a Britest study enabled an internal cross-functional team at Robinson Brothers Limited to rapidly identify and implement process changes designed to improve efficiency and up time, making it possible to support extra sales of ~£1M p.a.

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- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGProcess DesignProcess EfficiencyProcess ImprovementTOOL - Process Information Summary Map




A Structured Approach to Whole Process Review

Read how Britest has enabled biotechnology pioneers Biogen to conduct a structured review of manufacturing operations with an end-to-end view of the entire manufacturing process in order to guarantee product quality and robustness.

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- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGProcess DesignTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTechnical Facilitation




Supporting Complex Decision Making in Route Selection

For complex, multiple step separations there are often many possible routes to the end product. This is exacerbated if several products are to be manufactured from a single feed-stream. Faced with this challenge, Johnson Matthey turned to Britest tools and methodologies to find the optimal process route for separation of platinum group metals.

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- COMPLEX DECISION MAKING- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGProcess Design




Process Options - Balancing Development Risk and Commercial Opportunity

In process development several potentially viable options may be on the table, each with its own complicated risk - reward relationship. This case study from Johnson Matthey shows how a process development team used Britest to make  progress in deciding between several process options with disparate project/developmental risks and potential commercial impact.without sacrificing appropriate rigour in their decision making process.

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- COMPLEX DECISION MAKINGProcess Design




Gap Analysis at the Start of New Process Development

Britest facilitation of a process for open dialogue between manufacturers, equipment providers and key stakeholders provided the framework for dialogue needed for Johnson Matthey to engage in a collaborative research and development programme to develop an improvement approach to recycling Platinum Group Metals. Beneficial outcomes were minimisation of research risk, identification of uncertainty, and stakeholder buy-in.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATIONProcess DesignTechnical Facilitation




Supporting scale-up in an innovative start-up business

Conductive Organics, is a University of Strathclyde spin-out company, working to produce the next generation of conductive organic materials for use in emerging technologies such as Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED's). A Britest study enabled Conductive Organics to address the challenge of scaling-up the synthesis of the key organic compound at the heart of their innovative formulations, and to gather underpinning information to support their emerging business plan.

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- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGProcess DesignScale-upSpeciality Chemicals




Improving Food Operations Training

Stu Brew is Europe’s first student run microbrewery, helping students gain hands on experience at running a business, operating equipment and researching sustainability improvements for the brewing process. This case study describes how Britest tools have been used by Newcastle University to support operation of the microbrewery, and in particular to help train student operators to enhance process understanding.

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- KNOWLEDGE SHARINGBiotechnologyFoodTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTOOL - Rich PicturesTraining




Britest coordinating collaborations

Participation in strategic initiatives such as the EU H2020:SPIRE Public-Private-Partnership opens up powerful influencing routes and further opportunities, but it takes excellent project management skills to pull the complex elements of a collaborative project together into a coherent whole. This case study describes how Britest brought together a consortium of ten partners to successfully bid for and deliver a two-year project collating views from EU process industry sectors, public sector, academics and sustainability experts to positively influence future approaches to sustainability evaluation across the EU.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATIONHorizon ScanningSustainability




Troubleshooting Reaction Issues in Additives Manufacture

An example of how a Britest study enabled one of the world's leading formulators, manufacturers and marketers of fuel and lubricant additives to gain a fundamental understanding of the influence of raw material composition and process conditions on the properties of a free-radically produced polymer which wasn't always hitting the mark. Having identified an issue in a critical raw material, Infineum were able to agree a new monomer specification with their supplier and save £350k a year.

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- PROBLEM SOLVINGSpeciality ChemicalsTOOL - Driving Force AnalysisTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTOOL - Transformation Map




Use of Britest to aid Communication and Problem Solving

Read how the use of the Britest tools and approach encouraged chemists and engineers in a large manufacturing organisation to address a problem in pressure filtration which had been dragging on for three years - saving the business £500K a year. 

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION- PROBLEM SOLVINGPharmaTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTOOL - Rich PicturesTechnical Facilitation




Decision Making for Equipment Selection

Equipment selection is an important activity for manufacturing companies, as wrong choices can be costly with respect to product quality, production time, production rate and resource allocation. With support from Britest, FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants Limited were able to work with an academic specialist in the field of decision support to develop decision criteria, and evaluate four equipment options using a range of decision making approaches in order to reach an informed decision about selecting a piece of mixing equipment.

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- COMPLEX DECISION MAKING




Rapid optimisation of a new process in Pharmaceutical API manufacture

Read how Britest successfully provided the structured approach needed by a process development centre within a large multi-national pharmaceutical business to optimise a new process in a very short time period.

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- OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGPharmaProcess Design




Collaboration, customer focus and value creation - delivering JM's core values

Johnson Matthey Emission Control Technologies develops and manufactures coated catalyst systems for automotive applications. This case study exemplifies a typical study where Britest tools act as a focus to bring together different disciplines and business locations in collaborative programmes allowing JM to deliver its core values.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATIONProcess DesignSpeciality ChemicalsTOOL - Process Definition Diagram




Problem Solving through Process Understanding - Particle Coating for Controlled Release

Read how a Britest problem solving study rapidly enabled a major pharmaceutical manufacturer to get a controlled release drug capsules product back to target release profile after transferring the process to new manufacturing equipment.

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- PROBLEM SOLVINGPharmaTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTOOL - Rich Pictures







Britest Improvement Study to Increase Throughput by 50%

This case study describes the elements of a Britest throughput improvement study carried out by a custom synthesis manufacturer to meet an identified customer need to increase process throughput by at least 50% within three years, which was successfully delivered by halving batch times.

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- OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCECustom ManufactureProcess DesignProcess ImprovementTOOL - Driving Force AnalysisTOOL - Initial Screening AnalysisTOOL - Process Definition DiagramTOOL - Process Information Summary MapTOOL - Rich PicturesTOOL - Transformation Map




Technology Transfer Made Easy in a Contract Manufacturing Organisation

Read how a Britest facilitator was able to help a contract manufacturing organisation who did not know the Britest tools identify a common language for effective technology transfer.

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- KNOWLEDGE SHARINGCustom ManufactureProcess DesignTechnical FacilitationTechnology Transfer




Challenging ideas on an established manufacturing process

How do you reduce costs and drive value when you've been operating a process for 25 years? This Britest study with a fine chemical company did exactly that by challenging established idea of what was and wasn't optimal in the process chemistry to speed up and simplify the reaction route.

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- OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE- WHOLE PROCESS UNDERSTANDINGCustom ManufactureProcess DesignSpeciality Chemicals




Customer and Supplier Working Together as a Team

An illustration of how two Britest members in a supplier/customer relationship were able to use Britest as a framework for working together to solve a problem with a chemical intermediate product.

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- EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION- PROBLEM SOLVINGSpeciality Chemicals




Britest in Drug Product Development

A large pharmaceutical manufacturing Britest member had identified processing issues associated with a micronisation step during late stage development with several new drug candidates intended for inhalation. A multi-disciplinary, cross-site team was put together which used Britest tools to identify key material attributes, equipment and process parameters impacting upon the micronisation unit operation. With the root causes identified the team was able to define a generic workflow and guidance for successful micronisation in the future.

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- PROBLEM SOLVINGPharmaTOOL - Driving Force AnalysisTOOL - Rich Pictures