- Pilot plant production can be cost effective and can help minimize risk involved with a new process or product.
- Pilot plant manufacturing, when done properly, can save a customer time and money, plus results in a tested and quality product.
- Improper pilot plant production can be a disaster, leading to compromised product and lost resources, including time and money.
Not all chemical manufacturers choose to go through a pilot plant step prior to large-scale production, but when done properly, pilot plant production can save the customer time and money. When done improperly, it can be a disaster. Here are things to monitor throughout the process to gauge planning and production are going well, as well as signs to look out for if things aren’t going so well.
Related: 4 Things to Know about Pilot Plant Production
Pros of Pilot Plant Production
The process of chemical manufacturing in a pilot plant can go extremely well if certain parts of the process are assured. These essential steps ensure proper guidelines are in place and being strictly followed to guarantee quality, effectiveness, and efficiency.
- The customer knows exactly what they want produced, including the quantity and the timeline for production.
- There is good two-way communication between the customer and CJB Applied Technologies during the early planning stages.
- CJB can accommodate the scheduling needs of the customer. We actively communicate with our customers throughout the process to ensure there won’t be any problems adapting to scheduling issues.
- CJB Applied Technologies’ equipment is well-suited to meet the project’s demands. We are a full-service operation, with industry-best standards and technology, making us perfectly equipped to handle your chemical manufacturing at a reduced pilot plant scale.
- 100% of the raw materials needed for the run arrive from the customer to CJB at least one week in advance of the scheduled run start. With supply chain crisis challenges, it’s vital that materials arrive at our facility prior to the start of a pilot plant run, otherwise scheduling challenges arise.
- A detailed and accurate process document should already be established. Our team at CJB will follow it explicitly.
- Analytical testing is performed throughout the run. Target specs are measured and achieved.
- At the conclusion of the run, the customer receives a detailed campaign report.
Cons of Pilot Plant Production
Communication and a well-established process are necessary for a successful pilot plan production run. If any of the following areas are compromised, it can risk quality and result in lost resources for the pilot plant operator and customer.
- Poor communication and a lack of project details–the customer is uncertain about what they want, or they haven’t communicated their needs properly to production personnel. The pilot plant should be able to recognize when essential details, clarity and processes have not been properly communicated. Otherwise, this can doom the run from the start.
- Raw materials arrive at the pilot plant facility late, and the schedule violation presents challenges for all concerned.
- Equipment breaks down due to a lack of robust preventative maintenance processes.
- Pre-run cleanout processes are not performed to the highest standards of cleanliness, resulting in product contamination.
- Lack of proper sanitization efforts and standards results in microbial contamination.
- The process is not followed, or materials outside scope are introduced.
CJB Applied Technologies has a proven, repeatable process in place and robust standards and guidelines which are ensured by our pilot plant managers and operators. Our standards of quality and excellence ensure your pilot plant production run is cost-effective in delivering you the finest product possible.