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Safeguarding one of the world's most advanced pharmaceutical production systems

US biotech group, Biogen, uses BENNING's modular UPS systems for the permanent safeguarding of its new state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical production system.

Biogen, founded in Geneva in 1978, specialises in neurological diseases and is a market leader in applications and treatments for MS, using recombinant DNA to make human proteins and therefore pharmaceuticals using microorganisms. In autumn 2015, faced with the rising global demand for high-grade drugs to help combat MS and also other neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, Biogen decided to build its cutting-edge NGM (Next Generation Manufacturing) biopharmaceutical production plant in the Canton of Solothurn. As the world's most modern pharmaceutical production plant, it is due to open in 2019 and will triple existing production: to be more precise, a 148,000 litre production capacity that can be expanded further still should the need arise.

Since February 2016, building experts, engineers and technicians have been working flat out to create a production plant with its associated stores, labs and offices on the 200,000 m² site. An administration building will make up the major part of the production plant, and a supply building, a sprinkler control centre and emergency power system have also been proposed.

Maximum quality and reliability

As with many other sectors, in the pharmaceutical industry, production downtime is expensive, so maximum quality and reliability are key criteria when it comes to selecting the right power supply system to safeguard IT and production systems. With this in mind, BENNING quickly proved itself to be the ideal business partner: firstly, because BENNING had already provided a high level of satisfaction to Biogen Denmark’s customised production solutions in the past and, secondly, because BENNING was also able to guarantee an effective locally-available service via its Swiss subsidiary.

BENNING Switzerland started technical planning in March 2016, and delivered the UPS systems in February – April 2017. The contract included ten 200 kW UPS systems of varying basic configurations (80, 120 and 160 kW) and two 400 kW UPS with a basic configuration of 160 kW each including batteries, battery chassis and all accessories. For even more reliability in preventing downtime, the UPS systems power critical-operating loads via an A/B rail in each case, and power loads for which only one power source is allowed via a static transfer switch, which can switch between the two UPS systems seamlessly, providing an additional level of redundancy.

99.9999% availability

Each ENERTRONIC modular SE UPS module in itself provides a highly efficient online UPS, combining maximum system availability and power quality with minimum repair times (MTTR) and total operating costs (total cost of ownership), thus meeting the demanding requirements of process-critical applications in the industry in the most effective way. True hot-swap capability means modules can be replaced in minutes, providing 99.9999% availability.

When procuring/installing a UPS, it isn’t always foreseeable just how much power will be needed. A well designed modular UPS system is scalable to perfectly match the size of the critical load and therefore optimise capital costs (capex) over the UPS's working life.

The ENERTRONIC modular SE in use at Biogen can always be fitted with precisely the number of modules needed to achieve the system performance and redundancy levels required at any time. Modules can be simply added or removed as the critical load increases or decreases. A principle that offers clients maximum flexibility whilst minimising both capex and running costs.

USV-System Enertronic Modular
USV-System Enertronic Modular

High production costs

Biopharmaceuticals cannot be made overnight. Completing the processes required usually takes weeks, mainly because mammal cells are slow growing. Not until these are available on the scale required can the product be made in the fermenters in any quantity. Even interrupting this process chain for an instant can have far-reaching consequences, as this means production takes longer or even needs to be restarted completely. Therefore, a power supply which is not 100% reliable is extremely risky.

Further Information

author/contact: Mathias Schmaenk
telephone: +49 2871 93 316

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