Distributed Control / Systems Integration

IPS donates automation technology to UMass Lowell

Sep 23, 2008

Lowell, Mass., September 23 - Invensys Process Systems (IPS) announced that it has donated its InFusion enterprise control technology to the UMass Lowell BioManufacturing Center. Combined with additional donations of equipment and services from Wyeth Biotech and Dakota Systems, the new center will provide a full-scale manufacturing operation, giving students a greater appreciation of the transition of biotechnologic products from research to commercial production.

"Too often, young biotechnology companies invest years investigating a therapeutic modality in the lab, but don't realize the complexities of manufacturing the product commercially until it is too late. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology that IPS is providing, our students will have the tools not just to understand real-world production operations, but also to see how plant floor, lab and business processes interrelate -- and must interrelate -- for success in these increasingly dynamic global markets," said Carl Lawton, director of the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center at UMass Lowell.

The BioManufacturing Center applies biochemical and biological knowledge, combined with state-of-the-art principles and technology, to solve complex industrial challenges for bio-analytical process development. The InFusion system is a control and integration platform that simplifies accessing and integrating data from disparate systems, providing plant personnel with the knowledge they need to identify potential problems. It is the first system to bring financial, production and laboratory data together on an enterprise scale.

"Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing strategies have always been about speed, but the pace of tomorrow's business will be even faster," said Don Clark, IPS vice president, Global Industry Solutions. "UMass Lowell has anticipated the changes ahead, taking measures to ensure that its students are prepared for this new real-time world. We are very pleased to help provide a new generation of engineers the knowledge they need to operate and succeed in a real-time environment."

The InFusion Enterprise Control System will help students learn the basics of process automation and optimization, showing how product operations and data can be integrated across the entire enterprise, from the laboratory to the plant floor to the business office. This automation will simplify process development, critical process parameters and recordkeeping. It will also enable faster start-ups leading to optimized and validated manufacturing processes, compliant with globally recognized current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs). The system will also manage batch documentation and process tracking and traceability.

IPS implemented the InFusion enterprise control system and Foxboro instrumentation on the bioreactor provided by Wyeth. Dakota Systems and 12 of its suppliers donated services, including fabrication of the frame, integrating the control panel, retrofitting piping, installing all electrical devices and instrumentation and completing cGMP functionality.