The 160-acre site owned by Reliance Life Sciences in Nashik is set to host manufacturing plants dedicated to plasma proteins, biopharmaceuticals, oncology pharmaceuticals, and vaccines

ABB HQ Zurich - Switzerland 2

ABB HQ Zurich – Switzerland. (Credit: ABB)

ABB India has secured a significant automation contract from Reliance Life Sciences (RLS) for the purpose of automating their new manufacturing facilities situated in Nashik, Maharashtra.

The 160-acre site owned by RLS in Nashik is set to host manufacturing plants dedicated to plasma proteins, biopharmaceuticals, oncology pharmaceuticals, and vaccines.

The realm of large-scale biotechnology production poses unique and intricate challenges in both process management and automation. These processes are governed by stringent regulatory standards aimed at upholding product quality.

ABB’s System 800xA solution, deployed in this context, plays a pivotal role in mitigating manufacturing errors and ensuring the attainment of high-quality yields.

This solution seamlessly interfaces with diverse skid systems and is extensively utilised to facilitate smooth operator interaction, oversee batch control, and provide essential production information on the factory floor.

ABB India SVP, energy industries head G Balaji said: “We are proud to partner with Reliance Life Sciences on this critical project. This collaboration will reinforce our position in the pharma and life sciences market, where, as a technology provider, we see tremendous potential for growth and innovation.

“With India rapidly progressing as a prominent biopharmaceutical manufacturing hub, we find ourselves well-poised to ride the wave of the industrial revolution driven by the adoption of automation in these segments, which is pivotal for large-scale production with quality assurance.”

For the RLS project, ABB’s System 800xA will be implemented within a virtualized environment. This approach carries numerous advantages in terms of cost efficiency and operational effectiveness, as it simplifies server management and maintenance. The adoption of virtualization notably reduces the IT infrastructure’s footprint, subsequently leading to lowered operational expenses.

ABB’s multichannel remote I/O solutions will play a pivotal role by enhancing data communication efficiency, minimising wiring requirements, optimising hardware space utilisation within the plant, and expediting project execution.

Given that this installation caters to a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit, adherence to stringent regulations is paramount. ABB ensures compliance with the US FDA 21 CFR Part 11 standards, further validating its commitment to maintaining industry-required standards.

The chosen platform for the DCS is the latest Windows Server 2022, designed to provide extensive lifecycle support and optimal software management. This strategic choice minimises the necessity for plant shutdowns for software upgrades, consequently curbing costs related to downtime, software/hardware updates, and associated services.

System 800xA serves as an integration hub, consolidating various plant components and sectors, thus eliminating the need for multiple PLCs. This integration results in a unified audit trail, integrated data reports, and streamlined operations, which subsequently reduces maintenance demands, training requirements, and inventory concerns. Furthermore, it simplifies the process of third-party audits.

ABB’s track record in delivering advanced DCS solutions to prominent pharmaceutical companies in India is noteworthy. Their consistent dedication to excellence has earned them the top position as the world’s no.1 DCS provider, maintaining this ranking for the 23rd consecutive year, as indicated by the ARC Advisory Group report in 2021.

Reliance Life Sciences president KV Subramaniam said: “Reliance Life Sciences has a tradition of leveraging automation technologies in its manufacturing processes, as part of its larger objectives in quality and productivity.

“The partnership with ABB is not just part of this continuum, but also a step up in terms of virtualisation and process control.”

Apart from the DCS implementation, Reliance Life Sciences (RLS) will also gain advantages from embracing ABB’s modular remote I/O solution, a feature that introduces enhanced flexibility and incorporates a plug-and-play approach to the automation process. This strategic move equips RLS with the capability to expedite commissioning and process deployment, all the while retaining the flexibility to upscale the plant’s capacity in the future as needed.

Reliance Life Sciences holds the distinction of offering the largest assortment of biosimilars in the Indian market, with a global developmental focus as well. The expansion of their manufacturing facilities serves a dual purpose: the production of top-tier biosimilars while maintaining affordability. This expansion underscores RLS’s commitment to both quality and accessibility within the biopharmaceutical sector.