Emerson announces OpX Advantage Program for Life Sciences

NEW YORK (April 27, 2005)– At INTERPHEX 2005, Emerson Process Management announced its OpX Advantage Program to help Life Sciences manufacturers quickly and confidently make operations improvements. Building on opportunities like those made possible under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent guidance on Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and cGMPs for the 21st century, Emerson’s program helps producers build a business case for Operational Excellence (OpX) and implement the needed changes– with guaranteed results.

The OpX Advantage Program combines Emerson’s 30-plus years of Life Sciences consulting and engineering, and its PlantWeb digital automation technology, with Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma business process improvement methodologies. It helps manufacturers achieve operational excellence through the resulting implementation of innovative pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, and quality assurance projects.

“The Life Sciences industry is facing a ‘perfect storm’ of business conditions, including growing competition, quality and safety concerns, and new price pressures,” comments Emerson Operational Excellence business director Bob Lenich. “The FDA’s 21st-century cGMPs and PAT initiatives are helping remove past hestitancy by Life Sciences companies to pursue innovative solutions, but those companies are now struggling with where to begin and how to turn their goals into realities. That’s where Emerson’s OpX Advantage Program can help.”

Numerous independent studies conducted across multiple industries have revealed that while manufacturing automation accounts for only 5-8% of total plant costs, proper application of automation technology to plant floor business practices has enormous impact on production efficiency and product quality. Emerson’s OpX Advantage Program quickly, efficiently, and affordably identifies what’s required functionally, operationally, and culturally to apply and sustain the long-term benefits innovative automation solutions can provide.

“Although Emerson’s OpX Advantage Program is very specific to the Life Sciences industry, its concepts are rooted in similar programs Emerson has been successfully using for many years, both internally and to assist other industries,” adds John Gardner, Emerson’s senior vice president for Life Sciences business. “We’re already engaged in helping leading Life Sciences companies along their OpX journey. And PlantWeb is proven in thousands of installations, delivering significant efficiency improvements time and again.”

About Emerson’s OpX Advantage Program

Using a structured methodology, Emerson’s OpX Advantage Program begins with a one- to two-day assessment of a client’s manufacturing operation and the supporting services. Each assessment is uniquely tailored for the client, but is generally designed to identify the client’s “as-is” cultural, procedural, and operational environment.

The as-is assessment culminates with a formal presentation and written reports identifying assessment findings; what’s working well and what’s not; suggestions for cultural, procedural, and operational improvements and quantification of potential gains implementing the suggested improvements likely will yield.

The next step of the program is for Emerson industry experts to conduct an in-depth study that specifically identifies and quantifies ways of improving quality, throughput, and availability while reducing costs in operations and maintenance; safety, health & environment; utilities, and waste and rework. The findings and recommendations of this detailed study form the foundation for improvement. Emerson then works with the client to implement the plan.

“Just applying technology to existing manufacturing processes doesn’t maximize the benefit,” says Lenich. “Creating and sustaining OpX improvements requires changing work practices as well as cross-functional communication and cooperation among all the various plant floor organizations such as manufacturing, QA, QC, engineering, and others. We’ve opened eyes at several companies when our assessment program revealed how compartmentalized they were and what significant improvement opportunities existed.”

After the project is carried out using the agreed-to methodology, services, and technologies, Emerson and the client conduct a post-installation audit to measure improvements and compare them to the baseline performance measured in the original study.

“We can guarantee improvement,” says Lenich. “It’s that simple.”

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