Merck VBF Program Named 2012 Facility of the Year Awards Overall Winner

Source: PharmaManufacturing.com

Nov 14, 2012

ISPE

ISPE announced during the Plenary Session at its 2012 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., that Merck’s Vaccine Bulk Manufacturing Facility (VBF) Program of Projects is the Overall Winner of the 2012 Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) program.

Faced with a projected production shortfall for the Varicella product franchise, Merck responded by delivering the Vaccine Bulk Manufacturing Facility (VBF) Program of Projects in Durham, North Carolina, USA. The 214,000-square-foot facility was built in record time and doubled the output of the vaccine used for Chicken Pox and Shingles.

The Merck Team used an innovative hybrid modular construction strategy that maximized off-site fabrication and equipment testing. Interesting for this application, the integrated construction execution strategy decoupled the design and construction of the building envelope and shell from interior process components, enabling parallel processes – as soon as the building shell was dried in and elevated slab poured, modules were installed simultaneously above the slab. This resulted in the ability to establish two independent work zones (above and below the slab) and saved five months on the schedule.

The team was organized as “One Team” with all members co-located in an integrated partnership. LEAN Six Sigma principles were used throughout the project and resulted in an accelerated transfer of systems to operations. Integrating more than 200 lessons learned from the existing facility and process, the facility was delivered 40% faster than industry benchmarks. For this, Merck was named the 2012 Facility of the Year Awards Overall Winner.

More information about Merck’s winning project, as well as the Facility of the Year Awards program in general, can be found at www.FacilityoftheYear.org.