Once you have decided on where to locate your pharmaceutical company, the next important thing you need to do is to plan a suitable layout for your pharmaceutical plant. While designing a pharmaceutical plant, you need to understand and follow the basic regulatory requirements for the construction of a pharmaceutical plant. According to National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), your proposed layout and design should aim at minimizing the risk of errors and permit effective cleaning and maintenance in other to avoid cross-contamination, build-up of dust or dirt and in general, any adverse effect on the products. The best way to achieve this goal is to design the layout in such a way that it follows a logical order corresponding to the steps of the operation.
What is a pharmaceutical plant layout?
Pharmaceutical plant layout/ factory layout refers to the allocation of space and the arrangement of machines, furniture and other important administration and necessary services needed in a production process within a factory building in other to perform the various unit operations involved in the manufacturing process of dosage forms in a cost effective manner and with the least amount of handling in processing the product from the receipt of raw material through the distribution of the finished product.
Features of a good pharmaceutical plant layout
A good pharmaceutical plant layout should possess the following characteristics
- There should be adequate floor space for machines installation and utilization
- The machines should be properly arranged to facilitate minimum material handling is necessary for low cost processing.
- The layout should facilitate smooth and continuous flow of production process from one point to another without any form of delay
- It must incorporate adequate health, safety and security features such as first aid box, fire extinguisher, emergency exit and access point
- A good layout should allow effective supervision, coordination and control of the production processes
- There should be room for adjustment and modifications whenever the need arises.
Advantages of a good pharmaceutical plant layout
The advantages of a good pharmaceutical plant layout includes but are not limited to
- Optimum use of available floor space for production operations
- Improved quality of product due to reduced chances of cross contamination
- Efficient arrangement for receipt, transportation, storage, and delivery of raw material and finished goods.
- Low cost of material handling
- Minimized loss due to waste and spoilage
- Conducive working conditions resulting in improved efficiency.
- Increased productivity with reduced risk of human error
- Minimized risk of occupational hazards/ low incidence of occupational hazards
- Minimized cost and efforts in supervision of production processes.
- Provision of control and supervision operations at appropriate points
Planning the layout of a pharmaceutical plant is an important decision as it represents long‐term commitment. It is also a continuous process as there are always chances of making improvements or adjustment to the existing arrangement. It should be so designed that the functioning of plant would become very efficient by providing optimum relationship among output, floor area and manufacturing process. Although pharmaceutical plant layout differs from plant to plant, the basic principles governing pharmaceutical plant layout are more or less same.
- Shah B., Nayak B., Jain V. and Shah D. (2012). A Textbook of Pharmaceutical Industrial Management. New Delhi: Elsevier.