The importance of clean, uninterrupted power to sensitive pharmaceutical manufacturing processes

To stay ahead in today’s competitive marketplace, pharmaceutical organisations have to be agile; they must exploit constantly evolving technologies, achieve ever-shorter times to production, and deploy techniques to do so efficiently.

Pharmaceutical facility operators are constrained by many diverse factors. They must work within strict, multiple compliance and regulatory regimes; compliance also requires uninterrupted monitoring and data logging for highly environmentally-sensitive, lengthy batch cycles.

The challenges

The key challenges faced in a pharmaceutical application power protection include:

  • A need for flexibility over a facility’s lifetime due to evolving technologies and techniques, e.g. yield increases, single use innovations, and modular production pods
  • Space, floor loading and noise restrictions for location of power equipment
  • Increased in-house data storage and processing due to IP and privacy concerns
  • Highly environmentally sensitive, lengthy batch cycles that for compliance require uninterrupted monitoring and data logging
  • International projects requiring 24/7 IT systems and minimal downtime
  • The entire working environment must be kept productive and safe, with always-reliable emergency lighting and lifts, shutters and doors, and environmental control systems

The manufacturing process

Highly automated production processes include micronizing, milling and grinding. This is a process which granulates substances into extremely fine particles. The finished chemicals are then combined and processed further, followed by a mechanical process to capsulate, press into tablets or make into a liquid solution.

Other machines at a pharmaceutical plant fill bottles with capsules, tablets, or liquids, seal and then label. Interruptions in power are, by far, the most frequent causes of disrupted operation of many industrial processes, particularly those using power electronics equipment. Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a highly sensitive process that involves a number of precisely controlled steps.

Therefore, the requirement to source a suitable power protection solution to produce a continuous and clean production output without any interruption is critical.

 Innovative products and optimised configurations

Achieving this complex and highly site-specific power protection profile is best done by engaging with a well-established supplier such as Kohler Uninterrupted Power (KUP) which has the resources, experience and expertise essential for installing and maintaining an effective solution in a highly sensitive environment. By taking a consultative approach, KUP help users identify an optimal configuration of UPSs, lighting inverters, batteries and generators and associated power infrastructure.

Naturally, good service must be complemented by innovative products. KUP’s power protection product portfolio includes a comprehensive range of UPSs that can protect the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility from disturbances in electrical supply, brownouts and power failures which could result in hours of lost production time.

KUP’s UPS systems range from modular three-phase units through to standalone models and compact single-phase UPS and UPS designed to handle regenerative loads from lifts. All units are highly configurable, scalable and efficient, enabling its clients to right-size now and easily grow their systems later, which is one of the challenges faced in the pharmaceutical industry.

Ideal for N+1 deployments, the modular UPS range has ‘six nines’ availability, is exceptionally fast to replace or repair in the event of an issue, and now includes the new Kohler PW 9250DPA – independently certified as the most energy efficient UPS in its class.

The KUP engineering team have extensive pharmaceutical experience designing back-up battery systems to suit specific floor plans and loading limits, environmental conditions, autonomy needs and monitoring, and management requirements. For longer autonomies, KUP’s generators can be specified with a range of fuel and engine types, including KUP’s own.

KUP’s range of UPS and generator products, along with its proven combination of pharmaceutical experience and ongoing customer support has earned its trusted position with a variety of leading pharmaceutical organisations including Glaxo SmithKline, Pfizer and Proctor and Gamble.

Ongoing support

Once all equipment has been specified to meet site requirements, it must be installed, commissioned and serviced correctly to ensure a lifetime of efficient and reliable operation. KUP achieves this by using its own nationwide team of permanently-employed, factory-trained field service engineers, backed by significant local spares inventories.

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