Power Distribution and Management

How an Uninterruptible Power Supply Supports Pharma 4.0

A reliable, continual power supply is critical to any industrial process to prevent costly interruptions. But nowhere is it more critical than in a sterile environment that handles aseptic / Biological manufacturing. An interruption can lead to discarding entire batches of products, potentially costing producers hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why an industrial uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or backup power is important to provide continuous and quality power to avoid unplanned downtime and production losses.

industrial UPS application in pharma production

The aseptic / Biological manufacturing process

The aseptic / Biological process is extremely delicate. It involves a manufacturing process under meticulously managed sterile conditions. Any failure in the process can lead to product deviations and even the contamination of an entire batch in production. Various factors, such as pressure regimes, temperature, humidity, and airborne particulates, can cause contamination of product if managed incorrectly. Likewise, the ability to properly manage the power supply can lead to a failure of the environmental factors.

Regulated process environments are so sensitive, therefore it’s not enough to simply avoid an outage. That’s a given in any industrial setting, with an outage leading to production lines drawing to a halt. Voltage deviations and current fluctuations can result in the environmental conditions being out of specification, machines overheating, and reducing the life of an asset.

Even a minor voltage fluctuation or disturbance can ruin a batch in the aseptic / Biological process. Complicating matters, some interruptions require notifying regulators. When that happens, a regulator must determine if the batch is safe to use or needs to be discarded. If the batch can move forward, it still costs anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to have it inspected. However, if it is discarded, the loss is much greater.

Achieving power quality

Pharmaceutical companies that experience production issues may end up with product shortages, damaging their reputation. Many facilities can experience outages due to extreme weather or system faults caused by aging infrastructure. Voltage dips and current fluctuations can also occur if utilities change their power generation mix to include micro-generation and renewables.

Power distribution systems are under more pressure than ever as the industry adopts Pharma 4.0, undergoing digital transformation to leverage automation and drive efficiencies. However, while digitization delivers significant benefits, it also places an extra burden on electrical systems.

It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of business downtime is connected to power quality issues. Biopharma companies, therefore, must take concrete steps to avoid these issues. And that means investing in robust uninterruptable power supply systems (UPS) that help protect aseptic / Biological processing as well as other critical systems that affect production quality, such as HVAC. A reliable power supply for HVAC systems is just about as important as running the aseptic / Biological process itself.

Uninterruptible power supply ― More than just backup power

A UPS addresses power quality issues in several ways, including the use of Power Factor Correction (PFC) that regulates input current and an Inverter that conditions output voltage. UPS systems provide isolation and protection against voltage spikes, over and under-voltage, frequency variations, and issues with harmonics and power factors. The systems come with batteries for short-term power backup when needed. If an outage outlasts battery life, the UPS can perform a graceful shutdown.

Schneider Electric offers a variety of industrial UPS systems to help biopharma producers protect the aseptic process, comply with regulatory mandates, and avoid the types of failures that incur substantial recovery costs and damaged reputations. Learn more about an industrial UPS system’s benefits and how it can significantly improve operations and prevent production losses. Also, access more information about solutions for Life Sciences Industries of the Future to see how technological innovation can improve your business.


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