Flushing Machine Automation Project

Overview

Ultimate Solutions designed a new Flushing Machine that is able to automate the Wetting and Flushing Process of Cartridge and Capsule filters for a Production Area Cleanroom. This machine helps in the process of preparation for the sterilization of the filters that are going to be used during the filling of serums manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies.

The membrane Filters must be wetted as a preparatory method for integrity testing. All Capsule & Cartridge Filter elements are Integrity Tested 100% to ensure that no defective products are sent to the client; therefore, an appropriate wetting process is required to prepare the membrane for the Integrity Testing Process. After completion of the Wetting Process, units are Autoclaved, and then all Capsule and Cartridge elements are wetted a second time and flushed.

Flushing Machine

Our Client: Biotechnology Industry

Roles

The Challenges

The client has a machine that performs the previously described process as a semi-manual operation. They need to press a button to start the process of getting the filters on the water and wait until a timer stops. This means that the current operation is not accurate. Also, the draining process is a manual operation, they need to open a valve manually and the whole process could take almost 5 minutes. To increase the production output, the client needed an automated process to improve the operation workflow.

Our Solutions

Ultimate Solutions designed a new machine that is able to automate all the described processes. The valves that open and let the water fill the tanks are controlled through the HMI. Additionally, flow meters were included as part of our design to make sure that the water required to pass through the filters is the adequate amount. Our equipment handles recipes for each filter and process providing flexibility and repeatability across the different products. The draining process is also controlled through the HMI, and compared with previous client operation, this procedure time was reduced to 40 seconds. Our machine was designed with light curtains, e-stops, and guards providing a safe working process to the operators. 

TECHNOLOGIES

The equipment has a safety circuit to protect the machine devices and the operator. We used Allen Brandley PLC and HMI to control the machine processes. Also, the machine uses Keyence flow meters to ensure the correct amount of water passing through the filters. Banner temperature and level sensors were part of the control design. As pneumatic control devices, we used Festo brand.

A Self-prime pump with cutting-edge technology was used to have a reliable process. All the machine was built in Stainless Steel to avoid corrosion as the use of water during the process is required.

SUCCESSFUL RESULTS FOR THE CLIENT:

We successfully finished the FAT, Installation, and SAT at the client site.

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