MRO Magazine

Alberta firm receives Best Practices Award for Improving batch process with sensors

Edmonton, AB -- Gilead Alberta ULC has received a 2007 Best Practices Award for improving pharmaceutical batch proc...


May 9, 2007
By MRO Magazine

Edmonton, AB — Gilead Alberta ULC has received a 2007 Best Practices Award for improving pharmaceutical batch processing efficiency while substantially reducing costs using advanced-technology Foxboro pH sensors.

Gilead Alberta of Edmonton is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide.

The Plant Services Best Practice Award recognizes management technique, work process, product and service implementations that improve industrial plant performance, maintenance, reliability and asset management. Entries to a competition are judged on short- and long-term return on investment, innovation and breadth of application.

Gilead Alberta won the Best Practices award in the ‘Equipment’ category for working with the Invensys Measurements & Instruments Division ( to develop an advanced pH sensor to assure consistent product quality and maximize batch yields in the companys harsh process environment.


The Foxboro 871PH Series sensor enabled Gilead to complete a pH adjustment in just three hours, rather than the 18 hours to 24 hours previously required.

With the Foxboro 871PH sensor, yields have increased and cycle times have been shortened. When you add the increase in quality, the improved pH readings by one sensor can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, says Robert Pastushak, senior technical/operational supervisor, Gilead Alberta.

According to Pastushak, the 871 PH sensor is also very durable. The sensor we deployed more than two years ago looks like it did the day we bought it. Previously, as many as three probes, at approximately $600 per probe, would fail while processing just one batch. says Pastushak.

Ash Grove Cement of Overland Park, Kan., another Invensys customer, was also selected as a runner up in the Best Practices Award in the Software/Systems category, for expanding the scope of its computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to reduce inventory and improve maintenance efficiency through the use of Invensys Avantis EAM (enterprise asset management) solution.

For more information on Invensys process automation businesses, please visit