Industrial Automation Flirts with Wireless
The automation industry increasingly finds wireless attractive, and for several reasons.
- Running a wired network incurs significant labor and material costs, while wireless networks cost far less.
- Wireless offers connectivity for remote areas or areas not currently served by wired networks.
- Wireless controllers and I/O can manage devices and processes even in inaccessible areas, or areas where network wiring is difficult or impossible to install.
- And wireless can offer a way to provide proof-of-concept for a new project before incurring the expense of a wired network.
For all these reasons, automation engineers are beginning to seriously consider wireless solutions (specifically WLAN, wireless Ethernet, or Wi-Fi) for all or part of their applications.
But with all these good reasons to use wireless, several concerns remain. Among them are security, network performance and reliability, availability and cost of I/O components, and the necessity of choosing between wired and wireless solutions up front.04/23/2009
Applicable Product: V1000, A1000, E7, F7, G7, and P7
(V/f Motor Control Method)
The techniques for braking of high inertial loads to a stop traditionally involved either Dynamic Braking or DC Injection Braking technology.
This article examines a new load-braking alternative called High-Slip Braking (HSB). We identify the different aspects of HSB, look at what it does, how it works, and how it is different from other braking methods. We also provide examples of real world successes, and discuss the new technologys cost effectiveness.04/02/2009
Manufacturers are under extreme pressure to increase operational efficiency as a means to increase reliability and maintain margins. Six Sigma is providing a powerful means for companies to improve performance. The use of this methodical, statistics-based approach is increasing across a range of industries. Those in the process industries are discovering the PI System can provide critical support to Six Sigma teams at every step of their effort. This paper discusses how to the PI System can support a Six Sigma initiative. QNI, an Australian minerals resource company, serves as an example.03/12/2009
Manufacturing companies have invested large amounts of money in industrial automation infrastructures, but many have yet to realize the full value from their investment as many of these infrastructures remain islands of automation; information silos disconnected from other systems, including business systems. This paper discusses some of the options available for integrating automation islands and for distributing information at any level in the organization. Real world examples will be presented to show benefits provided by open architectures.03/11/2009
Business drivers to improve performance, such as supply chain performance and operational effectiveness, require that integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and shop-floor systems is considered. Many manufacturing companies have implemented the SAP R/3 ERP system, supporting core business processes including financials, sales, distribution and so on. The manufacturing processes may be controlled by a combination of automatic control equipment and human operators. SAP R/3 supports production planning functionality in its PP (standard production planning) module and sub-modules PP-PI (production planning for the process industries), PP-REP (repetitive manufacturing) and PP-Kanban. These modules support the exchange of data with external systems. However, the technology issues associated with such data exchange are part of a broader set of challenges that an integration project must address if the intended business benefits are to be obtained. This paper examines a business-driven approach to integration and explores recent project experience integrating shop-floor systems with the PP and PP-PI modules.08/28/2008
One of the current problems of batch automation specialists, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, is the integration of PLC-controlled units (package units, e.g. centrifuges, dryers) into DCS-like control systems maintaining homogenous structure. On the basis of IEC 61512-1:1997 standard Workgroup 2 of Hungarian Batch Forum prepared a draft Proposal for users and manufacturers of package units that suggests different methods for the integration of package units. The paper discusses the integration from a system-architecture point of view while the communication problems of control equipment are not considered.08/28/2008
Successful Contract Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in a GMP regulated environment is heavily dependent on the flexibility and utilisation of the available processing plant and its guaranteed performance. However, changing plant configuration and revalidation is time consuming and therefore costly. This paper presents a case study of the implementation of an S88.01 based control system, as part of a strategy to change an existing process building with single product manufacturing capability, to a multipurpose plant and contrasts it with an earlier retrofit implementation to a similar plant for multi-product use. The paper reviews some important considerations in the equipment model design including the design approach for the control system architecture and methodologies employed for software coding of generic phases, which have been found to yield real economic benefits and ensure the achievement of the required plant flexibility. It also reviews the benefits to the design and validation process from following a structured 'GAMP3' approach. Some of the measurable economic benefits achieved will be shown to include reduced project implementation time, life cycle cost savings through reduced manpower effort during the engineering and validation stages and production capacity increase.08/28/2008
