HMI/SCADA solution for pharmaceutical packaging equipment

14 November 2012

Machine builder, Bausch + Ströbel, is now using zenon from COPA-DATA as a company-wide platform for process and information management. It is using the HMI/SCADA solution for machine operation, logging operational data and the control and monitoring of individual machines and production lines for the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetic industry.

Bausch + Ströbel is now offering its customers functionality for the control and monitoring of packaging and production processes in the pharmaceutical industry based around zenon. The new HMI/SCADA application is being used for lot-based recording, visualisation, control and logging of all processes and all data created from production and packaging.

Michael Pratz, who is in charge of automation, equipment qualification and documentation as well as technical IT at Bausch + Ströbel, explains further: "We looked for a consistent solution from machine control through to the management level. The HMI/SCADA system should provide maximum process safety and comprehensive quality management and give us the capability to implement all compliance requirements and legal directives for packaging and production systems in the pharmaceutical industry. We have found the optimum solution with zenon."

A big requirement for an HMI/SCADA solution in the pharmaceutical industry is data integrity, which also has a decisive influence on the quality of the product. Bausch + Ströbel needed to be able to consistently write all data from processes, such as temperatures, pressure and weight values to a database, read them off again, evaluate or analyse them and archive them. The use of an SQL database and the OPC UA connection in zenon also makes it possible to forward the production results to systems such as MES solutions.

One of the decisive criteria set by the company was comprehensive user administration and the ability to use Microsoft Windows as the operating system and thus enable integration into Active Directory. zenon supports the pharmaceutical industry optimally in adhering to international legal requirements such as FDA 21 CRF PART 11 or GMP and with the creation of the required Audit Trails: zenon records which user has carried out which interaction and documents this. It is thus possible to trace all user interventions and relevant results – such as process events, value changes or limit values being exceeded – at any time.

Bausch + Ströbel believes it has succeeded in developing modern and intuitive user interfaces that consistently portray all working processes of the machine and equipment operators. A minimum number of working stages ensures that the work is designed more efficiently and the likelihood of errors is reduced. The company uses the central recipe or format management in zenon to edit, delete, approve, save or administer all format parameters of the individual machines or a whole line.

International orientation of the software solution was another basic requirement for Bausch + Ströbel. The language switching capability built into zenon allows users to switch language and fonts or convert units as desired while the program is in operation and without laborious adaptations. At the same time, the selected language is used throughout. Audit Trails are therefore stored in the desired language.

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