(101a) Choosing and Using Tollers to Manufacture

Doll, M. - Presenter, Shell Global Solutions
Worstell, J. H., Worstell and Worstell, Consultants
Pretzer, L., Shell Global Solutions
Doll, E., University of Houston
Pilot plants are an endangered species. There are a variety of reasons for this, CAPEX limitations, safety concerns, environmental risks, resource limitations, and time constraints. CAPEX is in high demand and short supply. All projects are in competition for limited available capital funds. Regarding safety, it is key to ensure that personnel are properly trained, appropriate equipment is used, and chemical inventories are kept low. Environmentally it is important to contain and properly dispose of chemicals, which requires staff training and adherence to regulations, both federal and state. Developing qualified personnel to operate the unit requires time and training. Project cycle time is paramount and essential to maintain a competitive advantage.

The use of contract manufacturers at the pilot plant level provides a seedy solution to these problems. The majority of the investment has already been made and basic safety issues have been addressed. Only safety issues specific to the project require further assessment. Environmental risks should be discussed in detail with the contract manufacturer since you (the contracting company) own the environmental liability for the project. Lastly, the unit is already staffed with trained operators. Time constraints are now limited to toller schedule and feed logistics.

This presentation discusses

  • How to identify tollers
  • How to transfer the technology while maintaining IP
  • How to implement the technology at the toller
  • How to successfully manage the effort.

Case studies of our experiences, some of which went well, others not so well will be discussed