Emerson's PlantWeb® Is Integral To First-Ever Digitally Networked Benchtop Bioreactor System For Fermentation Applications | Automation.com

Emerson's PlantWeb® Is Integral To First-Ever Digitally Networked Benchtop Bioreactor System For Fermentation Applications

April 052004
Emerson's PlantWeb® Is Integral To First-Ever Digitally Networked Benchtop Bioreactor System For Fermentation Applications
BioNet Bioreactor Control System from Broadley-James incorporates DeltaV™ system and Brooks Instrument MFC to shorten R&D phase, maximize yield, and streamline scale-up of biotech drugs

AUSTIN, TEXAS (April 5, 2004) -- Since early 2003, Broadley-James has quietly inked deals with key players in the Life Science industry to supply its BioNet Bioreactor Control System, the first digitally networked benchtop bioreactor for cell culture and microbial applications. Emerson Process Management today announced its key role: the BioNet system uses Emerson's PlantWeb® digital plant architecture and solutions. The bioreactor control system is controlled by PlantWeb's DeltaV™ digital automation system that networks to devices like Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers (MFC's) through industry standard DeviceNet and FOUNDATION fieldbus protocols.

By operating on a fully digital platform, biopharmaceutical R&D labs can maintain optimal conditions for fermentation and/or cell culture within the bioreactor. The BioNet Controller uses the highly regarded, field-proven DeltaV digital automation system for controlling and managing small to large arrays of BioNet Utility Towers. Individual controllers can manage up to 10 utility towers and can be sequenced to control an entire suite of bioreactors.

One key element of the automation solution is the Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers. The Brooks Instrument mass flow controllers provide greatly improved control of gas mixing and flow rate with an accuracy of ±0.7% or better. These flow meters communicate their measurements and instrument status to the DeltaV-based BioNet Controller via DeviceNet, which allows for active monitoring, trending, asset management and precise control. The DeltaV system can also be networked to other intelligent field devices like Micro Motion® Coriolis flow meters, Rosemount® measurement instruments, and analyzers using Profibus DP and FOUNDATION fieldbus technologies.

Why Emerson
Broadley-James selected process automation suppliers for BioNet based on analysis of the needs of the biopharmaceutical market. "In the process end of this industry, reliability and predictability are pinnacle. Downtime can cost you thousands of dollars. Cheaper doesn't do you any favors," stated Larry West, Director of Sales and Marketing for Broadley-James. "Ease of validation also proved to be crucial in the Life Science market. Emerson won out in every category when compared to other providers."

Broadley-James assessed that digital communications would soon dominate process development, and PlantWeb with its DeltaV digital automation system was evaluated to be the leading technology. At the process level, mass flow controllers were critical BioNet components, and numerous MFC vendors offer smart products that integrate into digital systems. Broadley-James wanted to know what other factors regarding mass flow controllers were important to customers in the Life Science market. The company chose Emerson's Brooks MFCs based on factors gleaned from surveys of prospective customers. Overall value topped the list, followed by technology, experience in life science applications, and reputation.

Reducing time to market
Monitoring the environment inside a bioreactor via intelligent devices on a digitally networked system offers insight as opposed to simply providing information. Lab personnel can interpret data and status from pH and DO sensors inside the bioreactor through the DeltaV system, and make scientific decisions based on behavior. "It's the difference between doing science and just doing chemistry," remarked West. "The insight gained from digital automation significantly shortens the R&D phase of fermentation and/or cell culture process development and ultimately helps speed time to market."

Higher yield through tighter gas management
Gas management takes high priority in the Life Science industry because it represents a means for maximizing resources as well as optimizing batch yield. Until recently the level of control for gases affecting the pH and DO of bioreactors was limited, and it's safe to say that yields were proven out. The digitally networked process, on which the BioNet Control System operates, breaks those limitations by providing improved control that results in higher yield. pH and DO sensors inside the bioreactor send feedback instantaneously to the DeltaV system which then determines the best approach based on the BioNet solution model. Gas management from the bus-enabled Brooks MFCs immediately adjusts the flow of gas to maintain an optimal environment for fermentation and/or cell culture.

Scaling up
By creating the first digitally networked bioreactor control system for use in early phase cell culture development, Broadley-James has provided Life Science companies the first link to a completely digital fermentation and/or cell culture process. The bus-enabled Brooks Instrument MFC and DeltaV digital automation system used in the BioNet Control System are capable of being integrated throughout every stage of development for fermentation and/or cell culture. Bioreactor capacity might increase from 3 liters in the growth lab to 13,000 liters in the production facility but the key technologies remain consistent. "Uniformity of hardware and automation architecture means uniformity of information," stated West. "Scientists in the R&D labs can now actually communicate with engineers in the production plant because they're using the same technologies for control. Behavior is managed consistently regardless of scale."

About Broadley-James Corporation
Irvine, California based Broadley-James Corporation (www.broadleyjames.com) is a global leader in the manufacture of measurement and control products for science and industry. The company offers innovative products and services to bioprocess, industrial and laboratory customers worldwide. Its brands include BioNet™, FermProbe® and OxyProbe®.

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries.

Brooks Instrument (www.brooksinstrument.com) has supplied liquid and gas process control solutions to industries throughout the world. Brooks manufactures a complete line of flow measurement and control instrumentation including thermal mass, variable area, Coriolis, and positive displacement flowmeters, as well as a full line of supporting accessories. Brooks' technology and expertise play a key role in Emerson's combining of superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Emerson's brands include PlantWeb®, Brooks®, Fisher®, Micro Motion®, Rosemount®, DeltaV™, Ovation®, and AMS™ Suite.

About Emerson
St. Louis-based Emerson (www.gotoemerson.com) is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers in electronics and telecommunications; process control; semiconductor processing; industrial automation; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; and appliance and tools. Sales in fiscal 2003 were $14 billion.

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