Amersham has signed up Emerson Process Management to automate a new plant in Norway dedicated to the production of diagnostic imaging reagents.
The $61 million (€55m) plant will produce reagents used to highlight organs, tissues and cells inside the human body for the early detection, diagnosis and management of disease. Based in Lindesnes, Norway, the facility is scheduled to begin operation in January 2005.
Under the terms of the agreement, Emerson will apply its PlantWeb digital plant architecture to the project, a system designed to deliver "realise upfront project savings, followed by reduced maintenance costs over the life of the plant," according to the company's president, John Berra. The architecture will use Foundation fieldbus communications - in other words a system of intelligent field instruments, to control and manage the production processes. Plantweb also provides project management, configuration and start-up services.
Commenting on the deal, Roy Trane, Amersham's electronic automation manager for the project, said: "We expect a shorter and more effective start-up and the initial cost will be no higher than other approaches. We also anticipate benefits from the diagnostics available via fieldbus."
Amersham Health is the market leader in medical diagnostic imaging, with a 38 per cent global market share.