Fluid Control Technology
Intelligent Fluid Control Technology for a New Formulation Line for Insulin Vials
The Challenge of Flexibility
Another criterion for selecting Bürkert was flexibility, as this project employs a different manufacturer of valves in contact with the insulin. “We also wanted to have the same functions for the visualization and control of these valves. We then proposed to adapt their control head onto these types of valves,” says Gilles. Thus the NNP2 unit was equipped with a total of nearly 370 valves and almost 675 control heads from Bürkert.
Novo Nordisk has not only sought Bürkert valves for their line formulation technologies, but also Bürkert’s conductivity probes — type 8221. “We chose these sensors for their wide measuring range, reliability and repeatability. We use them to monitor the discharge for our CIP fluids and also to control the final rinse lines from our tanks and piping after acid washing”, explains Gilles. In all, there are 44 probes and 15 Multicell type 8619 controllers supplied by Bürkert for the NNP2 unit at Novo Nordisk, specified in close collaboration with Bürkert’s Engineering team.
Through its partnership with Bürkert, Novo Nordisk was able to devise a process solution that improved production yield, whilst simplifying its operability and maintenance. Validation of the installation is scheduled to be completed in September 2013, and production of the first batch of vials of insulin in 2014. Due to this successful collaboration, the pharmaceutical leader is planning to partner with Bürkert for a possible NNP1 unit revamp. “This unit is still based on the old technology. If ever we were to revamp NNP1, I have no doubt that we will try to transfer the benefits of the technologies used on the NNP2 unit,” concludes Olivier Gilles.