Sunday 21/10/2018

Bookmark and Share
 
 
Case Studies
  PandCT RSS Case Studies feed
Keep making the tablets: Industry 4.0 machine predictive maintenance improves pharmaceutical productivity

2 May 2018

Introduction

HARTING recently challenged postgraduate students from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence at Loughborough University to investigate practical application solutions where MICA - the company’s innovative open platform based ruggedised industrial edge computing device - could be applied to the benefit of UK manufacturing. Simple seamless integration within existing established production processes was the target, based on the concept of machine predictive maintenance. The key objective was to achieve immediate productivity improvements and return on investment (RoI), thus satisfying the increasing trend for Integrated Industry 4.0 implementation on the factory floor.

One such proposal was suggested for volume manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry: in particular, those companies manufacturing tablets using automated presses and punch tools.

Data from these machines can be collected using passive UHF RFID “on metal” transponders which can be retrofitted to existing tablet press machines and mounted on the actual press-die/punch tools. The RFID read and write tags can record the pressing process, i.e. the number of operations performed by a particular press die, plus any other critical operating sensor-monitored conditions. The system can then review that data against expected normal end-of-life projected limits set for that die.

Such data can be managed and processed through HARTING’s MICA edge computing device, which can then automatically alert the machine operator that maintenance needs to take place to replace a particular die-set before it creates a catastrophic tool failure condition and breakdown in the production line - which unfortunately is still quite a common occurrence.

Open system software

MICA is easy to use, with a touch-optimised interface for end users and administrators implemented entirely in HTML5 and JavaScript. It provides an open system software environment that allows developers from both the production and IT worlds to quickly implement and customise projects without any special tools. Applications are executed in their own Linux-based containers, which contain all the necessary libraries and drivers. This means that package dependencies and incompatibilities are eliminated. In addition, such containers run in individual “sandboxes” which isolate and secure different applications from one another with their own separate log-in and IP addresses. As a result, there should be no concerns over data security when MICA is allowed access to a higher-level production ERP network.

MICA is already offered with a number of containers such as Java, Python C/C++, OPC-UA, databases and web toolkits, all available on free download via the HARTING web site. As a result, users should be able to download links to the operating software system compatible with an existing machine, enabling full 2-way communication with the MICA device. Relaying such manufacturing information, which can comprise many gigabytes of data in the course of a day, directly to the ERP would normally overwhelm both the network and the ERP. With the MICA, this data stream is buffered directly onto the machine and can be reduced to just essential business-critical data using proven tools from the IT world.

The resultant improvements in productivity include:

• Less downtime reduces the amount of money lost during unforeseen maintenance of damaged punch tools.
• Individual punch identification will help in removing a specific punch, once it has reached its pre-set operational frequency working limit.
• A digital log of each punch and the number of tablets that it has produced is recorded. This provides vital information for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) regulators such as the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) or the FDA (Food & Drug Administration).
A further benefit is that MICA is very compact, with DIN rail mounting fixing options that allow it to be easily accommodated inside a machine’s main control cabinet.

The HARTING Group develops, manufactures and distributes electrical and electronic connectors, network components, pre-assembled system cables, and backplane assemblies. These products are capable of withstanding the harshest demands in industrial environments and provide high data rates for electronic applications.

HARTING connectors and network components are used in mechanical engineering and plant manufacturing, in automation systems, energy generation and distribution, and in electronic and telecommunication markets. Industrial connectors are also vital in construction machinery, rail vehicles and shipbuilding. HARTING offers Ethernet network components and cable systems for both indoor and outdoor networking applications involving power and data.


For more information, please contact:

HARTING Limited
Caswell Road
Brackmills Industrial Estate
Northampton
NN4 7PW
Tel:  +44 (0) 1604 827500
Fax:  +44 (0) 1604 706777
Email: salesUK@HARTING.com
Web:  www.harting.co.uk
PandCT.com are not responsible for the content of submitted or externally produced articles and images.
Click here to email PandCT about any errors or omissions contained within this article.
     
Send this page
To send this page to a colleague or friend,
fill in the email addresses below...
Your email address
Their email address:
Page to be sent: shownews.asp?ID=51032

Company gateway pages
for HARTING Limited:
FREE Information on the products in this article
To request more information from this supplier,
fill in your email address below.
Your email address
 
     
Bookmark and Share
Product categories: Accelerometers | Actuators | Agitators | Analysers | Bearings | Compressors | Controllers | Conveyors | Drives | Enclosures | Flowmeters | Heat Exchangers | Motors | Pumps | Relays | Sensors | Transducers | Transmitters | Valves | Weighing
(c) Copyright 1999-2018 Process and Control Today Ltd  |  Reg. no 3733110  |  Email Editor  |  Email Webmaster  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy