Genzyme Corporation, a global biotechnology leader, is using Smart Wireless temperature, pressure and level transmitters from Emerson Process Management to protect product quality and to reduce waste at its Genzyme Therapeutics enzyme manufacturing facility in Allston, Mass.
The company’s insurer suggested Genzyme establish a backup method to monitor the temperature in its cold rooms. Emerson’s self-organizing Smart Wireless network was installed, comprising of Rosemount temperature transmitters in two of the facility’s 20 cold rooms, and pressure and level transmitters installed on liquid nitrogen tanks at the plant’s tank farm. The network provides Genzyme with reliable real-time data for trend analysis, providing a redundant monitoring system to help protect the integrity of the company’s costly materials and product.
“The materials we use and final products we produce at this facility are very expensive. We have to closely monitor batch and materials storage temperatures throughout every step of the manufacturing process or the batch may have to be scrapped entirely,” said Jim Albert, Genzyme process engineer. “Production of one batch can sometimes take months, and one batch of enzymes can be worth as much as $1 million.”
The wireless transmitters send data to an Emerson Smart Wireless Gateway that transmits the information into the facility’s plant historian software on an OPC server. The data is accessible plant-wide for trend analysis.
“We use the trending to investigate any excursions that may occur at the plant,” said Albert.
The company selected Smart Wireless devices as part of Emerson’s wireless SmartPack Starter Kit. The kit was a cost-effective, low-risk way to establish and evaluate a redundant monitoring system to back up its paper chart recorders and manual recording processes. Because the new network is a separate system from its existing validated monitoring and control systems, Genzyme was able to implement and test this new technology with limited change control process.
“This makes it low risk to implement, and allows us to experiment with wireless and learn how we can best utilize its capabilities before rolling it out to additional cold rooms or other parts of our operations,” he said.
Installation was much easier and less expensive than it would have been for wired devices. The facility operates 24/7. Adding a redundant wired monitoring network for the cold rooms would have been economically impractical both because of the cost of installing conduit and the associated costs incurred as rooms were shut down for the installation. Installing wires to reach transmitters at the tank farm would have been cost prohibitive because of the farm’s location.
Genzyme intends to expand its Smart Wireless network of transmitters throughout the plant’s cold rooms for additional monitoring and trend analysis. It is also considering creating a duplicate alarming system with the wireless data to back-up its existing building management system.
Genzyme is a world leader in developing and applying advanced technology to life sciences. Its products and services focus on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, transplant, cancer and diagnostic testing. In addition, the company operates a substantial research and development program whose focus is on these fields as well as immune disease, infectious disease, and other areas of unmet medical need. Research and development spending in 2007 totaled $640 million. Company revenue in 2007 was $3.8 billion. The company’s Genzyme Therapeutics is a 180,000-square-foot sterile facility in Allston, Mass., that grows and packages enzymes used to treat patients with rare diseases in more than 90 countries who need enzyme replacement therapy.
About Emerson Process Management:
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, DeltaV, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, Ovation and AMS Suite.
Emerson, based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies and appliance and tools businesses.