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Two additional production halls
Expansion of capacities for the production of consumables

Eppendorf significantly expands capacities for the production of consumables
Picture: Eppendorf

The Eppendorf Group is expanding its production capacity at the Oldenburg in Holstein site in Germany by building two additional production halls. As a result, Eppendorf Polymere GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eppendorf AG, will increase its total capacity by around 30 percent from 2021. A milestone for this targeted expansion was reached May 14, 2020 with the topping-out ceremony for the second hall currently under construction. The first hall has already been completed and will start production operations this month.

In Oldenburg, Eppendorf produces laboratory consumables made of high-quality plastic such as pipette tips and tubes, microtiter plates and single-use bioreactor vessels. Currently, these products are in particularly high demand from diagnostic laboratories and vaccine manufacturers around the world who are researching vaccines against the corona virus or carrying out Sars Cov-2 tests.

“We are registering a steady increase in demand for consumables from Eppendorf. The current global battle against the corona virus is just reinforcing this trend,” says Dr. Wilhelm Plüster, Chief Technology Officer at Eppendorf AG. “With the construction of the two new production halls we are responding to this trend, which has been continuing for years. In addition, sustainability was taken into account in the construction of the buildings.” continues Plüster. The two production halls will be heated and cooled by an existing combined heat and power plant. This will considerably reduce energy consumption.

Biotechnology Chemicals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Biogas Plant for Greek Abattoir
Efficient Bioenergy Generation from Animal Waste

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Efficient Bioenergy Generation from Animal Waste Weltec
Picture: Weltec

In the summer of 2020, the German plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower will start building a biogas plant in Veria, northern Greece. The main investor and operator of the project is one of the largest abattoirs for cattle and pigs in Greece. The 500-kW plant – which Weltec has planned in collaboration with its Greek partner Tetoros Machinery in Megara – is set to go live as early as mid-November 2020.

For many years, a lot of animal waste has accumulated in the north of Greece. According to the Greek research institute CRES, the waste from animal husbandry and slaughtering throughout Greece amounts to 17.5 million t/year. This corresponds to a potential biogas capacity of approximately 370 MW. The capacity currently installed in Greece is only about 83 MW.

The new Weltec plant in Veria will make use part of these resources for the generation of energy. The anaerobic digestion process will mainly use cattle manure and meat processing leftovers. Apart from these substrates, the 4,903-m3 stainless-steel digester will also be fed with production wastewater and fats. The input substances will come from the operator’s own abattoir and farms as well as from farmers in the vicinity.

The highly efficient digestion will start with a customised input process. For this purpose, the substrates will first be loaded into a 60-m3 moving floor feeder. The feeder will transport solid substrates, such as orange peels, to the Multi-Mix unit, where they will shredded and then pumped to the digester. Liquid substrates will be pumped directly into the digester from two storage units. “Following the digestion process, the entire digestate will be treated in a downstream hygienisation unit”, explains Alain Priser, International Sales Manager at Weltec Biopower.

Meanwhile, Greek investors are looking for such custom-tailored plants in order to make profitable and climate-neutral use of the wide variety of raw materials. This is the only way how the share of renewable energies in the power generation can be doubled from the current level of 30 percent to 60 percent in 2030. This target was defined in National Energy and Climate Plan 2021 to 2030 (NECP) adopted by Greece. An intermediate step will be to shut down 14 coal-fired power plants in the next five years. Besides natural gas, renewable energies are to play a key role in closing the resulting power supply gap.

In the coming decade, Greece will invest some €9 billion in such plants. During this period, the installed biogas and biomass utilisation capacity is expected to triple. In this process, new laws are to provide investment security. “The Greek power grid operators will be required to preferentially connect these plants to the grid, purchase their electricity and pay defined minimum prices”, explains Weltec’s Greek partner John Tetoros. Tetoros Machinery and Weltec Biopower have collaborated in the Greek energy reform since 2007. With a portfolio of 18 plants and extensions that they have set up, they are the market leader for biogas plants in Greece. Based on the concept of the latest plant in Veria, more plants are likely to be added to the portfolio.

