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Digital Plant Architecture Helps Pharmaceutical Plant Do More For Less, Contributing To 4% Improvement In Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Wed, 06/02/2010 - 7:49am

Cambrex Profarmaco of Milan, Italy, has successfully implemented Emerson Process Management's PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture at its Paullo plant. The resulting gains in product quality and production efficiency have contributed to a 4 per cent increase in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

Cambrex Profarmaco is a leading pharmaceutical company, producing more than 70 active ingredients used mainly for the production of generic drugs. Growing demand for its products meant that Cambrex needed to increase output while maintaining quality in line with the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) guidelines.

A key strategy for achieving this objective was to replace manual monitoring and recording practices at the Paullo plant with fully automated systems. The new systems would provide precise control of process variables and replace manual record-keeping with an automated data historian, speeding process validation and simplifying batch traceability.

At the start of the project, the site director of Cambrex Profarmaco said, "We were talking to several system suppliers. However, only Emerson was able to guarantee it could meet all of our requirements. We were impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the people on the project team. Emerson was also able to demonstrate relevant experience gained while working on similar projects."

The PlantWeb architecture installed at the Paullo plant includes Emerson's DeltaV™ digital automation system and AMS™ Suite: Intelligent Device Manager software. Cambrex’s system is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant, and the DeltaV system and AMS Device Manager software are proving to be not only an important factor in operations, but also indispensable for data traceability.

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Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters have become the standard at the Cambrex Profarmaco plant in Paullo, Italy

The flexibility and ease of use of the DeltaV system makes it ideal for this critical pharmaceutical process. The system meets the complex production needs of Cambrex and provides invaluable information for use in process development. It also provides a highly reproducible manufacturing process and supporting documentation for cGMP.

Intelligent field devices in the PlantWeb solution include Emerson's Rosemount® temperature and pressure instruments, Rosemount Analytical pH and conductivity meters, and Micro Motion® F-Series Coriolis mass flowmeters. Based on their performance, stability and accuracy, Micro Motion meters have become the Paullo site's de facto standard for all applications regardless of viscosity, density, temperature, process conditions, or corrosiveness.

Cambrex also specified Emerson’s Fisher® control valves, which have been proven to deliver excellent performance. The accuracy, repeatability, and reliability offered by the Fisher valves meant that this investment was recovered very quickly.

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Emerson’s Fisher control valves are part of the PlantWeb digital plant architecture at the Cambrex Profarmaco plant in Paullo, Italy

Cambrex is very satisfied with Emerson’s PlantWeb solution. Its management team set out with a very demanding specification for the project, which also had to be implemented in a very short time. Emerson demonstrated true expertise in all of the commissioning phases and allowed Cambrex to get the fastest possible ROI. After start-up, the improvement in efficiency has exceeded the company’s best expectations.

 

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