Ways to More Productivity Reducing Lifecycle Costs – Successful Webinar on PROCESS Worldwide

Editor: Dominik Stephan

A highlight of the PROCESS webinar programme was – without doubt – the recent presentation on “Reduced Lifecycle Costs in Biotech and Pharmaceutical Application“. Our guest, Dr.-Ing. Eckhard Roos of Festo, explained how automation and standardised control equipment can help to reduce operating and maintenance expenses.

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(Picture: Festo)
(Picture: Festo)

“Lifecycle management is the upcoming topic,“ Roos emphasised. From engineering via installation and construction and throughout the whole lifetime of the operational plant – usually up to 25 years – often the maintenance and operation cost exceed the initial cost by far. Especially equipment failures and unplanned shutdowns result in high costs and productivity losses. “About 43 percent of plant failures,” Roos underlined, “are caused by mechanical failure.“ And since a typical process plant does have around 2,500 different machines the potential for failures is huge.

To get an impression about the potential savings that standardisation can bring Roos used the example of B. Braun’s LIFE (Leading Infusion Factory Europe) nutrition plant in Melsungen/Germany. Usually, a plant of this size would employ a whole range of equipment from several suppliers, using different controllers, interfaces and components. Therefor, as Roos put it, the question was if it would make sense to standardise not only process steps but a whole plant. This approach to establish a standard in components used at the facility, lead to the definition of a ‘construction kit’ of not more than typical cabinets.

Impressivce Result – Reduced Lifecycle Costs

And the results are quite impressive: not only could the required number of spare parts be significantly reduced, but also less training is required for the maintenance personnel. A faster start up and decreased downtimes were other benefits of this project.

Another highlight was the introduction Pramod Parulekar, Industry Segment Automation Manager for Process Automation of Festo India, who raised the issue from an Indian perspective. With his inside knowledge of the Indian process industry, he gave insight into how standardisation and automation can bring benefits in emerging economies.

For everybody, who has missed this exciting outlook into the possibilities that a modern plant layout offers, there is a video recording of the webinar on PROCESS-Worldwide.com