Ensuring accurate pigment dispensing.

20/06/2018

PD Edenhall Ltd is one of the largest independent concrete facing brick manufacturers in Britain. They needed to accurately monitor the quantity of pigment being dispensed into the weigh hopper throughout the manufacture of concrete facing bricks.

Precise pigment dispensing needs to be calculated as inaccurate amounts of pigment can lead to incorrect colour blends, resulting in a loss of sales and profit.

Solution – Accurate DBBSM S-Beam Load Cells and Intuitive4-L Digital Indicator
To monitor the quantity of pigment going into the blend, 3x DBBSM S-beam load cells were connected together to the supports of the pigment weigh hopper.  The DBBSM S-beam load cells checked the load of the pigment weigh hopper throughout the pigment dispensing process and the outputs of the load cells were sent to an Intuitive4 load cell digital indicator.  This enabled the engineers to constantly check the correct amount of pigment was being dispensed into the mix.

“We chose Applied Measurements’ DBBSM s-beam load cells as the pigment is £1000 per tonne so has to be extremely accurate.” Paul Akers, Works Manager at PD Edenhall Ltd told us.

DBBSM S-Beam Load Cells

  • Capacities: 0-1kg up to 0-30,000kg
  • Force & Load Measuring
  • Tension & Compression
  • Output: 2mV/V to 2.7mV/V
  • High Accuracy: <±0.03% Rated Capacity
  • Custom Versions Available
  • Fast and Simple to Install

The DBBSM S-beam load cells were ideal to use in this application as they are extremely accurate of better than ±0.03% of the rated capacity.  Coupled with their dual bending beam design, they guarantee excellent accuracy.  Improved accuracy can be further guaranteed by using our specially designed rod end bearings to help reduce any extraneous forces.

They offer an optional sealing to provide protection in the dusty environment and a robust 4-core polyurethane cable, making them ideal to use in the pigment dispensing machine.

Intuitive4-L Load Cell Digital Indicator

  • 6-Digit LED Display (±199999)
  • Modular Construction
  • Fast & Simple to Setup
  • Ideal for Harsh Environments – Dust Tight IP65 Protection (Once Installed)
  • Superior Accuracy – 10 Point Linearisation
  • Higher Stability – Signal Filtering Adjustment
  • Improved Resolution – 20-bit A/D Converter
  • Compatible with the INT2 Series
  • 10Vdc Load Cell Excitation @ 120mA max.
  • Powers up to 4x 350Ω Load Cells
  • Available in Less Than 1 Week

The Intuitive4-L load cell digital indicator was chosen for this application as superior accuracy was needed due to the high cost of the yellow pigment.  The intuitive4-L boasts a 10 point linearisation guaranteeing outstanding accuracy coupled with a 20-bit A/D converter for high resolution.  High stability is promised with signal filtering adjustment options which reduce the effect of noise or instability of the input signal.  Plus, it benefits from an active filter which reduces the effects of vibration and other external sources of system noise.

The intuitive4-L load cell digital indicator is fast and simple to setup with its single layer menu making the options easier to find.  Dimensions and fittings are entirely compatible with the existing Intuitive2 models making the switch over to this new improved version even easier.

Once installed the intuitive4-L load cell digital indicator has an IP65 dust tight protection rating making it ideal to use in this harsh construction environment.  If that’s not enough we can also provide an optional waterproof front panel cover for that extra level of protection.

The intuitive4-L digital panel meter has a modular construction meaning that PD Edenhall Ltd could configure it to their exact specification saving them money.  Options available include voltage or current analogue outputs, 2 or 4 alarm relays and a serial data output in one of several formats including RS232 ASCII, RS485 ASCII and RS485 ModBus RTU, making this a truly flexible load cell digital indicator.

@AppMeas #PAuto @EdenhallUK
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Compliance – more than just red tape.

03/07/2016

A growing customer demand for regulatory compliance combined with increased competition amongst manufacturers has made SCADA software a minimum requirement for the pharmaceutical industry. Here, Lee Sullivan, Regional Manager at COPA-DATA UK discusses why today, more than ever before, regulatory compliance is crucial for the pharmaceutical industry.

copabatchstdFDA statistics are forcing the industry to identify and implement improvements to its manufacturing processes. In its latest reports (published in Automation World), the FDA identified a significant increase in the number of drug shortages reported globally. With 65% of these drug shortage instances directly caused by issues in product quality, it’s clear that if more pharma manufacturers aimed to meet the criteria outlined in FDA and other industry standards, drug shortages and quality issues would certainly become less frequent.

The compulsion to become compliant obviously differs from company to company and standard to standard but one thing is certain: development starts with batch software. The range and capabilities of batch software vary immensely, but there are three factors to consider before making a choice: flexibility, connectivity and ergonomics.

Flexibility
To assist the complex processes of pharmaceutical manufacturing, batch software needs to be flexible. The software should manage traceability of raw materials through to the finished product and communicate fluently with other equipment in the facility. To ensure it provides a consistent procedure and terminology for batch production, the software should also be in line with the ISA-88 standard.

To meet increasing demand for personalised medication, manufacturers are seeking out batch software that is capable of creating flexible recipes, which are consistently repeatable. Traditional batch control creates one sequence of each process-specific recipe. While this model may be ideal for high volume manufacturing where the recipe does not change, today’s pharmaceutical production requires more flexibility.

To remain competitive, manufacturers need to provide compliance in a quick and cost-effective manner. Modern batch control software ensures flexibility by separating the equipment and recipe control. This allows the operator to make changes in batch recipes without any modifications to the equipment or additional engineering, thus saving the manufacturer time and money.

Connectivity
To avoid complications, manufacturers should choose independent software that supports a wide range of communication protocols. COPA-DATA’s zenon, for example, offers more than 300 high-performance interfaces that function in accordance with the ‘plug-and-play principle’. This makes it easy to implement and the user can start to collect, process and monitor production data straight away.

The communication model of the batch software extends upwards to fully integrate into manufacturing execution systems (MES) and business enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This links the raw material from goods-in through to the finished product at the customer’s site. The strong communication platform includes all layers of a production environment and extends to these systems.

Having no association with specific hardware providers ensures that regardless of the make and age of equipment, the batch software will be fully compatible and integrate seamlessly. Using this high level of connectivity minimises disruptions and quality problems, while also allowing pharmaceutical companies to collect data from the entire factory to archive digital records and ensure compliance across the processing line – allowing manufacturers to establish a fully connected smart factory.

Ergonomics
Lastly, understanding and using batch software should be stress free. As the pharmaceutical industry becomes more complex and more manufacturers begin exploring the realms of smart manufacturing, factory operators should be able to control and change batch production without complications.

By using software fitted with clear parameters and access levels, operators gain the ability to create and validate recipes, monitor the execution of production and review the performance of industrial machinery – without accidently altering or changing existing recipes and data. Reducing the amount of software engineering makes the operator’s life easier and minimises potential problems that could arise.

The benefits of complying with various industry regulations and standards do not stop with an enhanced Quality Management System (QMS). More customers will buy from you because you appear more reliable and your supply chain will see improved production indicators, such as increased OEE, reduced wastage, reduced recalls. On top of all of these benefits, you also improve product and thus patient safety.

To comply with industry standards, pharmaceutical companies should take steps to modernise their manufacturing processes, beginning with upgrading their batch control software. Anything else would be like putting the cart before the horse.

 

@copadata  @COPADATAUK #PAuto #SCADA