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Meet Janssen Sciences Ireland: 2021 Facility of the Year Awards Winner for Project Execution

Marcy Sanford
 Janssen Sciences Ireland Lab Admin Building

Janssen Sciences is the 2021 Facility of the Year Awards Winner for Project Execution for their BioCork2 – Large Scale Fed Batch Facility in Ringaskiddy, Ireland.

2021 Category Winner for Project Execution

Winners in the Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) Project Execution Category exemplify the application of novel tools and approaches to delivering projects that improved efficiencies, overcame unusual challenges, promoted effectiveness, and organized stakeholders and project team participants in ways that led to successful outcomes.

Project: BioCork2

Janssen and their partners worked as an integrated team throughout the project to ensure the workers were focused on safety, compliance, and schedule always. The team overcame many issues during the more than three years of execution, including proceeding forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, which happened as they completed construction and started in full commissioning.

FOYA Judges

 Janssen Sciences Ireland Site View

Expanding Facility to Meet Expanding Needs

Janssen Sciences Ireland, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, develops innovative and integrated products and medicines to restore and extend the quality of life for patients globally. The expansion of their existing facility in County Cork, Ireland, included adding large-scale fed batch technology, the first of its kind in Ireland and for Johnson & Johnson globally. The expansion and new technologies will guarantee efficient and sustainable delivery of biologic medicines in the areas of immunology and oncology.

The project nearly doubled the facility’s manufacturing space, adding more than 200,000 square feet to the existing 280,000-square-foot campus. The expansion provides full time employment for an additional 200 people and is designed to produce 72 batches of monoclonal antibody product a year.

Janssen’s integrated project schedule was developed with more than 15,000 line items incorporating design, construction, commissioning, and regulatory approval.

Throughout the planning and execution no detail was left to chance. Janssen’s stringent weekly progress tracking included recovery strategies and biweekly lookaheads to ensure that critical milestones were met along the way. The project was completed on time and budget, without construction disrupting or impacting existing live operations.

The BioCork2 project also made use of some of the latest interactive technologies to help the team plan and manage the project. All teams involved with the design of the project were able to use virtual reality for an initial collaborative review process which enabled them to make decisions in a timely matter, avoid costly re-work, and ultimately resulted in a schedule that was never delayed. Design and construction teams used 3D BIM Modelling to understand the installation sequence and coordination steps in detail throughout the project. Drone footage was used in weekly interactive planning sessions to highlight work areas, interactive white boards allowed sessions leaders to email all attendees directly from the screen during meetings, and 360o internal cameras allowed for visual oversight of the project progression and helped to identify inefficiencies.

Janssen’s BioCork2 project was led by an internationally diverse group. The project team was comprised of people from 40 different countries, and Janssen engaged vendors from all over the world. Janssen relied on interactive workshops and visits with global partners and integrated the teams, management techniques, and values throughout project execution to ensure that the transition from concept to fully operational plant was smooth and seamless. To ensure that the facility could be operational as quickly as possible, Janssen leveraged talent from their existing plant for key roles and reached out to local universities to hire graduates in the early phases of construction. As a result of this approach and other ongoing training efforts throughout the development stage, Janssen had a skilled and knowledgeable team ready to move the plant into production as soon as construction was complete.

Almost 6,000 people went through Janssen’s on-site Safety Culture and Safety Performance induction training resulting in a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transferable (DART) of 0.056 and almost four million hours accident-free. As an additional safety step, personnel on site wore high visibility pants and long sleeve high visibility vests as well as the standard personal protective equipment (PPE).

From the very start of the project, Janssen engaged in corporate responsibility. They invited local residents to “Open Days” for tours and implemented a successful carpool plan to reduce traffic during the construction phase.

The Laboratory Administration and Production buildings achieved LEED Silver Certification and the facility includes 22 electric car charging stations, covered bicycle parking, open space, adjustable sunshades on each building, and a wind turbine that provides renewable energy.

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Janssen also made every effort to mitigate any negative impact on the environment surrounding the plant. The site includes nature walks that are home to bird boxes, bug hotels, and beehives. The area surrounding the plant is home to the Irish Arctic Hare, a protected species in Ireland. Janssen planted the hare’s favorite food, wild meadow grass, and planned for protection of its habitat during and after construction.

Like most of the world, Janssen had to adapt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were able to quickly adjust to keep everyone safe and healthy while maintaining the project’s production schedule.

“The strength and character of our project teams were even more evident as they addressed head on the additional challenges and restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jim Breen, BioCork 2 Project Director and Vice President of Janssen Pharmaceuticals. “Protective measures were continually audited to allow operations to continue working as seamlessly as possible while maintaining all the milestone dates on our project.”

Nominate Your Facility for the 2022 FOYA Program!

Apply for a chance to join this prestigious list of innovative game-changers and let ISPE honor your organization as a 2022 FOYA program winner. Applications must be submitted by 19 November 2021.