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According to the 2018 BioPhorum Annual Report, the automated facility is a catalyst for change.

Citing BioPhorum’s Technology Roadmapping Phorum, the Report notes that with the advent of autonomous systems that the communication between equipment from different suppliers will not be a nice to have but will become mandatory.

Keith Morris, Automation SME at PM Group is the technical lead for the Plug and Play team, one of three projects in the BioPhorum Automated Facility Roadmap Team.

According to Keith, “The aim is to have a plug and play interface where you can take away one type of skid, plug in a completely different supplier’s skid, and still be able to communicate with it without any coding. For a design engineer one of the single biggest issues is interconnection of equipment and this goes a long way to solving it. All the design is done up front so we are no longer looking at months of trying to define data structures and protocols to make the systems talk, or working out how we are going to interconnect it.”

Significant Impact

According to the Annual Report, the impact on industry should be significant with the potential for reductions in build and changeover times and considerable savings in design and build costs.

Being able to move rapidly between processing equipment from a range of suppliers will also allow the use of best-in-class products.

Members of the Plug & Play Team

  • Keith Morris, Automation SME, PM Group,
  • Bob Lenich, Life Sciences Global Business Director, Emerson,
  • Eugene Tung, Director of IT, Merck & Co Inc, Kenilworth NJ.

To read more about the work of the BioPhorum Plug & Play Team, read the 2018 BioPhorum Annual Report -