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Transmitters in production systems for Covid vaccines

One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical contract manufacturers has recently expanded production facilities in Switzerland to produce coronavirus vaccines, relying on Knick products.

The novel coronavirus poses great challenges to society as a whole. Vaccines, in part based on new technologies, are a key weapon in the fight to contain the pandemic, but the production technology used to manufacture them needs to meet extremely high standards.

In pharmaceutical contract manufacturing, contract manufacturers take over the production of pharmaceuticals, thereby significantly increasing production capacity. One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical contract manufacturers has recently expanded production facilities in Switzerland to produce coronavirus vaccines, relying on Knick products.

The company uses various different biotechnology production methods at this plant. Standardized modular equipment that can be used in as many different scenarios as possible is the key requirement for consistent, high-quality production. Many of the modules, for example in fermentation tanks or bioreactors, and in the downstream and upstream modules, require continuous measurement of the important conductivity and pH parameters.

The pharmaceutical company uses devices in the Stratos Pro product line as the transmitters for the sensors, because the devices work with analog and digital sensors. And more importantly, both Memosens sensors and sensors with ISM protocol can be used as the digital sensors. This gives the customer great flexibility when it comes to integrating the various sensors.

Even under harsh ambient conditions, the Stratos Pro transmitters can be used to determine measured values for pH, conductivity, and other process-related parameters in applications in the pharmaceutical industry, as their housings feature excellent IP67/NEMA 4X protection. The pharmaceutical manufacturer in Switzerland also uses transmitters for hazardous areas. Here, the Stratos Pro product line includes devices that are suitable for use in Ex zone 1 and have relevant ATEX approval.

In addition to flexibility in its choice of sensors, quality is also a key criterion for the pharmaceutical contract manufacturer. And this applies not only to the product itself but also the support offered by the manufacturer. “When it comes to support, we rely on good, fast communication, and that’s something that Knick excels at,” says the Head of Electrical, Instrumentation & Control in summary.


Facts

  • Providing flexible, modular systems is essential in pharmaceutical contract manufacturing. One of the biggest pharmaceutical contract manufacturers – makes products that include vaccines in Switzerland and uses the HART protocol to connect the Knick transmitters to its process control system; this enables advanced condition monitoring of the active measuring points.
  • The key pH and conductivity process parameters need to be measured throughout the entire production process. This allows fermentation, buffer production, and other upstream and downstream process steps to be monitored and controlled in real time.


Knick transmitters provide flexibility

  • Both analog and digital sensors can be used with the transmitters. Knick transmitters support Memosens technology and also permit the use of ISM sensors. The pharmaceutical  contract manufacturer benefits from this one-of-a-kind flexibility in the use of sensors.

  • Thanks to excellent IP67 housing protection and Ex approval, the transmitters can be used at any time and in any pharmaceutical or biotechnological process.

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