Fermentation Expansion


Food and Beverage

Business Issue

The client received approval from the FDA to market and sell an Omega-3 food additive.  This necessitated an expansion of their existing facility to accommodate the increased demand.

The key business driver was the necessity to increase production by 1 million liters within 12 months of ground breaking for the plant expansion.

Project Summary

This project encompassed Design, Development, Installation, and Start-up for a new Biotech facility, adjacent to the existing production facility.  The goal was to increase production by 300% using a high level of automation to increase yield with minimal staffing additions.

Automated Batch control was implemented on Media Preparation, Sterilization, Fermentation, CIP and Utility systems.  95% of the I/O was bus based using Fieldbus, ASi and Device Net technologies.

Scope Responsibility

Cornerstone Controls was responsible for the following areas:

  • Project management of turnkey automation project.
  • Consulting services on overall batch/biotech automation & PID design issues.
  • Consultant training of key management staff on S88 model.
  • Automation engineering, design, and development of DeltaV control system.  Systems included:
    • Media Preparation
    • APV Sterilization Skids (plate/frame heat exchangers)
    • Seed Vessels
    • Fermentors
    • APV CIP skids
    • Automated SIP utilizing SUDMO Mix Proof Valves.
  • System commissioning & Operator Training.
  • Furnished Emerson control valves and instrumentation.
  • Design and furnished DeltaV control panels with Fieldbus, Device Net and ASi Bus networks.
  • Design of Fieldbus and ASi bus networks.
  • Large start-up shift based effort to ensure early production and yield goals were met.
  • 4 controllers with 1200 I/O,  6 workstations, 1 Application Station, and 1 Batch Historian


Plant production increased to 1 million liters, an additional benefit of the fully automated plant was an increase in yield of approximately 50%.