Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Design, Production and Management
Master programme Mechanical Engineering

As part of his / her master assignment

Bos, M. (Mirjam)

will hold a speech entitled:

Future production of HarMono-T cartridges - A scenario based discrete-event simulation study

Future production of HarMono-T cartridges - A scenario based discrete-event simulation study - Bos, M. (Mirjam)


Solstice Pharmaceuticals develops a contrast-enhancing ultrasound agent, HarMono-T, which will be delivered to patients using a single-dose cartridge. In this research, a simulation study has been done to explore the future production practice of these cartridges. A main challenge in the research has been the collection of data. Typically, a simulation model is based on a real-life production equivalent, and data from this process can be used as input data and in the validation phase. However, at Solstice, there is no running production yet. Most of the input data has been based on expert opinion and published standards.

The numerous sources of variation in the future, have been channeled into four manageable scenarios. The first scenario was that the development will happen as expected. In the second scenario, Solstice will start producing a product mix parallel to the expected demand raise for HarMono-T cartridges. The third scenario explores an option for an alternative production sequence and the fourth scenario has given the opportunity to develop a production line for when actual demand would be double the forecast. These scenarios have additionally covered multiple themes, for example, batch sizing, worker routing, and visual inspection ratios.

The discrete-event simulation model has been programmed in Siemens Plant Simulation. The simulation runs have shown that the current facilities of Solstice could provide a throughput of 130000 cartridges per year. When a second dispense station and two automatic cure stations would be purchased, this could increase to 250000 cartridges per year. Optimal batch sizes are 500 cartridges for the low volume phase and 2500 when demand exceeds 50000 cartridges per year.

In the future, when the production process will run and more data becomes available, the model can be validated more confidently. It could also be interesting to discuss more elaborately, the usefulness of performing a simulation study in the start-up phase of a company. And investigate if there are other companies who have used this technique.