Genencor International produces enzymes using a second-generation bioethanol process which is biomass (cellulose)-based, rather than starch feedstock-based. The worldwide application of these enzymes will result in a CO2 reduction of approximately 2 Mton, nearly a fifth of the Kyoto requirement for all of Belgium. Until 1996, all data acquisition at Genencor was done manually or using internally developed software, which exposed the record keeping to errors, allowed only a limited number of parameters, used reams of paper, and did not permit interfacing with programs such as Excel.
Genencor wanted faster and easier access to data, a batch oriented process, better production data, real time trending and asset management, KPI’s and event notification. Adoption of the PI System required little automation effort, incurred low maintenance costs, and provided a batch oriented solution, while interfacing easily with other automation systems such as Delta V, ABB, Metso, and Honeywell. The Genencor system monitors 50,000 tags; uses plant servers to ensure continuous system availability; includes PI Batch to monitor the fermentation processes; and has a LIMS-to-PI interface for all sites. PI has had excellent business benefits for Genencor:
Fast data gathering, fast introduction and transfer of new products
Better process analysis resulting in fewer events, better identification of TaxonomyItemHtml causes and final fixes
Preventive maintenance increases up-time and reduces corrective actions
Process optimization is based on good, reliable data
Johan Saerens is Manager, Technical Services for Engineering, Maintenance and Utilities at Genencor International, BVBA, a Danisco Division. His professional background starting in 1985 has included work as an electronic engineer specializing in internal electronics, IT and control strategies; scientific word processing, AutoCAD and industrial automation at a spin off from the University of Gent; running tomographic scanners and image process at the University of Gent. Since 1987 Johann has accumulated over 20 years experience in the biotechnology industry at a variety of companies: KNGSF, Gistbrocades, IBIS, Genencor, and Danisco.