The World Batch Forum was originally formed to support the S88 Batch Control standard. All forums since have related in some way to the published part of the standard (S88.01) or to other, generally related, work. The second planned part of the standard is now ready for release. This paper attempts to put that event in perspective in the context of the current status of an on-going effort.08/28/2008
From which supplier ingredient lots did we compose this batch? Which batches did this pallet feed? Which batches ran after it? Whats the effect of this badly performing unit on previous operations? Whats the correlation between ? These are not easy questions, too often left without an answer. In many cases we have to rely on a combination of the operators memory, some paper log sheets and a variety of electronic data sources. With the introduction of the ISA S88.01 standard in 1995 and the work of the SP95 committee, process industries finally receives a structured framework that extends its advantages beyond the pure process control aspects. By applying the standard, we have a basis for building in traceability as an intrinsic function of the production control system. We will focus on topics like material flow control, the process inventory, integrating quality control and non-conformity checking in the batch recipe and building product genealogy. During the presentation we will explain the methodology behind this and how leading enterprises have already successfully applied it.08/28/2008
Alarm and event analysis has long been used for improving process operation. However since alarms are usually generated and displayed based on physical equipment, alarm analysis has been difficult to perform on a batch basis. In this paper, we focus on the interrelation of alarm/message notification and operator reaction in a batch process and analyze them systematically according to S88.01 Models and Terminology. Balance patterns of alarm/message notification and operator reactions are visually analyzed. Batch based analysis is done by grouping and filtering alarm and event data by master recipe, procedural hierarchy, and batch unit. This makes it easy to find and improve spurious alarms and inefficient operator habits. In a brief experience in a pharmaceutical plant, spurious alarms have been reduced by approximately 30% and smoother operation procedures have been implemented.08/28/2008
Implementing Automated Batch Control of a Biotechnology Manufacturing Facility using S88.01 concepts A Case Study
Genentech Inc. recently completed the design, construction and automation of a new, multipurpose, biotechnology drug, bulk-manufacturing facility in the United States. This project accomplished many first-time implementations for Genentech. This paper presents a case study discussing factors involved in the conceptualization of automation requirements and the challenges posed in designing and implementing them. Along the way, it highlights the efficiencies gained in using S88.01 principles of partitioning and modularity. Also addressed are the challenges posed to Change Management personnel involved in the startup, commissioning, qualification and validation of an S88.01 based system under the Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is Genentechs desire to maximize plant output. To meet this goal, project teams are currently involved in devising schemes to ready the facility for a product changeover while the plant is in operation. The changeover involves some minor physical modifications along with control software changes. The challenges encountered and methods employed to meet them without compromising the Validated production environment of the control system will be highlighted.08/28/2008
Integration of batch process and pharmaceutical production equipment (OEM) towards MES and Business System in a sterile manufacturing About 40 Filling, Inspection and Packaging machines from 20 different suppliers and a formulation batch process have to be controlled from a central control room with a limited amount of operators in such a way that the operator interface is similar for every machine. Data communication from and to the equipment PLCs over SCADA and MES towards Business System in order to have electronic tickets with data storage. An identical hard and software platform for each control unit creates a structural and uniform communication platform between different equipment. SCADA gives the operator a HMI with the same look and feel. MES offers the operator an interactive production ticket. Use of client server technology in order to have the same information on different places. Use of a common data base as storage and communication medium.08/28/2008
An Integrated System with Batch functions And Front-End Scheduling based on S88 - Application to Beverage Plant -
The case study in this paper illustrates the value of integrating front-end scheduling with a batch control system. Recipe changes, and addition of recipes, occur frequently in the target process. However, since both scheduler and batch packages were designed with the ISA-S88.01 model in mind, these packages could be tightly coupled (well integrated) and, as a result, it is easy to add or change recipes. The frontend scheduler is not limited to performing scheduling; it also provides an easy-to-grasp real-time production status display which can help enhance efficiency and productivity.08/28/2008
Joe Weiss, Control's Unfettered blogger, was asked by CSIS to prepare a white paper on cybersecurity for Industrial Control Systems. CSIS is the Center for Stategic and International Studies, which was tasked in a bipartisan manner to form a blue ribbon committee to prepare cybersecurity recommendations for the next administration. This white paper is posted by permission of CSIS and Joe Weiss.
Control and Joe Weiss are posting this white paper as a pro bono public service. The registration is solely to keep track for security purposes of who downloads the white paper and will not be used for commercial purposes.08/27/2008
System Architectures using S-88 and S-95 standards are being used in system implementations across the plant floor. These systems include batch management, MES, process control and ERP integration. For regulated industries, electronic record keeping and system validation must be addressed in these new initiatives. When implemented as applications, these architectural components are designed to provide benefits that support the companys business drivers. These benefits often overlap as the interfaces between applications become blurred as application vendors are changing functionality. Using S-88 and S-95 standards and an architectural approach, system requirements can be related directly to benefits. This paper presents system life cycle architecture for implementing pharmaceutical automation projects. Primary, secondary and strategic benefit sources for measurable economic benefits in each functional area of regulated and non-regulated operations. Realized benefits are presented for actual implementations across the plant floor.08/27/2008
Batch control projects have tended to be software intensive and often overrun substantially. In most cases this is due to a lack of foresight and planning in the early stages. The S88 Era has tried to alleviate this situation by providing a structured methodology but again the flexibility of current control systems and a lack of planning can produce the same effect as having no structure at all. This paper aims to highlight some potential problems and pitfalls and how they may be contained without adversely affecting the outcome of the project.08/26/2008
Henkel Surface Technologies has significantly increased plant throughput and capacity utilization - resulting in substantial savings in terms of infrastructure investment and cost per pound produced. The program, TIP (throughput improvement program), is an employee-driven integrated cost management effort that has had corporate-wide impact in operations, finance and marketing/sales. In manufacturing operations, the systemized daily report of operations (DRO) provides floor communications between employees and management to drive improvement. Captured metrics include attainment to schedule, attainment to standard, operator noted opportunities, and others. Reporting from the DRO identifies and prioritizes improvement opportunities. In finance, the captured information forms the foundation for benchmark reporting that tracks improvements by trending selected process metrics. This in turn is used to develop detail product-byproduct costs for more than 6,000 individual sku's. Database reporting allows the information to be analyzed in a variety of formats with an emphasis on product complexity and its impact on operations. The cost information is then communicated corporate-wide through the product cost and financial reporting systems. In marketing and sales, cost information, accessed through margin reports and profit and loss statements impacts business area decisions, while also influencing product rationalization decisions. Rationalization decisions, formerly primarily volume-based, now incorporate complexity factors that directly impact operations.08/26/2008
Optimizing production starts with collecting and analyzing a wide variety of data, including continuous process data, batch event data, and other event data, such as material movements and manual operations. Until now, manufacturers have had to rely on costly approaches for integrating and analyzing the process information they need to better understand and improve their production. Whats required is a cost-effective, easy-to-use method of querying, analyzing, and presenting information at the desktop of plant supervisors, engineers, and management. The right solution takes advantage of open technologies and commodity desktop tools and hides the underlying complexity that comes from dealing with diverse data sources. Proprietary or industrial desktop tools have not provided the ease of use and flexibility available in todays office products. Standard Microsoft Office products and web browsers will significantly lower the cost of delivering information to the desktop. The future lies in using these powerful new commodity tools to provide batch and continuous process information to the desktops of business decision-makers and other knowledge workers in the plant and throughout the enterprise.08/26/2008
Initially E-Business was surrounded by much hype, but, eventually, E-Business will enable new business models in manufacturing. Collaboration processes, touted in E-Business, are only possible if manufacturing is an agile component of the extended supply chain. A product must be made to a demand signal or accurate forecast to fulfill the order and ensure a satisfied customer. However, EBusiness has not yet been adequately translated by the business into actionable manufacturing priorities. E-Business Trading Exchanges will eventually move from procurement buy side to sell side processes. In the automation process, more inventories will be eliminated from the supply chain. Reliable delivery from manufacturing will become more critical as the margin for error diminishes. Manufacturers must focus on consistency and delivery to demand. Integration of plant information processes and product specification management as part of managing the product lifecycle is important manufacturing foundations for E-Business. S88 and SP95 provide a useful framework to support these strategies. Most manufacturers are still translating business strategies into coordinated IT and business initiatives. They are trying to do too much and many IT initiatives are still disconnected. This will constrain E-Business initiatives dependent on integrated back end IT and business processes. To prepare for E-Business manufacturers must build organizational readiness and governance, manage integration, and integrate information across the extended supply chain against priorities set by the business strategy. This paper will discuss industry trends, pitfalls, and make pragmatic recommendations for manufacturers confronted with the challenge of moving manufacturing to align with emerging EBusiness Strategies.08/26/2008
Changing market conditions are forcing batch-manufacturing facilities to modify the way they conduct business. The demand for software and hardware vendors to provide a higher level of batch automation is increasing. This demand is being fueled by a shortage of knowledge-workers coupled with the demand for flexible manufacturing environments. Industry standards for software and batch-control are emerging rapidly. These standards are helping to improve the interconnectivity of many products. E-commerce will be the area for growth during this decade. Many companies are already buying and selling products through business-to-business portals on the Internet. The ability for a company to respond to ever changing manufacturing demands will determine their success or failure in the future. The purpose of this paper is to discuss these business trends along with the impact of new standards on the batch industry. The paper describes several examples of companies that have been able to leverage infrastructure investments while successfully applying these emerging standards.08/26/2008