Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


Amgen is a world leading pharmaceutical company that specializes in biotechnology which develops intravenous or injectable biologic medicines. With an outstanding reputation in the field of safety, quality assurance, superior scientific innovation, and continuous improvement in all aspects, Amgen’s goal is to serve patients cutting edge medications available in today’s market. With this outlook on innovation, Amgen is currently looking into a material handling solution for movement of material between its storage facilities to an IOS9 cleanliness standard laboratory. Such movement includes passing through an airlock which requires the drums containing necessary chemicals for biotechnological production to be cleaned and remain in wet-lock with a specified bleach solution. This process is currently in question since these drums are being handled manually by workers at the risk of injury. With barrels that range from twenty-two to two hundred fifty pounds, great risk is associated with repetitive movement by workers tilting and cleaning these drums, and injury prevention is the main motive for the process change. This manual movement of drums lacks sufficient ergonomics while subjecting workers to injury, and a change must be implemented. A close look will be taken at the current process, and a mechanism will be designed to assist the worker during the new improved moving and cleaning process. Factors including safety, ergonomics, cleanability, timing, and cost will be considered in respective importance. Research on current patents, literature, and competitors’ solutions to material handling will be considered in the final design of a mechanism. Devices that were ultimately considered and compared include: electric motor-driven barrel lifters and turners, manual lifting assist devices, and automated systems, all of which would be customized to the company’s preference of cleanability, ease of use, and size and power limitations addressed by Amgen.


Sponsor: Amgen