Intrinsically safe measurements in pharmaceutical hazardous environments

Intrinsically safe temperature humidity for pharmaceutical and biotech environments
Juhani Lehto
Product Manager for high-end products
Published:
Industrial Manufacturing and Processes
Industrial Measurements
Life Science

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Their history goes back to 1717 Osaka and has been known as Ono Pharmaceutical Co. since 1948. In 2016, in addition to the creation of a new Chemical Process R&D center, Ono Pharmaceuticals implemented Vaisala’s viewLinc Continuous Monitoring System to monitor controlled environments and cGMP-regulated applications.

ONO also uses the Vaisala’s Intrinsically (IS) Safe HMT360 Humidity and Temperature Transmitters in explosion-proof freezers and refrigerators. In pharmaceutical applications, explosion-proof refrigerators and freezers are often used to store organic culture media. IS transmitters are also useful in powder granulation and coating rooms. The new generation of the HMT360, the intrinsically safe HMT370EX, is ideal for monitoring relative humidity and temperature in hazardous areas, zones 0 to 20. The transmitters can also output other humidity measurements, including dew point temperature, wet-bulb temperature, absolute humidity, mixing ratio, water concentration, water mass fraction, water vapor pressure, and enthalpy. 

At Ono Pharmaceuticals, Vaisala’s IS HMT360 transmitters (new generation is HMT370EX) are connected (through a safety barrier) to Vaisala’s DL4000 universal input data loggers. By connecting the transmitter to the DL4000 logger, conditions are then monitored and alarmed in the Vaisala viewLinc Continuous Monitoring System. 

Because the probe cable lengths are adjustable, measurement probes can be placed at some distance from the transmitter. Flexible probe placement makes the transmitter suitable for monitoring in hard-to-reach locations. The entire HMT370EX transmitter can be installed directly in hazardous areas. It can withstand continuous exposure to potentially explosive environments that contain flammable gases or dust. In addition, operation in either gaseous or dusty environments requires no additional protective enclosures. 

In one instance at ONO, a condenser in the explosion-proof refrigeration room malfunctioned. The viewLinc system sent alerts to designated ONO staff who responded quickly by transferring materials to different cold storage, thereby saving the materials, and negating a threshold deviation. The HMT370EX has been released with numerous certificates for intrinsically safe compliance, including:  ATEX, IECEx, CML, NEPSI, KC, FM, MET, CSA and UKEX. See statements of conformity.

Learn more about how ONO Pharmaceutical Co. uses Vaisala’s viewLinc Continuous Monitoring System and how viewLinc preserved data integrity in a 2018 power outage during the Northern Osaka Prefecture Earthquake. Data was stored in the memory of each logger, allowing for complete data recovery and gap-free records. 

Read customer case…


 

Q&A about intrinsically safe measurement devices

In this Q&A we take a look at what we mean when we talk about intrinsically safe devices, where they can be installed, and what other safety precautions need to be considered when using them. We also briefly discuss the benefits of using these types of devices in hazardous areas.

Intrinsically safe devices Q&A 

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