CASE STUDY: International Biopharmaceutical Company Fast Track Plant Expansion & Renovation

The Challenge: The Owner had the schedule and performance of a capital expansion and renovation project for a major new rheumatoid drug seriously at risk due to a log jam of unresolved contractor questions and issues due to a lack of onsite field engineering for automation during construction. CHT was contracted to join the team as the Owner’s Representative for Instrumentation and Automation construction and commissioning activities with the directive to get the installation back on track to meet the required project completion dates.

The Solution: CHT deployed multiple engineering resources to the site. At the time of deployment, there were more than 650 Requests for Information on the Process Control System backlogged in the site office. CHT worked with the contractors and the Construction Manager to classify and prioritize the RFI’s and to set about immediately developing answers for the highest priority items. CHT worked hand in hand with the Design Engineer and the contractors for the next 12 months providing 20 hour per day direction to their installation crews and resolving any and all issues that came up in the Automation area. CHT was frequently called upon to engineer alternative designs in response to changes in scope and or problems encountered with the initial design. This was a fast track project and there was simply no time to waste waiting for engineering to go through the normal A&E channels. 

The automation installation included more than 8000 conventional I/O with no buss technology. The massive instrument wiring and tubing runs were in many cases subject to revised field installation since the design engineers were required to issue construction documents prior to equipment or instrument selections being finalized. Working with an outstanding construction crew, the CHT engineers resolved all the issues as they came up and kept the installation moving forward on schedule. 

CHT also participated in the initial plant commissioning for the instrumentation and DCS systems successfully directing the Installation and Operational Verification of the DCS hardware, power supplies, communications networks, and instrument I/O.

The Result: The facility was completed and placed into operation in record breaking time largely due to the fast track field approach of multiple team members including CHT. The customer seized this opportunity and implemented the tech transfer to initiate manufacturing operations also in record breaking time and ultimately received licensing and was able to ship product less than 2 years from start of commissioning activities.

CASE STUDY: Capital Project Automation & Process Engineering Support Large Puerto Rico Solid Dosage Facility

The Challenge: Provide Owner’s Representative Services for Automation and Instrumentation Engineering during construction, commissioning, qualification, and initial operations for multiple projects. The facility is located in Puerto Rico and required full time local engineering presence. 

The Solution: CHT began its operations in Puerto Rico in early 2001 as a response to this request. Since that time, CHT has maintained a continuous presence on the island during which time CHT has been a key member of the engineering and construction team providing dedicated engineering on a daily basis. CHT has actively directed contractors during construction periods, written specifications for additional work scope, commissioned various projects, and provided product demonstration-run process, equipment, and automation engineering services. A representative project is described in the following paragraph.

Project R consisted of a new installation for a formulation and tablet coating operation. This project consisted of 2 independent trains for formulation and wet milling of coating solutions followed by tablet coating and drying operations. Also included were dust collection, vessel temperature control systems, and drying humidity & temperature control. CHT directed all stages of the electrical and controls installation and was fully responsible for the commissioning, startup, and demonstration batches produced in the facility. 

During product demonstration runs, CHT worked closely with the customer process development scientists and solved critical processing requirements including significant automation improvements to the vendor supplied pan drying controls and major modifications to the spray gun control server controls.

The Result: The customer has benefited from a full time presence of CHT engineers who ensure that all aspects of the Automation Engineering design, installation, and commissioning meet expectations. Most importantly, the facilities are put into working condition as part of the CHT team deliverable. At this juncture, many projects have been successfully completed and are in operation. All customer expectations have been met and CHT continues to serve this customer on a daily basis.