the type uniformity in plant development
that is required. The customized LED
lighting developed by G-Con also reduces energy costs by 44 percent.
All upstream plant production,
which takes 35 – 38 days, is done
in specialized pods, also created by G-Con.
These flexible, scalable, modular bio-pro-cessing clean-rooms contain a working
space of 450 square feet and can be moved
into place by floating on a layer of compressed air. Utilities
are connected via umbilicals, with the cleanrooms attached
to an access corridor that provides an interface to the building and another level of pressure cascade for containment.
The pods have onboard inlet and exit filtration, in addition to HEPA filtration, to effectively isolate the cleanroom
and allow the pod to be used in either positive or negative
pressure modes and in constant volume or variable volume
mode. The pods also have built-in fire suppression so hard
connections to sprinkler systems are not necessary.
Additionally, they are equipped with a control system featuring Rockwell Control Logix PLC controllers. All sensors
and control systems are IP addressable, with the pod connected to the local area network via Ethernet and a single
cable. Each Pod is served by its own redundant HVAC system, with two air handlers.
Banks Integration provided the control systems for individual process components, as well as the data monitoring
and control GUI interface for the pods and building management system. This system completely monitors and fully
controls processes from seeding and germination to filling
purified product into bulk vials.
The PlantPAx solution is comprised of an Allen-Bradley 1756-
PHARMACEUTICAL PROCESSING | MARCH 2014 15 ■
L73 ControlLogix Programmable Automation Controller
(PAC), backed up with an HMI server running
Factory Talk View SE. All the devices
were connected on EtherNet/IP and
configured with RSLogix 5000 software.
The solution also included
Rockwell’s Global Engineering Modularity
Standard control modules as the basis of the
control architecture. They were implemented in
ControlLogix add-on instructions with associated
HMI faceplates. The process sequencing was programmed
using Rockwell’s Phase Manager Software and a custom se-
quence manager, which followed the ANSI/ISA-88.01 standard
for modular programming.
The facility is designed under the premise that the largest
single utility unit can be down for maintenance, but the loads
will be maintained with redundant equipment, which includes:
• A heating capacity of two million BTUH.
• Chilled water cooling capacity consisting of two 400-ton
• The existing PFW system can generate 150 LPM with a
storage capacity of 7,500 liters.
• A liquid-handling bio waste inactivation system where heat
is utilized to inactivate all BSL 1-designated liquid waste
• A standby, diesel-powered electric generator can produce
up to two megawatts of emergency power.
According to Caliber, at commercial scale their facility
can produce 100 million doses of H1N1 PMP product in 16-
20 weeks, whereas similar tank-based bioreactor systems
can take 6-9 months to produce the same quantity. This
time-savings combines with upstream capital costs that are
10 percent lower and typically contain less automation. ■