GSK Cork Gets Lean Solution from Hexagon PPM

Irish pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) produces medicines that treat asthma, viruses, infections, mental illness, diabetes, and digestive conditions. GSK uses SmartPlant® Enterprise to reduce design and operating costs at its GSK Cork automated manufacturing facility.

The Challenge

GSK Cork is a highly automated manufacturing facility located in County Cork, Ireland, and includes a research and development pilot plant. It is the primary production site for a number of the company’s best-selling products.

In the past, GSK Cork used a variety of applications for its engineering data, drawings, and documentation, including a legacy drawing management system, legacy document management system, and a custom instrument index on a Microsoft SQL Server database. Data resided on a number of standalone, unconnected applications, some of which were obsolete or unsupported.

Although some of the company’s engineering consultants were using intelligent systems, it was not possible to take advantage of this intelligence after the transfer from the project phase to the operational phase of the plant life cycle. 

“Our islands of information meant that numerous systems had to be updated with the same data,” said Ed Collins, Integrated Engineering System Project Sponsor at GSK Cork. “This could lead to omissions and unreliable data, and additional work for engineering personnel.”

GSK Cork needed a solutions packagage to help:

  • Implement a lean and cost-effective integrated engineering system
  • Support intelligent data through the entire life cycle
  • Build on well-established applications with a path for growth

The Solution

GSK Cork launched a plan to implement a world-class, lean, and cost-effective integrated engineering system that would be used at all stages of the plant life cycle. 

After a thorough search, the company chose the SmartPlant® Enterprise solution suite, beginning with three applications: SmartPlant Foundation, Intergraph Smart Instrumentation, and SmartPlant P&ID. The company made its decision based on a number of factors:

  • Hexagon PPM offered a strategic solution that matched the company’s strategy
  • Modularized solutions provided flexibility for future growth
  • SmartPlant Foundation could be accessed by a large number of users
  • The Hexagon PPM solution suite was already being used by some of GSK Cork’s engineering consultants

To begin its implementation, PPM and the Cork team migrated all instrument data from the legacy system to Smart Instrumentation. The team extracted drawings from the legacy drawing management system and loaded them to SmartPlant Foundation. Finally, they performed a phased migration of vendor documentation from the legacy document management system. 

Initially, SmartPlant Enterprise implementation focused on Building 3 Module 1 of the Cork plant. Among other things, this involved generating 900 intelligent loops and migrating 34 P&ID drawings into SmartPlant P&ID. This module is fully intelligent and integrated. SmartPlant Foundation is now used across GSK Cork. All groups on-site benefit from the site drawing management functionality.

SmartPlant Enterprise supports vendor document management. Project engineers, maintenance personnel, and ESPs can view drawings and vendor documents. Project engineers and ESPs benefit from the management of change control. Audit logs are automatically maintained for all changes. 

"With SmartPlant Enterprise, engineers and technicians save time thanks to improved access to accurate drawings, data, and documents," Collins said. "We were very happy with the technical competence of (Hexagon PPM's) personnel working with us on the project."