Fluid Control Technology Intelligent Fluid Control Technology for a New Formulation Line for Insulin Vials

Author / Editor: John van Loon / Dr. Jörg Kempf

The Danish Pharmaceutical Group Novo Nordisk has chosen Bürkert, to equip its latest production line for the formulation of insulin vials at its site in Chartres (Eure-et-Loir), France. A technical solution supported by Bürkert allows the pharmaceutical leader to simplify their processes and increase productivity. Learn about the details ...

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Mixing liquid for the formulation tank
Mixing liquid for the formulation tank
(Picture: Bürkert)

Novo Nordisk’s Chartres plant is dedicated to the production and packaging of insulin products with nearly € 20 million invested to increase their capacity and build the latest in vial production facilities. “Our Chartres site is divided into three activities — NNP1 unit assigned to the production of 3 mL cartridges, NNP3 unit reserved for packaging products and the new unit will be NNP2, dedicated to the production of bottles,” details Olivier Gilles, Technical Project Manager — On Site Vials Formulation Novo Nordisk Chartres. “The new production line will allow the site in Chartres to be a major focus for the production of insulin vials for the Novo Nordisk Group.”

Demolish Before Reconstructing

To build its production line, Novo Nordisk started from scratch. The former production unit has been completely redesigned in order to establish a production strategy which is more easily operable, productive and modern. For the project, the group consulted with several pharmaceutical equipment manufacturers before opting for Bürkert. “It is the only company among the suppliers we met, to have arrived with a team of specialists for each technology sought,” recalls Gilles. He adds: “They came armed with full demonstration equipment and also invited us to see their technology in use at one of their client’s installations”. The result led Novo Nordisk to join forces with Bürkert to supply their On/Off piston valves and Element diaphragm valve range.

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“One of the main criteria for selection is that this type of valve has super bright LEDs to give status feedback, visible from afar, even in a very compact space,” says Gilles. In addition, they are equipped with on-board piloting solenoid valves and position sensors, embedded to give decentralised control. But an important point is the ease of getting started. These valves have a great feature called “teach-in” for easy, automatic control within a few seconds, for instance after changing a diaphram, instead of several minutes with other valve designs.

“In addition, these valves were also chosen for their durability”, details Yves Chenard, Area Sales Manager for the France’s central region at Bürkert. “The controller heads maintain a slight positive pressure, avoiding the formation of moisture, thereby minimising downtime”.

Another criterion for selecting Bürkert was flexibility. Read more on the next page.