21 April, 2024

The benefits of project teamwork

10 March, 2022

Damien Moran, Bürkert’s field segment manager for the hygienic & pharmaceutical sector, discusses the benefits of the combined project management approach.

A pharmaceutical manufacturing system project, typically managed by an engineering design consultant, often has to specify, procure, commission and support automation, valve and instrumentation component packages, as well as systems that span a variety of expertise. This ranges from automation, including control panels and pneumatic valve islands, to electrical and instrumentation, such as flow meters, sensors and electro-pneumatically actuated valves, to mechanical components, including manually operated valves. The end user might specify from an authorised supplier list, and the system integrator may suggest preferred brands. However, the design consultant has the responsibility to select fluid control components that integrate effectively, not only to ensure an optimised process but also to maximise efficiency of commissioning and reliability of operation in the field.

From fieldbus communications to certification approvals, the design consultant needs to handle the challenges associated with the integration of diverse brands for the automation, electrical and mechanical areas of a pharma project. Reasons for selecting multiple brands could range from cost to individual component preference, however this approach requires greater resources in management and coordination. Alternatively, the design consultant can work with a valve and instrumentation partner that assures effective integration of components across all areas. Such a partner can also provide project management and support from start to finish, including ongoing field support.

Fluidic design expertise

This starts with a design consultation and is potentially the area of greatest benefit to the overall effectiveness of a project as it provides the opportunity to check and optimise the system design using input from specialists in hygienic fluid control solutions. In Bürkert’s case, typical examples of providing design consultation and designing customised solutions include combining individual valves into a single, multi-port block valve solution to reduce the overall footprint, maintenance requirements and costs.

Crucial to the design phase is the integration of valve and instrumentation models, into the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) in order to create a full 3D model of the plant. This requires 3D CAD STEP files of all components that the designer can import into their plant model. A project partner like Bürkert will make these models available for simple and free access, downloadable from a website or provided directly. Useful input to design plans can also include a virtual fluidic simulator model that demonstrates a proof of concept. This can be used to resolve design queries and helps to qualify system performance pre-installation and create a more efficient roll out long term.

Global expertise and collaboration and effective project management based on technical competence as well as commitment in support throughout, particularly to overcome the challenges presented in the real world. Bürkert’s model includes a local account manager plus the support of a dedicated pharmaceutical sector specialist, with direct access to a central Hygienic Competence team that coordinates global expertise. Many projects are international, based for example around a UK design consultant with various OEM’s and Contractors from around the world. These are supported by Bürkert’s international network of pharmaceutical project managers that enable easy communication for global projects and installations.

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