Monday, May 17, 2021

Factors Influencing Pharmaceutical Plant Layout

by | July 23, 2019 3

While deciding on how the layout of your pharmaceutical plant would look like, there is need to evaluate some factors which at different degrees influence your layout design. This is because the efficiency and how productive your company will be, depends on how well the equipment and machines used during production processes are arranged. These factors influencing pharmaceutical plant layout include but are not limited to;

1. Location of the proposed company

The size, shape and topology of the site greatly influence the layout design of your plant. The idea is that you optimally utilize the available space. This equally determines to a great extent the size and nature of the building.

2. Economic consideration (Cost)

This can be viewed from two perspectives: the cost of construction and the operating cost. Construction cost can be reduced to the barest minimum if you adopt a design that will support minimal material handling during production processes. The maintenance cost should also be considered to avoid spending more money maintaining the building in the long run.

3. Factory building

The shape, size and nature of the proposed factory building also influence the design of your plant layout. The layout should be such that it follows the basic regulatory requirements for the construction of a pharmaceutical plant. If your factory building is hired, adjustments should be made where necessary to suit the needs of your plant and also for optimal utilization of the available floor space.

4. Nature of product

The type of layout design to be adopted greatly depends on your line(s) of product. For instance, the layout design of an industry that processes raw materials to create Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), excipients or ancillary substances used in pharmaceutical formulations will definitely differ from that of a industries that processes dosage forms such as tablets, injections etc., from raw materials or intermediate products. However, there may be similarity with respect to quality control department, raw material quarantine, approved raw materials etc.

5. Production process

The processes that are involved in transformation of raw materials to either semi-finished or finished products should be critically considered as it greatly affects the layout design of your proposed company. The layout should be such that there is effective and efficient flow of production processes to avoid mix up and cross contamination.

6. Production volume

Your choice of layout design will also depend on your company’s scale of production. If your company engages in large scale production, definitely you will need a layout which will house the raw materials, machinery, finished products etc.

There might be reduced productivity if there is not enough space. Too much space, on the other hand, may also reduce productivity and to an extent a waste of capital which should be used in putting other things in place.

7. Nature of equipment and machines

The type of equipment used during production will also affect how the layout will look like. There are usually differences in the requirements of each equipment and machines with respect to space; speed and material handling process. The proposed layout should have enough space to accommodate the machines and sufficient space should be created between machines to avoid accident during operations.

8. Repairs and maintenance of machines and equipment

The design should be such that there is adequate space between machines access to machine parts and components during replacement, repair and regular maintenance.

9. Employees needs and safety

While designing a layout, the safety of employees should be put into consideration. The layout should not expose the workers to dangerous fumes/gases, excess heat etc., and the floor type should be non-slippery and free from obstructions to avoid occupational hazards. Arrangement should also be made for washroom, drinking water, and other employee facilities.

10. Plant environment/climate

Factors like temperature, light, noise, ventilation and other aspects should be duly considered while designing a plant layout. The quality of raw materials and/or finished products might be compromised when exposed to extreme climatic conditions.


  • Ravi V. (2015). Industrial Engineering and Management. Delhi: PHI Learning Private Limited.
  • Sadhu S. (2011). Handbook Of Mechanical Engineering (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Rajendra Ravindra Printers Pvt Ltd.

The title of this post is Factors Influencing Pharmaceutical Plant Layout



    AN informative writeup

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