Emerson lands $40m automation fit out at Novo Nordisk insulin plant

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/Dutko
GettyImages/Dutko

Related tags Novo nordisk Manufacturing Automation

Novo Nordisk has selected Emerson Automation Solutions to equip a diabetes API manufacturing plant in Clayton, North Carolina.

The US-headquartered service provider landed the contract – valued at $40m (€34m) – at Novo Nordisk’s new $2bn, 825,000 square-foot facility​ where it will manufacture diabetes treatments.

Emerson will equip the Dutch pharmaceutical firm’s facility with its DeltaV distributed control system (DCS) and Syncade manufacturing execution system (MES), as well as automated valves and measurement technologies.

“Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system will be the central nervous system that operates their Clayton facility and will utilise various Emerson and third-party instrumentation and final control elements to control unit applications,” ​said Emerson’s president of global life sciences industry Tom Snead.

 Its Syncade manufacturing execution system (MES), along with its OSI PI historical data management technologies will provide “material management, electronic batch records, operational dashboarding, and release-by-exception operational management consistent with regulatory record compliance that is always critical to pharmaceutical operations,” ​he added.

Emerson said its technology will help Novo Nordisk develop diabetes treatments.

“This alignment will ensure Emerson is able to utilise DeltaV and Syncade to provide a solution that allows for production of their diabetes drugs to meet clinical standards in a safe and efficient manner,” ​he told us.

Further, providing an integrated solution across levels one to three of the ISA-95 model – an international standard from the International Society of Automation – is the ‘new normal’ for pharmaceutical manufacturing said Snead.

“The integration between DeltaV and the Syncade MES helps automate many manual processes, eliminating roadblocks that can delay compliance and project launch,” ​he told us.

Reduced cost?​ 

Snead said Emerson’s technology will help reduce Novo Nordisk’s costs in both the project and operating phase.

“During the project phase, Emerson technology for electronic marshalling, virtualization, smart commissioning, class object based configuration of DeltaV and Syncade, and tight integration between DeltaV and Syncade will reduce overall capital project engineering and start-up,” ​he told us.

“Once the facility is in operation, leveraging electronic batch records and a release-by-exception management operational philosophy will help Novo Nordisk reduce inventory costs and improve overall facility throughput.”

The Clayton facility will focus on finished active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) production and oral diabetes candidates, and is due to be operational by 2020.

In related news, Emerson expressed written interest​ last week in acquiring Rockwell Automation for $225 per share, for a stock transaction valued at $29bn.

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