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Veolia Water Technologies UK's Orion 500 provides new generation water purification for life-science company

08 January 2020

A long term relationship between Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK) and one of its major pharmaceutical industry clients has led to the manufacturer updating its water purification equipment with one of VWT UK’s new generation ORION units.

To overcome specific access challenges within the Hertfordshire facility, the standard ORION unit had to be specially modified.

A premier research and development service company, Pharmaron, specialises in a range of capabilities such as pharmacology, synthetic, medicinal and analytical chemistry, as well as chemical and pharmaceutical development within the life science industry.

Due to the nature of the work Pharmaron carries out, it is vital that the company has a constant supply of pure water.

VWT UK has been providing maintenance and support to the Pharmaron Hoddesdon site for water purification equipment since the early 2000s, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of purified water (USP/Ph Eur grade).

This water is used for both cleaning equipment and as a raw material in the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

The new ORION 500 has replaced one of the three water purification units supplied by VWT UK in 2004, which had been operated in a ‘duty and back-up’ arrangement for many years.

However, changes in output by the company had led to one ORIONTM unit being decommissioned and used for spares, prior to the new purchase being made as a planned upgrade.

VWT UK’s project manager and service engineers worked closely with Pharmaron’s own project team to sequence the delivery, installation and commissioning of the ORION 500 during the Hoddesdon plant’s annual shut down period earlier this year ensuring the changeover went as smoothly as possible.

Veolia Water Technologies UK’s Industrial Sales Manager, Kalpesh Shah, explained: “The original units had been craned into the building during its construction, but this option was no longer available and therefore the new assembly had to be configured to fit into the main goods lift.

"This was achieved by creating two skids. “Over a very tight program, our engineers dismantled the original ORIONTM unit, installed the two new skids to form a single new ORION 500 unit, commissioned and successfully validated the system.”

The new ORION unit selected by Pharmaron includes a number of environmentally friendly features designed to reduce raw water and electrical consumption, namely:
• During periods of no demand and when the unit is in recycle, no RO reject water is discharged to drain from the reverse osmosis membranes.
• A cooling heat exchanger prevents high temperature water being discharged to drain during extended recycle periods.
• The operating flow rate is reduced during recycle mode and the RO high pressure pump has a variable speed drive motor, both of which reduce electrical consumption.

Andy Moore, Calibration Team Leader at Pharmaron commented: “While the new ORIONTM unit had to be built on two skids to facilitate access into the building, a big part of the challenge was getting it to function properly for where it is in the building.

"The installation and commissioning went to schedule, and although there were some teething problems to deal with, the switch has been a real success.”

VWT UK continues to provide planned and responsive maintenance for the various water purification units across the Hoddesdon plant.

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