Training and Development Line Project

Overview

A pharmaceutical client found themselves in need of creating a training and development line to train their personnel in the serialization module aspects. This solution had to be designed, installed, and validated to comply with the requirements of the existing lines of the client. Also, the solution has to be integrated with new automation technologies, so that the client personnel can be trained with the new challenges of the industry.

Our Client: Pharmaceutical Industry

Roles

The Challenges

This project proved to be challenging due to the complexity and requirements of a training line cloning an actual process with innovative technologies:

First, the client required printing and inspection of cartons for both Serialized and Non-Serialized product using a laser printer, a manual Pack-by-Layer Aggregation process with an auto focus camera and lastly, a pallet aggregation process utilizing a handheld palletizer scanner. Another requirement, which increased the difficulty level, was to implement the integration of Cognex and Systech Software together, cloning the actual process that does not have this technology.

For the equipment side, the system had to be compact enough to be integrated into the existing space available. The machine needed to have the ability to manage different sizes and materials of the cartons being processed. Maintain a low budget profile since it is a training line but maintaining the quality of the solution. It needed to be derivable to the USA, so the design required it contemplate quick connect integrations (Mechanical and Electrical) for mobility reasons.

Finally, on the software side, the complexity of integrating various software (Systech/Rockwell/Cognex/QuickStep/Bartender), to work as one solution (Poka-yoke design), can be very challenging to design especially for training purposes. It was a puzzle between simplicity and complexity.

Our Solutions

Ultimate Solutions provided two custom electrical/mechanical designs (Carton Print & Inspect station (Automatic Aggregation Module) with a Custom Pack-By-Layer station) in a compact module which were easily incorporated in the existing client facilities with minor modifications made.

Fig. 1 Proposed drawings of the machines

Ultimate Solutions provided two custom electrical/mechanical designs (Carton Print & Inspect station (Automatic Aggregation Module) with a Custom Pack-By-Layer station) in a compact module which were easily incorporated in the existing client facilities with minor modifications made.

As part of our Automation algorithms the system follows the ISA88 standard applied to the packaging industry, which provides better understanding of the state of the machine and easy integration with new equipment for validation purposes. Also, the Integrated Architecture Builder helps us to select the proper Rockwell Automation hardware without over designing.
From a Project Engineering standpoint, they worked on a robust way to implement Systech with Cognex integrating each program to provide a solution with reliability to our client while still retaining a user-friendly interface to provide for a better hand on training experience, as well the documentation from each serialization system.
As guidance (from our Validation Department’s vast experience in Systech serialization systems and Automation systems validation) to our client we provided an FDS/Manual from our equipment specifically designed to comply with the validation processes and SOP’s of the pharma industry. The Automation and Systech documents assisted us with the validation of the machine at the FAT in our facilities.
For us to complete this training & development line project, we designed an execution plan to understand the requirements and help each other between the teams to make sure every aspect of the project was attended to with our characteristic attention to details. Also, our Facilities for Integration and Testing (FITS), which include around 3,000 ft2 for testing, amongst other services such as conference rooms, electrical, and pneumatic utilities provided all the necessary space and tools for developing and testing in-house, reducing the downtime impact on the client production schedule.

TECHNOLOGIES

Software:

  • Design technology: Proposal Works, Integrated Solutions Builder, AutoCAD.
  • Vision Technology: Insight Explorer Spreadsheet version 6.5.
  • Serialization Software: Systech UniSight TIPS v9.2.15.
  • Programming Technology: Studio 5000, version 35.
  • HMI technology: Factory Talk ME, version 14.
  • Printing Technology: ZPL, Quick Step, BarTender
 

Hardware:

  • Rockwell Automation
  • Encoder Company
  • Cognex – In-Sight 7000 series camera (Model 7802)
  • Systech – C350 Single Camera Multi Purpose Inspection
  • Systech – Prosilica GT 6400 AutoFocus Camera
  • Domino Printer
  • Zebra Printer
  • Advantech
  • 3D printing
 

Successful Results For The Client

In total, two custom machines were derivable, one carton print & inspection station (automatic aggregation module) and one custom Pack-By-Layer station which were implemented with existing client facilities and network. Also, a handheld palletizer was included in the solution which completed the requirements of the customer.

In the end, we met all requirements within the established timeframe and were able to deliver a quality product while minimizing costs and meeting the purpose of this training & development line. It was, without doubt, a demonstration of the expertise and the confidence of an Ultimate employee in this industry. Testing the custom solutions locally in our facilities provides advantages to the client because we are able to test thoroughly and deliver an optimized machine to the client so that they can interact with the equipment after receiving the solution onsite as quickly as possible.

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“Everyone. I just came from seeing the lab. What an awesome design! Really, the quality of Ultimate is always represented by its equipment. I’m impressed. I imagined something like what was presented to me in the proposal, but when I went to see the final result, I was left with my jaw dropped. Impressed. This lab has high expectations on our site, so I’m so glad you guys at Ultimate are the ones representing their capabilities. This lab is a showcase for all. So don’t be surprised if other sites start asking for the same thing. A hug.”

– Client Project Manager

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