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Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals

Life Science
Bioprocessing Facility of the Future

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Merck Accelerates Readiness of Bioprocessing Facility of the Future
Picture: Merck

Merck, a science and technology company, unveiled the next component of its Bio Continuum Platform, the Bio4C Software Suite, creating a first-of-its-kind ecosystem that combines process control, analytics and plant-level automation. This transformative software suite will allow users to look across the entire manufacturing process versus individual operational units, giving biomanufacturers complete process control and deep insights, bringing Bioprocessing 4.0 to the here and now.

“The future of bioprocessing is holistic,” said Andrew Bulpin, head of Process Solutions, Life Science, at Merck. “With the launch of our Bio4C Software Suite, Merck is the first supplier to converge advanced process technologies with software, automation and analytics into one ecosystem, bringing us another step closer to making the digitally enabled facility of the future a reality.”
Biopharmaceutical companies today are under immense pressure to get products to market faster, with every day of delay costing millions in lost revenue. An emerging solution is the integration of software, automation and analytics into biomanufacturing facilities’ operations to intensify biologic production, with a vision toward connected and continuous processing. The biopharmaceutical industry is on a journey to evolve and digitize the next generation of bioprocessing to increase speed and lower costs. Bioprocessing 4.0 signifies this new approach to manufacturing. The Life Science business of Merck has been a key driver of this evolution through its Bio Continuum Platform.

Merck’s Bio4C Suite was designed based on the “4C strategy” of its Life Science business: control, connect, collect and collaborate. Control is the basis of everything Merck does to run all of its systems. Connect refers to making digital connections between different process steps and giving that visibility to the entire process. Collect is the ability to gather all data into one place and maintain and validate the integrity of that data. Collaborate is how Merck will deliver these technologies to its customers in real time.

Bio4C ProcessPad, part of the “Collect” dimension of the Bio4C Suite, is a browser-based platform that allows users to acquire, aggregate and analyze data from disparate sources such as equipment, batch records, databases and historians across the bioprocess. The Bio4C ProcessPad automates the data acquisition and analysis tasks, freeing scientists and engineers to minimize the time to decision and action. Merck will roll out further Bio4C Software Suite products and modules throughout 2020 and into the future.

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Biotechnology Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Mechanical & Thermal Processes Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Power Supply Product
Bi-directional DC-DC converter series has extended voltage

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2.5kW Bi-directional DC-DC converter series has extended voltage and temperature ranges
Picture: TDK

TDK Corporation (TSE 6762) announces the introduction of the EZA2500W-32048 TDK-Lambda brand bi-directional DC-DC converter model to its EZA series. The extended high voltage range now covers 260 to 400Vdc and the lower voltage 36 to 65Vdc. The operating temperature has been increased to -10 to +50°C. Double sided protective board coating and long-life dust resistant fans have also been included.

Designed for energy storage systems with rechargeable batteries, this 2500W digitally controlled, compact 1U power supply can seamlessly change conversion direction from high voltage dc sources, powered by solar or wind, to 48Vdc batteries and vice versa. Other applications include lithium-ion battery testing as well as the use of regenerated energy from robots, cranes, autonomous ground vehicles and lifts. The EZA2500 can be used to replace large power resistors currently used for lift braking and use that previously dissipated energy to charge batteries. That stored energy can be used to either provide peak power for high torque demands or as battery back-up for power cuts.

The output voltage and current can be programmed and monitored using the RS-485 communications port. Multiple units can be operated in parallel by using the RS-485 interface to set units for “droop mode” current share. Alarm signals are also accessible, as well as remote on/off and under/over voltage functionality. The high voltage (grid) to low voltage (battery) isolation is 3,000Vac, grid to ground 2,000Vac and battery to ground 500Vac.

The dimensions for the EZA2500 are 43.6mm (1U) high, 423mm wide and 400mm deep. All models in the EZA series are certified to the IEC/EN/UL 60950-1 and IEC/EN/UL 62368-1 safety standards with CE marking for the Low Voltage, EMC and RoHS Directives. A five-year warranty is standard.

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