Bottlenecking Theory

Lean Biomanufacturing, by Dr. Nigel J. Smart

Understanding this theory can help address key concepts that can help your research team yield optimal results. It’s important to begin your research by first running through some equations that will help your team throughout your experimental endeavors. After all, you wouldn’t read a book if you didn’t know its terminology first, right? It’s important to be well versed in the material that you are working on in order to make the most out of your research. You are experts in your industry so make sure to own this knowledge, for that will be the best way to reach your team’s goals.


The quantity that a manufacturing site can produce in unit time is defined as:

Plant throughout: Batch size X Number of batches

Plant throughout: Batch Size/Cycle Time

Clearly bottlenecking is not an ideal situation for your facility, so avoiding this or creating a logistical approach to offset this phenomenon is key in lean biomanufacturing.  Bottlenecking can occur as a result of resource limitation as well as when one does not have the correct tools/equipment readily available.

Why would a store clerk sell a shirt that is no longer in stock? They wouldn’t!  This is why it’s important to know what resources or quantity you have available at all times. In the case that bottlenecking does occur, one must spot the issue and easily remediate it, which is probably something that should have been done early on. Preparation and planning is key in any industry. The best researchers understand that problems or unforeseen issues happen and accounting for those in your team’s earliest stages distinguishes the most successful teams from the not-so-successful.

We can’t discuss potential problems or issues without mentioning the four letter word that overwhelmingly plays a major factor in anyone’s research…C-O-S-T. Rid yourself of any potential economic woes by creating a pilot engineering study or a computer stimulation to better scope out any potential risks.

As pharmaceutical consultants, we understand that by approaching your pharmaceutical/scientific method in this way, you will be well equipped to combat any sort of bottlenecking issues that you may come across in your research.

For more information on the bottlenecking theory please refer to Lean Biomanufacturing by Dr. Nigel J. Smart.