Genentech Wins Inaugural PlantWeb Excellence Award

Dirk Ellison, manager of automation, and Christoph Lebl, associate director of plant operations, at Genentech’s Oceanside, Calif., biopharmaceutical plant, accepted the first PlantWeb Excellence Award from Emerson Global Users Exchange Chairman Greg Stephens on Thursday. The award recognizes exceptional application of PlantWeb technologies.

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“PlantWeb is a digital plant architecture that uses the power of field intelligence to improve plant performance,” explained Emerson Process Management Vice President of Marketing Jane Lansing.

The Genentech application employed the PlantWeb architecture and most of the applications. The company discovered several technical advantages to the PlantWeb architecture. There is one interface for all manufacturing and maintenance activities. The MES layer allows for multiple product operations with fast product changeover. Batch genealogy and history are generated instantaneously. Foundation Fieldbus and DeviceNet digital networking enabled fast installation and start-up due to more efficient troubleshooting with lots of diagnostics.

The automation team brought in users early in the project in order to gain input and cooperation. Then the team worked with Emerson during design, test and validation to assure the success of the project.

As a result of the implementation, Genentech realized a reduction of at least 75 percent on time spent in investigations of deviations due to human error. There was a significant reduction in planned headcount. The company was able to demonstrate comprehensive and validated control over all existing processing parameters during inspection. The elimination of paper records helped them achieve multiple investigations by various agencies with zero observations or citations.

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