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Water-for-Injection Equipment in a Tight Space [Video]

September 22, 2017 | by Paul Mueller Academy Staff

Your company's pharmaceutical product is in demand. You need to expand manufacturing capacity quickly, but physical space is limited.  A contract manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri had a similar space challenge. They turned to Paul Mueller Company for the solution. Through bold engineering and careful execution we were able to move a 16-foot wide multiple-effect still into a utility room with a 7-foot wide doorway.   

The Modular Design

Often, Paul Mueller Company pharmaceutical equipment is assembled in our large manufacturing space in Springfield, Missouri. Once it's carefully crafted, it's mounted on a frame and shipped to its final location. However, when faced with limited access and tight quarters, we can design a unit to be broken down into several smaller pieces and then re-assembled on site at the customer's facility, as we did for this customer in St. Louis.

Paul Mueller Company Service Manager Bill Therriault describes the process:



The WFI Process

"We received a call from a customer in St. Louis, they needed a new multi-effect still. This particular facility does some contract manufacturing, their parent company provides some base products for pharmaceuticals. The still takes a high quality water and boils it to remove any of what’s called pyrogens. A pyrogen is anything, if introduced into the body, can cause infection. By removing the pyrogens, basically make this water for injection. This water is now safe to be injected into your body and can not cause an infection." Bill Therriault, Service Manager at Paul Mueller Company


The Challenge of Fitting a Large Unit in a Small Room

"In this case they wanted a unit that produced water and steam, so we designed them a combination unit. So the original design, where this had to go was on the 3rd floor and there was no elevator access to the 3rd floor except going through a sterile environment. They had an air handler sitting in this building, and so the air handler was moved and put on the roof, so this left this room for us to stick this in. The challenge then of course, was to get a very large unit in manageable pieces. The unit had to come in, in enough pieces to be staged in a hallway downstairs, then put on hand carts, hand trucks and then wheeled into an airlock chamber. Everyone had to gown up and cover the equipment. The equipment then had to go through the sterile process area and to the elevator, then up to the third floor and then into the actual mechanical room. So then all these pieces were assembled up there into the unit."


Design a MES That Breaks Down Into Smaller Pieces

"Taking a still and pulling everything off the frame and then all the frame components being reassembled onsite by hand, was quite interesting. A lot of thinking went into this to make it happen. We put the thing back together in 4 days. So we went to having everything in crates, lined in the hallway - to getting it upstairs and re-assembled and ready for piping and electrical in 4 days! Out of all of the pieces, the 13 crates, we ended up losing one piece of ¼ inch tubing about 2-foot long. Hats off because every bolt, every nut was there, except one piece of tubing."

"We worked really well along side them to meet their needs, to adapt and break this down and get it into their room the way we did. That’s one of the things appealing to the customer based on their comments. For what we have the ability to do with our engineers, our designs, our fabrication crew, we can meet anybody’s needs in the pure water, pure steam department. We have a good crew."

"The customer is definitely pleased. They were very pleased in their comments in how responsive we were in solving this issue and how everything went together. The main maintenance guy there had nothing but praise for the way the machine looked. He named the machine Norma Jean. He names all his machines, so Norma Jean is happy, and he’s happy with Norma Jean!"


Plan Out Your Facility

If you have a challenging space project for your pharmaceutical facility, our team is here to help and can consult with you one on one to understand your needs. Start the consultation process. Imagine all the possibilities for building or expanding, by downloading our interactive 3D models of Pure Steam and Water equipment and Storage Tanks to use in your designs:  

Click Here to Download CAD Files of  Pure Water and Steam Equipment and Storage Tanks


Topics: Pharmaceutical Equipment

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