Batch Process Development - An Information Supply Chain

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This paper reviews the information requirements throughout the development lifecycle across different sectors of the batch industries. It then discusses the challenges facing software seeking to enable smarter working through this lifecycle. Aspects considered include the creation, analysis, manipulation and retrieval of process information in ways that enable more effective decision support, eliminate transcription and work cooperatively allowing users to choose “the right tool at the right time”. Some of the issues addressed are: • Uncertainty and data quality/rigor • Risk vs. consequences including the business context • Resource constraints…addressing “what should we do next?” • Multi-disciplinary synergies and frictions (especially chemist & chemical engineer) • Supporting/competing standards…where does ISA/S88 fit? • The differing needs of simulation, design and recipe execution systems Benefits from an effective IT environment are discussed covering both tactical (direct cost and time savings) and strategic (“picking the winners”, time to market, more efficient, robust and flexible processes) benefits. The paper draws conclusions regarding the classes of software needed, the essential nature of fully supporting information sharing, the impact of existing and developing standards, the current “state of the art” available and some ideas on how the future might look.