Optimizing Biomanufacturing in Real Time

One of the inherent challenges in top-down scheduling systems, such as manufacturing plans generated from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems (Level 4 in ANSI/ISA-95 model), are that they are typically based on the ideal state of manufacturers’ processes. The real state may quite different and include issues with equipment, processing steps that didn’t go as planned, and other less-than-ideal occurrences.

For biomanufacturers in the Life Science industry, developing and executing plans based on the real state of the process can maximize production and identify improvement opportunities. Having models of the process integrated with conditions, events, and other real-time information coming from the control systems (Level 2), manufacturing execution systems (MES – Level 3), and other software applications used in the production process such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) enables feasible schedules to be executed.

Recently, Emerson acquired Bioproduction Group (Bio-G), a leader in simulation, modeling, and scheduling software for biomanufacturers. I caught up with Bio-G’s leader David Zhang to learn more about these software applications and how they help improve manufacturing performance.

Bio-G Real-Time Modeling SystemThe Bio-G Real-Time Modeling System software is designed to help biomanufacturers understand complexity, accommodate variability, find bottlenecks, maximize production and understand the implications of any change in the manufacturing process.

It links to real-time data and databases such as SAP, DeltaV DCS, Syncade MES, PI, CMMS, LIMS and other SQL-based data sources. These links are bi-directional providing automatic updating of key process parameters for a robust and comprehensive information model.

The Real-Time Modeling System is built with variability at the lowest building block since this variability is inherent in biological processes. This model is used in scheduling and process optimization opportunities such as debottlenecking across the many Life Science processes—product development/clinical, commercial manufacturing, active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing and fill/finish packaging.

Using the real-time model, the Bio-G Scheduling software generates production plans that are feasible based on the availability of resources and constraints to help avoid conflicting priorities. It enables planners and schedulers to focus on “what if?” improvement scenarios instead of “is it feasible?” scenarios.

These real-time schedules adjust to unplanned downtime and abnormal conditions to minimize the time that would have been spent manually reworking the schedules before restarting. Avoiding these time delays can also mean saving the production in progress instead of having to dump it.

Schedules are automatically updated in real-time based on changes from expectations. In effect, this is bottom up scheduling reacting to changes in the process. This is done by connecting with the real-time and historical data and converting from raw data into datasets used for real-time analysis, modeling and simulation.

The combination of the DeltaV DCS, Syncade MES, and Bio-G Realtime Modeling System and Scheduling applications provides biomanufacturers with powerful tools to increase production capacity through debottlenecking analysis and real-time schedule adjustments to accommodate the resources and constraints at any point in the production process.

Visit the Bio-G website for more on these products, solutions and business improvement success stories. You can also connect and interact with other pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical experts in the Life Sciences group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

And, just in case you’re in St. Petersburg, Florida this week for the Syncade User Meeting, make sure to reach out and connect with David.

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