The pharmaceutical industry discovers and designs, develops, and produces and markets, and sales drugs for use as medications with the aim to cure, vaccinate or alleviate the symptoms. Pharmaceutical drugs are produced under carefully controlled conditions to ensure desirable product quality. All produced pharmaceutical drugs need to be patented and tested under a variety of laws and regulations.
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It is also crucial that pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment complies with good manufacturing practices. Pharmaceutical processing is the process of drug manufacturing and can be broken down into a range of unit operations, such as blending, granulation, milling, coating, tablet pressing, filling, and others. The control architecture used in pharmaceutical plants must be accurate and flexible enough to accommodate continuous varying production demands. The pharmaceutical production processes are typically made a combination of specific units chosen according to the physical and chemical characteristics of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, such as:
- Dry granulation: aggregation of a low-density powder to a bigger granule process consists of a combination of screw feed, aggregation, and a milling system.
- Powder blending: a variety of excipients can be blended together in order to create a solid dosage form using mixing units, reactors, and others.
- High shear and wet granulation: processes used to improve flowability, content uniformity, wettability, or dispensing qualities.
- Fluid bed granulation: top, bottom, and rotary sprays.
- Hot-melt extrusion: Utilized to enable the delivery of drugs with poor solubility and bioavailability.
- Drying: the process used to control the moisture content of powders since this impact on both physical and chemical characteristics of powder and granules.
- Milling: The process uses rotary cutters to remove materials from a workpiece.
- Compression of powder/granules into tablets: produces a solid dose medication.
- Others like: tablet coating, encapsulation, micronization.
Process Control Improvements for Pharmaceutical Plants
In order to improve the operation of pharmaceutical plants base-level PID tuning and optimization is a critical pre-requisite step. Unless base-level PID control loops are well tuned, improvements in high-level operation cannot be seen. Therefore, the first necessary step in the overall process control improvement procedure for pharmaceutical plants is PID tuning and optimization of primary or base-level PID controllers. The benefits of PID tuning and optimization in pharmaceutical plants is the reduction of the oscillation amplitude or increase of the controller action by a factor of 2 or 3. This allows to enable smoother running of the pharmaceutical plants with increased stability in all control loops avoiding unnecessary pharmaceutical plants problems such as: damage and/or to fast wear and tear of the equipment, plant irregular shutdowns or off spec product properties and/or grades.
Many engineers are worried about causing shut-downs and operating problems when tuning PID controllers on equipment in the C plants. Trial-and-error PID tuning methods can be ineffective and even catastrophic since these processes are super-fast and very unforgiving. PiControl Solutions LLC has extensive experience in PID tuning and optimization for PID controllers in the pharmaceutical plants. We understand and know how to tackle with typical PID control loop problems and have customized PID tuning and optimization software tools to help optimize all pharmaceutical plant controllers.
Our unique and novel closed-loop system identification technology makes it possible to tune and optimize base-level PID control loops quickly, efficiently and precisely. With our closed-loop technology we can perform system identification and PID tuning optimization of the following critical base-level PID controllers easily. Moreover, all process and data analysis and PID tuning and optimization work can be easily performed remotely by PiControl Solutions LLC process control engineers.
Our process control solutions will result in the following pharmaceutical plant benefits:
- For batch control, semi-batch control and continuous control we have novel and unique process control architecture that is powerful, flexible and yet extremely simple. We provide both the control platform for implementing sequence control sequences and also provide services for executing batch/semi-batch control projects.
- We can provide a complete PC and PLC-based SCADA system to provide closed-loop control, sequence and continuous control, alarming, alerting, reporting, monitoring, wireless communications, environmental control and data trending/historian.
- We provide software and services for PID tuning optimization to reduce/eliminate oscillations and improve the control quality of the primary control layer. We also provide PID control quality monitoring, reporting and automatic control parameter adjustments. Our proprietary and revolutionary online oscillation detection software alerts the operator of any degraded control quality and provides adaptive control action with automatic control parameter adjustments. