Avecia Biologics is a contract manufacturer which produces active pharmaceutical ingredients using a process that consists of fermentation, separation and purification stages.
At its Billingham (UK) site, a new dual-stream facility with a fermentation capacity of 5000 liters was installed and the company began looking for a new automation solution, which offers leading-edge technology and matches requirements such as simplify cabling, install modular upgrades and implement online diagnostics. Profibus was considered to be the most suitable solution.
HMI device on the production floor
Simatic PCS 7 systems and S7-300 controllers were installed to control functions for two separation and two purification systems, as well as for the refolding and buffer solution production systems. They also control six clean in place skids, two purified water systems, and other services such as process drainage, bio waste disposal etc.
Profibus DP is used as standard network solution and provides the following advantages (according to the user):
• Deployment of a single network infrastructure with Profibus DP for the main control hardware and Profibus PA for instrumentation reduces the overall cabling and network overhead.
• The online device diagnostics and a graphics user interface (see figure) improved the fault detection rate and helped to better identify the need for maintenance.
• Configuration of a device which has been replaced can be downloaded from the computer where it is stored rather than having to enter the configuration again manually. This ultimately increases system availability.
• Profibus is the only fieldbus system which offers identical communication services for both process and manufacturing types of application
The user: “One of the biggest advantages for Avecia results from the greater flexibility of Profibus, which enables the company to react faster to changing market conditions.The company executes customer orders, and has to be able to adapt to different customer requirements in a relatively short space of time; with Profibus, the can quickly deploy new equipment with minimal changes to cabling and infrastructure.”