Cynthia Challener

June 27, 2016

1 Min Read


Martin Smith, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, Pall Corporation

Martin Smith, PhD, has been with Pall for about nine years and assumed the role of chief technology officer at Pall about 18 months ago. He spoke with Cynthia Challener, PhD, about Pall’s biopharmaceutical business unit and how the company is positioning its technology suite for a continuous process paradigm.

Smith: There is no doubt in our minds that we see movement toward continuous bioprocessing. When you look across an array of different industries, the move to continuous or parallel processing is paramount. A simple example of a unit operation is collecting water from a well rather than through the continuous process of turning on a faucet. When pulling water from a well, you may have variations in the way different operators pull that water up. They may spill some. They may need to travel some distance. Similarly, in the biopharmaceutical industry today we have clusters of individual unit operations that are just sort of bolted together right now — creating large amounts of variation. The goal is to reduce that variation though a continuous operation.

The advantages of reducing variation include more efficient statistical process control and cost reductions. It clarifies understanding of batch sizes and related management of manufacturing schedules and personnel. The industry is heading this way, with biopharmaceuticals following examples from other industries — automotive, food and beverage, semiconductor, and so on — all of which operate in parallel manufacturing paths.

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