By Steven Smith, Endress+Hauser
The number of biopharmaceuticals in life sciences facilities is increasing, and these more complex drugs require more sophisticated sensor technologies. Pharma companies are responding by putting more reliance on digital sensors—such as pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and other probes (Figure 1) in labs, R&D, pilot plants and production. These advanced sensors require equally advanced lifecycle management procedures to meet various regulations, remain accurate, and receive maintenance when needed.
While the pharmaceutical industry has historically been more lab-centric than other process industries, Process Analytical Technology (PAT) approaches are being implemented and require a greater need for proper sensor lifecycle management in production environments as well as in the lab. With digital sensor technology, the best practices for sensor lifecycle management in lab environments also apply to sensors in pilot plants and production environments.