3 ways power digitalization can be a lifesaver for Life Sciences

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Life Sciences researchers and manufacturers face numerous market challenges – from increasing product complexity and rising demand to growing regulatory pressures. Reliable power distribution is one of the key things to address these challenges. Still, power management must ensure you have the information and control for safe, sustainable power with maximum uptime.

Life Sciences eGuide

Power reliability is optimally achieved through power digitalization – what we call ‘Electricity 4.0’. By integrating smart internet of things (IoT)-enabled devices (e.g., protection relays, circuit breakers, power meters) into electrical power management software (EPMS), you gain real-time visibility into facility conditions. The data generated from these digital devices can help Life Sciences companies increase safety, secure power availability, and enhance sustainability.

Increase safety

Power digitalization provides valuable information, alerts, and control to help increase overall safety by:

  • Reducing fire risk. By placing wireless sensors at critical points in the network, you can use continuous thermal monitoring to detect abnormal temperature variations, identify possible flash points before a fire occurs, and reduce the need for manual inspections.
  • Decreasing arc flash risk. An arc flash occurs when an electric current leaves its expected path and jumps across an air gap from one conductor to another or the ground, causing severe damage to the installation and anyone nearby. To reduce this risk, install special sensors in medium- and low-voltage boards as part of the continuous monitoring system to detect arc flashes and open circuits to prevent explosions.
  • Protecting data and operational technology assets. Cybersecurity is an ongoing concern for most businesses, as virtual attacks are common and the consequences catastrophic (e.g., power outages, equipment failure, financial impact, and loss of reputation). When digitizing your power distribution system, any platform you adopt must include robust security capabilities certified to meet industry standards.

Secure power availability

Power outages can be extremely costly – especially for Life Science companies with sensitive equipment, rigorous product quality requirements, and delicate materials that power interruptions can damage or destroy. Power digitalization can help mitigate this risk by:

  • Avoiding unplanned downtime. Digitization provides critical, real-time information on power quality to help staff ensure that labs and production facilities always have clean, reliable power. It also makes it easier to manage backup power systems so that they come online seamlessly when required.
  • Gaining resilience with distributed energy resources. A digitalized power management system simplifies integrating renewable energy resources like solar panels, wind turbines, or fuel cells. Because these systems can be volatile, digitization provides the real-time visibility and control needed to manage output and storage while ensuring that the power these assets generate is available when needed.
  • Adopting an end-to-end digital twin platform. Building a digital twin or virtual representation of your physical electrical system gives you a huge advantage in system management and maintenance by allowing staff to simulate any possibility or circumstance – so you can test different designs, ensure compliance, apply predictive maintenance, and more.

Enhance sustainability

Sustainability has become a major touchpoint for Life Sciences organizations that want to demonstrate environmental responsibility and reduce costs by increasing energy efficiency. Power digitalization assists this by:

  • Documenting compliance with increasingly stringent regulations. A digitalized system will make reporting on energy efficiency and emissions compliance easier by measuring and reporting the information needed to assess greenhouse gas (GHG) levels in a single, cloud-based platform.
  • Demonstrating ongoing energy efficiency efforts. A digitalized power system gives you the information and control you need to save money and energy by verifying utility bills, benchmark consumption, improving power factor correction, and managing emissions to limit electrical demand and cost.

Power digitalization in action

UCB Farchim, a global pharmaceutical in Switzerland, sought to improve its power continuity and network visibility to ensure the production of over two billion pills annually. Digitalizing their low- and medium-voltage networks enabled them to achieve these goals.

The digital power management system remotely monitors critical network points and generates data, allowing alerting staff if any aberration occurs. Its real-time energy management analysis also supports the company’s efficiency goals.

With the system in operation, UCB Farchim reports savings of around 30 to 35% in time and money on the operation and maintenance of their electrical system.

If, like UCB Farchim, your Life Sciences company faces challenges around reliable power or growing regulatory pressures in today’s challenging energy environment, download our eGuide to see how we can help you. 

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