IT DOES SO BY REDUCING WATER AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION for cleaning and sterilization processes. However, SUT brings an increase in solid waste compared with traditional process equipment, and it requires additional warehouse space and material handling efforts. Before use, SUT needs to be unpackaged and maneuvered into production areas. After use, the SUT and its packaging need to be removed and managed as waste or recyclable material. These new tasks, workflows, and the additional material for disposal detract from sustainability scores and add costs to operations. To get the most benefit from SUT companies need to look for synergies between sustainability and financial goals. By applying a Lean operations perspective to SUT design, delivery, and use, engineers can reduce the impact of new workflows on operations and also reduce the volume of solid waste to manage. Done properly, SUT will yield improvements in both sustainability and financial performance.
MARK PETRICH, PH.D., PE
Mark is director, component engineering, at Merck. He serves as second vice chair of the Bio-Process Systems Alliance.