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Case Study

The project included the renovation of an existing Pharma suite for an ethanol process in support of COVID vaccine research and production. The rapid development of these vaccines did not allow for the typical design development process and timeline, including the equipment procurement phase. In addition to repurposing existing equipment, new available equipment but not specifically designed for this process/production was required.
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The Problem

The project was fast-tracked into operation due to the ramp-up of vaccine production following completion of clinical trials and granting of emergency use authorization. The speed of the project and use of available equipment - some of it non-electrically classified - required our team to evaluate the process and handling of flammable liquids as well as provide an electrical area classification for each of the two rooms involved.

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The Solution

Our team was required to quickly dedicate staff to this project who were familiar with the pharma industry and processes utilizing flammable liquids. We were able to verify that available process equipment could be utilized as needed. We also confirmed that the electrical hazard area met the intent of the NFPA Codes and/or recommended practices. Spill scenarios were discussed and reviewed. Air flow calculations modeling exhaust rates in conjunction with flammable liquid evaporation rates were reviewed.

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The Results

Tasked with evaluating and resolving numerous codes, recommended practices, and calculation methods, we were able to meet the project requirements within the timeline. Our team was able to help expedite production by minimizing the electrically classified area, thereby allowing for available non-electrically rated equipment to be used in certain spaces.

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