Blood plasma is an essential resource in the production of life-saving medicines and are in high demand on the global markets. To make more efficient use of this valuable commodity, Biotest AG developed a new large-scale plant for plasma fractionation. Standardised components from Festo simplify installation and maintenance. In order to be able to make the best possible use of this valuable raw material, companies like Biotest AG, based in Dreieich near Frankfurt/Main, Germany, are investing in research and innovative manufacturing methods for more efficient processes. This is also achieved through improved process automation. 6,000 valves and 250 standard-ised control cabinets from Festo simplify the construction and maintenance of the plants.

Lasting effect of standardisation

Standardisation enables the plant engineers to benefit from easy to purchase, predefined components and favourable terms. For the operator Biotest, the overall cost for spare parts supply is reduced. The training requirement for maintenance and service staff as well as downtimes are also reduced.

Increased capacity and economy

“Expansion of capacity and economy were central aspects when it came to the construction of the modern large-scale plant,” explains Matthias Mahle, Head of Technical Project Management BNL, at Biotest. “We are strengthening our market position on the global stage by obtaining more products from the same amount of plasma.” In the new plant, Biotest will be able to manufacture six instead of the previous three products as well as increase the yield and its purity. Whereas the capacity limit used to be 800,000 litres, the new plant will be able to fraction up to 1.4 million litres of blood plasma.

Early involvement in the engineering process

The plant is expected to be fully commis-sioned by 2021. Following basic engineering, Festo was involved in the detailed engineer-ing process very early on. Werner Gödel, Head of the EMSR Technology Department, Biotest, insisted on the greatest possible, long-term plant efficiency through standards such as standards-based valve boxes.

Defined down to the smallest detail

Festo played an active role in the definition phase for the new plant, right down to the last detail. Once Festo was defined as the standard, all suppliers were able to order the relevant products and pool components systematically via the electronic platform.

Close coordination from the beginning

For Werner Gödel from Biotest the close coordination with Festo and Biotest’s own maintenance department in the early planning phase was important. “The mainte-nance and plant engineers were clear in their preference for Festo because of the ease of use, the good support and the long service life,” explains Gödel.