Environmental Monitoring Systems
EMS systems are gaining in popularity due to the fact that many BMS, (Building Management Systems), are becoming old and cannot be validated to comply with cGMP regulations. The BMS may be running perfectly well but clients are faced with the prospect of replacing it, and this has significant cost and production implications. For many facilities it means that production has to cease for many weeks or months whilst the system is changed over and re-validated. A lower cost option is the installation of a validated EMS system, this simply sitting as a ‘watchdog’ over the top of the BMS to ensure that it functions correctly and to maintain the regulatory requirements for the area. One such system that we implemented was for a leading blue chip pharmaceutical client, and involved the monitoring of many 100s of sensors and rooms. Some of the existing sensors were re-used, (with the EMS inputs being wired in parallel with the BMS inputs), whist for some sensors completely new and separate sensors were provided. The system used a Siemens S7 400 at its heart with WinCC SCADA sat above it for real time monitoring, display and logging of data. The system was installed incrementally into the plant with a few rooms being done at a time to suit production demands, this meaning that the upgrade had a very small impact on the factory. Finally, as part of the upgrade the room status warning functionality was removed from the BMS and added to the EMS, as it was this system that was deemed to now be correct and not the BMS.