Following the upgrade of a legacy control system to a PLC and networked SCADA system on a large fluidised bed dryer (FBD), a 50% increase in productivity has been achieved by a blue chip pharmaceutical company.

Optimal Automation automates and improves the performance and productivity of all types of FBD: large and small, fully automatic and semi automatic, new build and refurbished, solvent and non solvent based, and worked closely with the client on this project.

The replacement of the legacy control system, in the most recent of Optimal’s FBD projects, involved a control strategy that encompassed not only tower automation, but also all the batching of raw materials, including dispensary control, together with tracking of raw materials and finished product in IBCs. To meet these objectives, the system has a Siemens PCS7 in a server arrangement with four clients and an engineering station. The PCS7 has a fully integrated recipe system and produces batch reports that are used as part of the total batch release documentation set.

In another recent project, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals installed Optimal’s synTQ PAT (Process Analytical Technology) Data Management system on a fluidised bed drier. The initial objective of the installation was to determine if positive gains could be made in terms of the consistency of quality and reduced processing time, by using real time moisture monitoring and control to reduce the cycle time and determine in real time the process end point. In this project, synTQ was used in combination with a 3rd party multivariate analysis (MVA) product and a NIR instrument.

By building Orchestrations (PAT Methods), Process Models, and gaining process understanding, the client was able to determine – in real time – the drying phases that were occurring in the drier. He was then able to design an application that controlled the drying temperature in line with the stage of the process, as determined by synTQ, and introduce real time dryer end point control.

Optimal Industrial Automation

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