Tag Archives: OSIsoft

Boehringer Ingelheim Discovers the Golden Batch with Real-Time Data

The story of pharmaceutical production is often a quest for the golden batch: a repeatable process that consistently optimizes yield and quality. But pursuit of the golden batch can be a perilous process. Compliance with government regulations is always a chief concern for biopharmaceuticals; results must fall within a narrow framework or Proven Acceptable Range (PAR) of acceptable variability. Add in the complexities and variance inherent in working with a biological process to create your product, and the quest for the golden batch quickly starts looking like a narrow mountain pass on the road to El Dorado. A vision of a golden land lies before you. Meanwhile, you face the threat of avalanches from above and the possibility of steep falls into deep ravines below. For an animal health subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim, a top international pharmaceutical company, their quest for the golden batch began with a seemingly simple question: what if?





Will A. Penland, Principal Data Scientist, at Boehringer Ingelheim, Animal Health, and his team began looking at the fermentation process they use to produce vaccines and asking themselves if there were ways they could improve it. What if they could reduce product variation? What would it take to reach pharmaceutical El Dorado? Penland and his team knew that their biggest problem was variation, which can arise at many points in the production process. The sheer number of different potential sources of variation makes this a critical but difficult question to answer when pursuing the golden batch.

For Penland and his team, the answer seemed to lie with using multivariate data-analysis techniques (MVDA) and advanced statistical modeling. But implementing MVDA presented another set of obstacles. Gaining a better understanding of process variability meant monitoring their process at many different levels. To use their data analytics software, the team needed a way to first aggregate and contextualize all the data from all these potential sources of variation.






Multivariate data analysis and batch evolution modeling enable Boehringer Ingelheim to gain insight into their drug fermentation process

The PI System turned out to be the right robust software to help Penland and his team of data scientists on their journey. The PI System allowed them to bring their diverse data streams together, aligning their SCADA, LIMS, process control, and attribute data, with their time-resolved spectroscopic data. Using OSIsoft’s Asset Framework (AF), they created a data modeling hierarchy for different types of data streams related to the fermentation process. The team also triggered process steps within their programmable logic controller and used a step numbering system to create Event Frames in AF to identify important process events. They now use Event Frame to keep a close eye on the various stages of the fermentation process, particularly the growth phase.

The PI System did more than just enable their advanced data analytics and batch evolution modeling. The success of any quest is often a question of mindset and the PI System brought benefit in this area too. “We have a data driven mindset now,” Penland recently said of himself and his fellow colleagues. “We are asking how do we interpret this and what is the data telling us rather than having a more reactive knee jerk response, fighting fires all the time.”

To find out more, register for OSIsoft’s webinar entitled ‘Boehringer Ingelheim – The Quest for the Golden Batch‘ on the 5th September at 3PM London/10AM New York

Register Here!

Petr Niedoba, Connected Services Principal, OSIsoft EMEA

PetrNiedobaPetr Niedoba is the leader of the Connected Services business for OSIsoft in EMEA. Petr has over 18 years experience in the operations and productivity improvements solutions industry. Prior to OSIsoft Petr was at Honeywell Process Solutions as the Advanced Solutions Consulting Manager for EMEA, providing consultancy for numerous processing industry organisation to help them improve their operations and maintenance processes and procedures!


1. What are you looking forward to discussing with the audience?

The topic of the meeting is Connected Services, those can be defined as any services based on the customer operating data, with the purpose of bringing them added value. Some business examples include performance monitoring of the process or critical assets, predictive maintenance, fleet monitoring, facility management and many others – Connected Services are still developing and the opportunities seem to be endless. I want to discuss what added value the Connected Services bring to all stakeholders, share our experience and business cases from our customer community . We have sponsored a market research on the acceptance of Connected Services and the drivers for the asset owners to share data with their vendors and I will show the results. I would also like to hear how the companies in different industries are doing in this field – any positive or negative experience will be worth for the audience. For instance, many companies have already started to develop some Connected Services using in-house developed systems, but as their business grows they often see the system performance is not sufficient, the solutions are not scalable and the support is slow, or they need to unify various systems used by different departments.

2. Why did you decide to do a webinar with us?

OSIsoft has been a leader in providing the PI System for real time data collection and analysis to processing industries and power generation companies. 65% of fortune 500 companies use our system to collect the time series data from various sources to have one view on the truth and to feed the data to other systems such as ERP, CMMS or BI. We see now a growing demand to use such systems not only to share the data inside the company, but also with other parties – service vendors, critical equipment vendors, JV members or partners. We wanted to talk about our experience and hear from the other parties on how the operating data can be used outside of the companies who generate them. We believe the webinar is a good means of establishing the communication.

3. What do you most enjoy about your role?

If I should use just one word, it would be – versatility. With the IIoT “hype” it is progressively easier to add sensors to any equipment. Machines can generate more data than ever and companies are looking at new ways of creating value for their customers by using them. With all of that, we are amazed about how many different new Connected Services are being developed every day, and I am excited to be a part of it.

4. What has been the highlight of your career?

At the previous employer I was awarded the President’s Club, a very prestigious recognition that also included a trip to Florida for a couple of days where the winner can choose to undertake  some interesting activities . I chose deep sea fishing and I was very much looking forward to spending a day in a boat to catch big fish like the Hemingway’s Old Man Santiago, but in fact I spent all day just throwing up over the board.

5. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?

Anywhere on the saddle of my mountain bike or on my skis. But honestly, due to the extent of my business travel, I mostly enjoy being around my home with the beautiful landscape of the Berounka river valley near Prague.

Petr will be presenting the OSIsoft webinar ‘Connected Services: New Revenue Opportunities for Equipment Vendors and Remote Service Providers on the 23rd September. Register here.