Bayer Control System
Part of the attraction of running Controlweb is that every day presents a new and interesting challenge. We work across a variety of fields and industries.
Recently, we were engaged to implement a full control system for the batch production tanks of a large pharmaceutical manufacturer. They had been managing the process through the manual operation of hard-wired buttons. So there would be a button to start and stop the process, as well as one to open and close the tanks, among others.
This was obviously a time-consuming process that could be subject to human error.
What We Did…
The work involved the complete design of control cabinetry, all instrumentation as well as power and communication cabling.
The new control system utilised automatic sequencing for heating and mixing each batching tank. This enabled far better traceability of the process, as well as increasing operator availability. The control system was programmed with shutdown logic. That means it could pause any activity and place the system in a safe state without the need to scrap the entire batch within the tank. Alarming was also added to indicate when there was a problem and to prevent any issue from going unattended. Subsequently, this decreased waste & down time.
The sequences were written using S88 hierarchy to facilitate future, high level, automation.
The operators were provided a touchscreen interface in each manufacturing room. This gave them complete visibility of the process.
Bayer were so pleased with the work we completed that we are currently in consultation with them to implement a full batch management system that would meet FDA requirements. These are the requirements for using electronic records in the pharmaceutical & food industries.
By using batch management software, multiple sequences could be executed and managed from a single location. The system would record every automated & operator action in to a secure database. Automating this process would completely remove the need for need for 2 operators to sign off a Batch Manufacturing Record, which is the current requirement.
Not only would Bayer be ticking the necessary boxes to remain FDA compliant, but we would be saving them time and money!