Transforming Alarm Response Operations of Pharma Production Facility

Pfizer Newbridge Ireland


Leinster, Ireland

Facility Type

Pharmaceutical Production

Asset Mapped

8,716 Across 1,560 Rooms

Return on Investment

Business Continuity - Zero double-knock evacuations sense deployment. (Down from 2/3 per month)

Our life science client faced a challenge in efficiently locating alarms due to their size and complexity. The client aimed to improve emergency response by refining the placement of fire system-related devices, thus minimizing response times, evacuations, and downtime. PlantQuest was tasked with delivering a solution resembling Google Maps for fire detection and EHS assets spread throughout numerous rooms, ensuring continuous operations.
The brownfield facility was built in 1992 and is one of Europe's most extensive solid-dose pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. With a workforce of over 800, the facility runs a 24-hour operation and comprises of over 1,500 rooms, 12 buildings, and 4 levels.

Since its deployment, the facility has reduced the its average alarm response time by up to 73%, with no alarm taking more than 12 minutes to locate and navigate to. This has resulted in their being no double knock activation/unnecessary evacuations since its deployment in 2021 (down from 2/3 per month). All of this was achieved with zero impact on the overall facility operations.

The Challenge

The Client had the following requirements:

- Provide efficient alarm location and navigation within Life Science facilities, considering their size and complexity.

- Support for Pharma manufacturing units' 24/7 operation throughput, minimizing disruptions.

- Reduction of emergency response times to mitigate the impact of downtime, which can cost up to $20,000 a minute.

- Streamlining of workflow surrounding the location of 5,500 fire-related input devices to improve emergency response.

- Implementation of a Google Maps-like solution by PlantQuest to locate and navigate 5,500 fire detection and 2,000 EHS assets across 1,500 rooms.

- Ensuring PlantQuest's solution allows responders to locate and navigate to alarms from any location within the facility.

- Zero disruption to ongoing site activities during PlantQuest implementation, considering potential downtime costs.

- Full functionality of PlantQuest's tablet function within areas of limited Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity in the client's 33-year-old brownfield facility.

The Solution

PlantQuest surpassed the clients expectations by delivering a Google Maps-like solution deployed on desktop and tablet. Digitising over 300 fire layout drawings, the facility's ERT can now seamlessly locate any alarm across their facility in 50% to 75% less time. Aiding this is PlantQuest's ability to allow responders to locate and navigate to any alarm across the facility, regardless of location and the tablet's network connectivity. Commissioned with as little as two days on-site, zero interruption was made to the daily operations of the facility during implementation and commissioning.  

The Outcome

Operational efficiency has never been more critical for the clients facility, especially given their commitment to manufacturing critical pharmaceutical products. On top of this, operational efficiency significantly impacts the financial performance of any facility, especially given the costs involved in an evacuation and production downtime.

Key Wins:

  • Improved operational efficiency crucial for critical pharmaceutical manufacturing, including critical COVID 19 products
  • Enhanced financial performance by minimizing costs associated with evacuations and production downtime
  • Reduction in alarm response times, transforming emergency response training and confidence among first responders
  • Efficiency gains across various workflows facilitated by the PlantQuest platform
  • Instant location of all 2,000 pieces of EHS equipment, empowering the EHS team to manage site assets effectively
  • Contractors utilize PlantQuest to locate assets and rooms efficiently, reducing time spent on site and ensuring safety during navigation.
  • Looking to the Future

    The facility's use of PlantQuest has enhanced optimization and efficiency, with plans for further improvements. Integration with Fire and Lone Worker systems will reduce response times and boost safety. Simplifying worker onboarding by providing PlantQuest access to all workers and installing it on kiosk screens will enhance navigation and productivity. PlantQuest remains committed to supporting clients' digital transformation goals and fostering ongoing success in operational efficiency within the life science sector.

    Trusted by Industry Leaders

    Bausch + Lomb Logo
    Pfizer Logo
    Johnson & Johnson Logo
    Johnson & Johnson Logo
    Discover the Solution
    View Another Project