Company Topimage

Feb 13, 2020

More Safety for Multi-Level Goods Transport

In biotechnology, the production of highly effective drugs, e. g. for antitumoral preparations, requires highly active substances.

Müller Processing has integrated for Alexion in Ireland a customized system for the safe transport of goods, which in the same time guarantees personal protection during the handling process.

Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company that concentrates on the development and marketing of products helping people suffering from rare diseases and contributing to the improvement of their life. The worldwide 2,500 employees develop drugs that help daily patients in 50 countries.

In 2017, the constantly increasing needs made production expansion necessary for Alexion. The company envisaged a new comprehensive solution including, among others, goods transport over several floors within the clean room class C. Müller Processing quickly identified the needs of the customer and developed both functional and economical solutions.

Optimal production processes

The goal of the comprehensive solution is

  • to transport materials with different weights (from 150 to 500 kg) over several floors, in order to
  • dock them with the filler necks and
  • load the reactors.

One of the most important customer requirements was: the production processes must on the one hand be designed efficiently and improved with a view to volume handling, user friendliness and safety: an optimal work process is created when man and machine, as well as processes, match perfectly and when personal protection is ensured in compliance with the provisions in force (among others using laser scanners and light barriers).

The technical challenge for Müller Processing was to adapt the automation level to the existing control in order to allow manual intervention at any time – and thus lead to a double protection.

The operators of the facility have the following possibilities for a manual intervention in the process:

  • transport basket signal exchanges at every floor
  • emergency stop switch and
  • additional process release function

The main elements of the new facility are mobile lifting columns and transport platforms loading large reactors, some of them having their filler necks at a height of five meters. The containers are standardized there, gripped by lifting column systems to allow docking them with the reactors and filling them.

Multilevel risk assessment for optimal process safety

Overall, these flexible plants allow, depending on their size, transporting variably and vertically loads from 150 kg to 1.5 t to different floors. The production process runs in the clean room class C. In order to meet these requirements, Müller Processing integrated corresponding systems in GMP design, made of ground or polished stainless steel for clean room applications.

In the manufacturing phase, a project team including Alexion and Müller Processing employees worked together intensively for one year. Thanks to the process engineering understanding of Müller Processing's employees, the customer requirements have been discussed and implemented in a targeted way. After the installation, Müller Processing, among others, conducted training actions for machine operation and facility maintenance. In this project too, the approach of the experts from Rheinfelden in Germany led to success: solutions must be developed with the customers and they require constant learning on both sides. This leads to the best solution approach possible. Müller Processing has been convincing its customers with this approach for more than 50 years.

We look forward to demonstrating our problem-solving competence also for you. Contact us, we will be glad to answer your questions.