How can you ensure quality control? Reduce human error with PLC automation and monitoring
Summary: Zdorovye is a Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, manufacturing a range of medicinal products. They use Unitronics Vision1210 all-in-one PLC controller to automate their bottling lines. This allowed them to reduce human labor and control which users can access certain features to reduce human error. They also implemented remote monitoring protocols and established the collection of process data for reporting purposes. Using the all-in-one control platform from Unitronics allowed Zdorovye to achieve incredible results at an unbeatable price.
Zdorovye is a pharmaceutical company based in the Ukraine. They manufacture over 350 medical products of a variety of pharmaceutical types. One of their top priorities is impeccable quality control.
In order to achieve the high standards, Zdorovye relies on process automation and monitoring systems. They use Unitronics Vision1210 all-in-one programmable logic controller to make these safety measures possible.
They automated the process for injection solution preparation using these Unitronics PLC+HMI units. The process was separated into three groups of line reactors, composing 2 separate bottling lines. The first bottling line includes two groups of five reactors, one 250l., configured to be explosion proof, and the other 750l. The second bottling line is composed of the final for reactors at 1500l.
Zdorovye wanted to eliminate heavy work for their staff; they used the PLC to store and automate recipes for the different products, reducing the number of changes that need to be updated manually. These recipes also maximize the process’ reliability by reducing human errors. They were also able to automate related process, like cleaning and sterilizing the system, further reducing the amount of labor needed.
All-in-all, the system ended up requiring nine Vision1210 PLC+HMI, one for each reactor, and 70 I/O modules. The integrated 12.1-inch color touch HMI panel was helpful for displaying all the system parameters on a single screen; one engineer explains, “using the V1210 model has allowed to make a user-friendly graphical interface for manual control mode, which is also available in an interface in the Remote Administration mode through the Remote Operator from Unitronics.” They also use the web server features for remote monitoring from anywhere in the world. The three bottling lines are also equipped with RS485 serial communications and are linked with UniCAN communications. Process parameters are collected and transferred to an FTP server for documentation and reporting purposed, while the PLCs are synchronized using the company’s NTP server.
Finally, Zdorovye used the Unitronics PLC to implement security measures. They assigned four different user groups in the system; each group had different access right with corresponding display and management elements. Using six RFID modules, which communicate to the Vision1210 PLCs, Zdorovye is able to have each user sign into the system, accessing their assigned profile, using the RFID chip already embedded in their employee badge.
The Zdorovye engineers rave: “Convenient project development software, availability of ready-made examples, ready-made functional blocks (Ethernet, PID, Modbus, and so on), ready-made images library, allow quick design of process control diagrams.” They estimate that working with Unitronics all-in-one PLC+HMI controllers enabled them to achieve the same high quality end result at about half the cost of using a Unitronics competitors’ product.