AstraZeneca Increases Efficiency with Continuous Monitoring System
Astra Zeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical business and is one of the handful of companies to span the entire life-cycle of a medicine from research and development to manufacturing and supply, and the global commercialization of primary care and specialty care medicines. Operating in more than 100 countries, Astra Zeneca employs around 57,500 people worldwide. The company has manufacturing in 17 countries, and their innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. To ensure the products are protected during manufacturing, packaging and storage, AstraZeneca maintains strict controls over environmental parameters. The company adheres to cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) and strives to meet or exceed all requirements that ensure the purity, safety and efficacy, from manufacture to final distribution.
Astra Zeneca’s leading high technology facility is located in Södertälje, Sweden, and it is one of the biggest tablet manufacturing facilities in the world. In 2015, it employed around 3200 persons. In 2013, AstraZeneca Sweden Operations decided to acquire a new monitoring system for the Södertälje plant. They wanted to further improve their monitoring capabilities, for example, in regards to automating the checking of the measurement points. Project Manager Mats Andersson was responsible for the selection and installation project of the system for AstraZeneca: “We made a careful evaluation of various systems. Vaisala was one of the candidates, as we had a long experience with their monitoring instruments. We were rather sure their system would fit our needs, and our thorough evaluation proved it was so.” AstraZeneca’s key considerations for the new monitoring system were reliability of the measurements, the monitoring options, and the possibility to extend the system according to the needs.
“With no need to check the monitoring points manually, we can further increase the efficiency of our operation”, says Mikael Ruda, Associate Director for maintenance at the Södertälje plant.
The project was phased, and started in full swing in 2014. In the first phase, Vaisala installed and validated their part of the project in one week. After that, AstraZeneca continued with own validation and other preparations. In the next phases of the installation project, AstraZeneca added a lot of instruments to the system by themselves: “In a vast facility such as in Södertälje, it’s a big benefit that we can add and especially validate new instruments by ourselves, and expand the system with new and even with existing instruments. We have done many extensions since the start of the project”, tells Mats Andersson. After the initial installation for a group of super users at the end of 2014, AstraZeneca extended the system also for other factory personnel, who uses the system in their daily work.
With Vaisala’s Continuous Monitoring System, AstraZeneca collects information about temperature, humidity and differential pressure in the production facility. This information is being used to safeguard the product quality. Since Vaisala’s Continuous Monitoring System fulfills the regulatory requirements as well, AstraZeneca can easily show their compliance for regulators as well.
Learn more about Vaisala Industrial Continuous Monitoring System