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UCB Chooses Emerson Automation And Operations Management Technologies For One Of Europe’s Largest Biotech Plants

Belgium-based UCB has awarded Emerson Process Management, a global business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), a $6.1 million contract to provide integrated process automation and operations management systems for a new biopharmaceutical production center in Bulle, Switzerland. Emerson’s technologies and engineering services will be crucial in meeting the very high standards expected by the UCB project team.

UCB is investing $228 million to construct the first phase of a new plant, its first biopharmaceutical project in Switzerland. The 20,000-square-meter facility, which will be one of the largest in Europe, will be the main production center for Cimzia® (certolizumab pegol), which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

“The state-of-the-art and largely automated facility at Bulle will be a model for the industry when it opens in 2015,” said Michele Antonelli, UCB executive vice president. “To ensure the project meets its tight build-out schedule, we selected Emerson Process Management for its demonstrated ability to engineer and coordinate fast-track automation projects of this type.”

Emerson’s integrated solution includes its Syncade™ Smart Operations Management Suite, DeltaV™ digital automation system, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software. Emerson will also provide related engineering services, including design, installation, testing, and commissioning.

The Syncade Suite software integrates real-time plant floor data with business processes, decisions, and asset management – a key advantage in managing complex operations and extensive documentation required in pharmaceutical production. Syncade Suite manages workflow processes, including electronic work instructions, equipment status and material tracking, recipe-driven operations, automated weigh and dispense operations, and exception reporting.

“Typical biotech manufacturing can involve thousands of pieces of paper that can affect the ability to produce ‘right-first-time’ batches,” said Lorenzo Zampini, automation project manager. “With Emerson’s integrated operations management and control systems, we can automate the reporting process as well as gain tighter process control for increased productivity and smoother regulatory compliance.”

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