Siemens process control system automates modern pilot plant in Austria

 Vienna, Austria. The Zeta Group is a world leader in the development, construction and automation of plants for aseptic (sterile) liquid production processes in the pharmaceutical industry. Zeta supplied the complete automation solution for a pilot plant at the pharmaceutical company Octapharma using a Siemens process control system. No adjustments are required to the automation even when changing formulations due to the integrated formulation control which makes handling significantly easier and saves time.

In the pharmaceutical industry, as in many others, automating processes and the use of process data (extracting smart data from big data) offers huge potential for optimization. Errors can be identified in real time and quickly resolved which benefits both quality and production output. Also, the process knowledge generated in this way flows back into development – and the circle is complete. Specifically, pilot plants, which are used to produce optimized manufacturing processes, have to process formula data at high speed from a variety of sources and in a range of formats and then link it together across the system. The 24 mobile containers on the pilot plant at Octapharma in Vienna are designed with a high degree of flexibility and are controlled by a Siemens Simatic PCS 7 process control system.

 Reliable control of complex batch processes

In the pilot plant, centrally saved process data can be retrieved at any time offline as soon as one of the 24 process tanks is connected to one of the 19 docking stations. The plant recognizes the process tank automatically and transfers data from the process tank to the socket. The process tanks are also connected to the media system, the waste water system, and the cleaning plant via the docking station. Zeta was faced with the challenge of completing the project in a very short implementation time. The company decided to use the Simatic PCS 7 with Simatic Batch to implement the more complex batch processes due to the long-term automation concept. A decisive benefit of the Siemens control system is the time saved by the integrated formulation control which means there is no need to adjust the automation when changing the formulation.