Scenario # 5: In-Line Blending System

In 1994, I proposed this Automated In-line Blending System to Diamond Products, a pharmaceutical company in Seffner Florida. There are many ways to implement this system. Below is just one example for illustration only. This is using technology to boost efficiency and profits, not shortcuts.

Comparison of a Manual Blending System against an In-Line Blending System:

Blending Systems Comparison

Manual Blending SystemIn-Line Blending System

• Takes ~ 4 - 8 hrs. to batch
• Takes ~4 – 6 hrs. to correct batch
• Waste production man-hours
• Frequent human errors
• Inconsistency (“spikes” in blend)
• No/poor audit trail
• Unsafe ("Hot" H2O2 is dangerous)
• Takes land space (real estate)
• Hugh initial cost
• Takes long to construct/implement
• Low overall process efficiency
• Takes more energy (continuous mixing)
• Technical skills required
• Costly mistakes from wasted products

• Instant batch is available
• Instantly change percent (50%/70%)
• No human errors
• Better consistency (quality)
• Detailed Audit trail
• Safer (Hot H2O2 is dangerous)
• Less land space (real estate)
• Less initial cost
• Faster to construct/implement
• Greater process efficiency
• Takes less electrical energy
• No technical skills required to blend

* H2O2 - Hydrogen Peroxide

Manual System

Firstly, here is what the manual process looks like:

  • People need special training (Quality Services Supervisor, Shift Chemist, Compounder)
  • People make frequent mistakes and often the same mistakes
  • People have miscommunication
  • Human conflict occurs when mistakes are made
  • This is ancient technology
  • Energy cost is high and continuous

Why are companies in the US still doing this?

Automated System

Secondly, here is the vast improvement of an automated system:

  • The blend is instantly available
  • The quality of the product is monitored and controlled 100% of the time
  • No Human conflict occurs
  • The specification can be changed instantly (i.e. 50% or 70% IPA)
  • Energy cost is low