CC-Link helps maintain productivity and quality in pharma plant

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Extensive use of CC-Link open communications for its automation systems has helped Brazil's most modern pharmaceutical manufacturing plant to achieve world-class productivity and quality.

CC-Link helps maintain productivity and quality in pharma plantMantecorp is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Brazil, producing widely recognised product lines and brands for primary care, specialist care and consumer use. The company's facility in Rio de Janeiro produces over 100million units of products and medication for human use. With a total area of 300,000 square metres and 50,000 square metres of industrial facilities, it is one of the most modern plants in the country's pharmaceutical industry. As a centre of scientific and manufacturing excellence, the Rio de Janeiro complex benefits from the company's forward-thinking investment policy, which focuses on increasing the quality and reliability of its brands. Over the last 15 years, for example, the unit has invested roughly US $70million in modernisation and technological evolution projects.

As part of this modernisation, Mantecorp decided to upgrade its facility with a more reliable control system employing Mitsubishi automation controllers and the CC-Link open industrial communication technology. This upgrade solved numerous control system and communication problems that were previously encountered with the old system. The Rio de Janeiro facility is now considered to be one of the most modern in the pharmaceutical sector.

CC-Link also conveys system data to the operator control panels and computer screen displays. The existing CC-Link network consists of one Mitsubishi Q Series master and ten Mitsubishi FX slave stations. Each of the FX CPU slave stations has four CC-Link remote I/O racks containing analogue and digital I/O modules connected to the various field sensors and output devices.

Water purification

A reverse osmosis process within the facility purifies the water used in product manufacturing. This system is controlled via the CC-Link network and the FX CPU slave stations. It ensures that the water used on a daily basis is always of the same high quality to guarantee consistent product manufacture and product safety.

Another FX CPU slave station controls the refrigeration within the manufacturing process to maintain the correct temperature for producing prescription pharmaceuticals. This refrigeration control also maintains the correct temperature for storage of pharmaceuticals that require lower temperatures after the manufacturing process is complete.

Also connected to the CC-Link network are additional FX CPU stations that are closely co-ordinated to control the environment within the facility. The first of these manages the adjustable-speed drives that control the steam and air handling units. Another FX CPU station is responsible for maintaining consistent temperature and humidity within the entire facility to provide a comfortable working environment. This networked station works in conjunction with the energy management control system, operated by additional networked FX CPU stations, to help reduce the operational costs of the facility and control environmental emissions. Other FX stations control the sterilisation process within the research lab. This sterilisation process controls the purity of the air for process control within the product manufacturing areas, as well as controlling the purity of the air within the lab for new product experimentation and research. With CC-Link networking, Mantecorp is able to produce prescription pharmaceuticals that require the certification of a Class 10 environmental facility.

08 September 2010

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