Yokogawa History & Portfolio
As an international leader in system engineering technologies and over 100 years of history, Yokogawa began as one of the first electrical instrument suppliers in Japan. Historically, Yokogawa has focused on the chemical and energy market sectors developing systems and equipment for exploration and manufacturing operations. With that strategy, Yokogawa grew to nearly $4B(USD) in 2020, with more than two-thirds of sales outside of Japan. In recent times, the organization has made noteworthy advances in advanced technologies for bioscience applications. With the establishment of the Life Business Headquarters division in 2021 under the leadership of a new CEO (Hitoshi Nara), Yokogawa now has a strong commitment and strategy for penetration of bioscience R&D and biopharmaceutical drug manufacturing markets.
Long considered a gold-standard instrument for confocal microscopic cellular imaging, the Yokogawa portfolio of imaging systems pioneered the use of the Nipkow disk for rapid and gentle viewing of live cells using lasers and fluorescence. Offered in benchtop versions (CQ1, etc.) and high-through-put systems (CV8000), thousands of instruments are currently in use all around the globe. Other equipment in the portfolio also includes a newly launched single-cell manipulation device (Single CellomeTM) that can be used in concert with the imaging systems, and data collection software (CellPathfinder) to assist in gathering and processing the image data.
In 2020, to expand the imaging technology portfolio into other applications, Yokogawa acquired Fluid Based Imaging Systems, a US-based company. Having a series of instruments for mostly analytical applications in commercial manufacturing, the FlowCam® product portfolio combines microfluidics with rapid imaging technologies for particle analysis. The instruments are used in a variety of industries including food & beverage, and biopharmaceutical markets.
In January of 2021, Yokogawa released the BR1000 Advanced Control Bioreactor System for upstream bioprocess control and automation of biologics development and manufacturing. This next generation bioreactor system is integrated and calibrated with in-line soft-sensor technologies for reducing reliance on labor and off-line analytics, while maximizing accuracy, data collection and performance through continuous computer-controlled fed-batch operations. At lab-scale, the BR1000 is ideal for process development of monoclonal antibody expression or other biologics with CHO cells, using simple cell-model development protocols for complete customization to user’s proprietary expression systems. The BR1000 Advanced Control Bioreactor System can speed development, reduce labor and tightly control glucose feeding using customizable model predictive control algorithms in real-time that leverage PAT and help bring biopharma organizations one step closer to Industry 4.0 goal attainment for biologics development and manufacturing. Yokogawa is also currently researching the application of these same concepts and next generation approaches to manufacturing scale bioreactor systems for biopharmaceutical production.