Automation Business Intelligence

Est. reading time: 2 minutes
Author: Ruth Kearney

Learning from manufacturing best practice with Astellas Ireland.

Ruth Kearney

Ruth is focused on driving the commercial path at Nightingale HQ, reaching out to manufacturers to share the GoSmarter toolkit, and driving awareness …


It was a real pleasure to get a site tour of Astellas, the Japanese pharmaceutical plant in Killorglin, Co.Kerry on the south west coast of Ireland. Established over thirty years ago, they employ 300 staff and manufacturer vital immunosuppressant medicines for transplant patients worldwide.

There were many advanced areas that Tim Moroney Building Services Engineer proudly shared with myself and Liam Cronin, CEO of the RDI Hub including a Just-In-Time inventory system, a wind turbine power generation station and a 1.6MW wood chip biomass boiler installed in 2012 that displaces 800,000+ litres of oil annually! Their inventory management systems is something that every manufacturers could learn from given the impact of inventory on profitability.

Factory Tours

Of course Astellas Ireland have made significant investments but the payback has been within a few years and the benefits enormous both in terms of a reduction in CO2 emissions and energy savings. This also fuels innovation and they have recently opened a new chemistry laboratory and production area where greater volumes and new products will be developed.

It was hugely impressive to see manufacturing best practices first hand and learn about how the folks in Kerry are driving operational excellence. Long may it continue.