Today pilot plants are an endangered species. There are a variety of reasons for this current state of affairs, including: CAPEX limitations, safety concerns, environmental risks, resource limitations, and time constraints. Nowadays, CAPEX is in high demand and short suppl. All projects are in competition for limited available capital funds. With regards to safety, it is key to ensure that personnel are properly trained, appropriate equipment is used, and chemical inventories are kept low. Environmentally it is important to contain and properly dispose of chemicals, which requires staff training and adherence to regulations, both federal and state. Developing qualified personnel to operate the unit requires both time and training. In a global market, reducing project cycle time is paramount and essential to maintain a competitive advantage.
The use of contract manufacturers at the pilot plant level provides a sleek solution to these problems. Regarding CAPEX, the majority of the investment has already been made. The basic safety issues have been addressed … only those safety issues specific to the project require further assessment. Environmental risks should be discussed in detail with the contract manufacturer because the contracting company owns the environmental liability for the specific project. The unit is already staffed with trained operators. Time constraints are now limited to toller schedule and feed logistics.
This presentation discusses
- Whether to toll a pilot plant project
- How to identify tollers
- How to transfer the technology while maintaining IP
- How to implement the technology at the toller
- How to successfully manage the effort.