Modularization brings an agile, adaptable approach to design in construction. It can build resiliency into structures, while providing the potential for fast, cost-effective scalability. Project owners in many sectors are increasingly interested in a modular/prefabrication approach to their manufacturing businesses globally.
According to a report from CRB Group, owners in the life sciences sector are discovering how useful modular/prefabrication is for constructing complex life sciences manufacturing facilities. The report was generated from a survey of 500 industry thought leaders in multinational firms, including North America and Europe, well over half of whom anticipate expanding within the next five years. So preconstructed space for lab expansion is finding favor just in time.
Adaptable, responsive components for the life sciences include work cell modules, standardized floor and wall panels, and clean rooms. The use of modular components can help companies accommodate a changing workforce, adapt to supply chain issues, be more efficient, and rapidly increase production when it’s called for.
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Following are 4 benefits modular construction offers for life sciences facilities.
- Improved Operations – Using a modular approach, a company can plan a modest expansion for immediate needs. Additional growth can be made over time using iterative decision making that might include integrating new technologies, adding equipment, expanding utility connections, and other operational improvements. The length of time between plan and implementation can be compressed, compared to a broad, sweeping approach.
- Consistency – Using consistent modular standards for phased expansion across a company’s entire network can help mitigate risks. Operators can rely on repeatable and predictable scenarios in one facility or multiple locations. Operators and owners have more flexibility for training, operations and even relocation, since facilities will have similar components.
- Digital Integration – Nearly half of the companies CRB surveyed characterized their operations as “connected” through automation and integration. Increasing that connectedness can come from adopting standard modular design elements. This enables manufacturers to grow their digital operations and have integrated facilities with predictive, real-time analytics. Connected data is central to the future of manufacturing.
- Regulatory Compliance – Standardization through modular design can improve operations across a network of facilities by ensuring the compliance of one facility and duplicating that in other facilities. Shortening the regulatory process assists companies with their speed-to-market plans. In addition, lessons learned from one modular facility can be applied to others. Regulatory feedback can be directly applied to future regulatory applications, making them faster and streamlining operations.
The CRB survey discovered trends, innovation and where the life science industry might be headed. The trends include moderate growth projections, research and development, and ways manufacturers can manage costs and bring products to market more quickly.
Whether a manufacturer is expanding one location or adding locations, it’s important for that expansion to proceed within schedule and budget parameters. That can be achieved through the standardization and consistency that comes from agile, adaptable modular processes.