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The pharmaceutical industry has to meet extremely strict requirements for safety, quality and consistency. To achieve this, the industry relies on intelligent automation, which minimizes human error and perturbations in the production process. Every aspect of the pharma manufacturing process can benefit from smart automation systems, and these systems are being used more and more throughout the world.

Chutian Technology Company is one of China’s foremost pharma equipment developers. Based in Hunan Province, Chutian works closely with leading automation experts, including Advantech, in building advanced intelligent automation solutions that meet demand in vertical markets by delivering quality-assured products.

Industrial Panel PC applications

Photo courtesy of Advantech

One example of this reciprocal partnership is in intelligent monitoring and control equipment used on pharma production lines. This equipment integrates Advantech’s high-performance industrial controllers and panel PCs for outstanding industrial performance.

Challenge

Industrial Panel PC applications

Photo courtesy of Advantech

The pharma inspection equipment requires the highest level of precision, accuracy, consistency, and stability. The system captures images and implements data processing and image analyses. Higher computing ability allows for the system to process and analyze more images within a given period of time. To achieve precise, high-quality inspection at rapid speed, high performance computing power (including graphics processing power) is the most important requirement for industrial computers embedded in the system.

Additionally, to withstand operation in hazardous environments and maintain strict hygiene standards, the system must have full IP66-rated ingress protection.

Solution

The intelligent inspection system for pharma production is based on the following client/server architecture: Advantech’s SPC-815W industrial panel PC functions as a server connected to several ACP-4340 rack mount industrial PC controllers (clients) at various workstations dedicated to defect detection.

The industrial controller at each workstation connects to a PLC via a PCI-based interface to enable automatic motion controls. It connects to the camera(s) via a USB card or PoE interface of the PCIe standard to acquire, process, and analyze images and upload the results to the SPC-815W for integrated analysis and storage.

The industrial panel PC not only visualizes and displays processed data but also executes algorithms provided by the backend computer and delivers feedback to controllers and PLCs. Accordingly, SPC-815W connects and communicates with all parts of the system and facilitates motion and vision control applications required for industrial IoT. Moreover, SPC-815W features all-around IP66-rated ingress protection and supports arm mounting, enabling direct deployment on the machine. This reduces the overall equipment footprint, ensuring easy installation.

Industrial Panel PCs

Photo courtesy of Advantech

Benefit

In the past, medicine inspection was conducted manually. More than a dozen people were required to perform manual tests, and a two-shift work system was implemented. The daily output of the pharmaceutical factory was 200,000 to 300,000 units. After adopting Chutian’s pharma inspection equipment, the production line speed is increased, and 5 batches of drugs can be produced per day, the output of each batch of drugs is 150,000, and the daily output of oral liquid is up to 750,000 units. As productivity increases, workers can adopt a one-shift system. Chutian’s inspection machine helps users save labour and time costs while ensuring the quality and safety of medicines.

ESIS is the leading supplier of electronic industrial equipment in the Australian market since 1971. Contact us to find out about our wide range of industrial panel PCs and monitoring systems. 

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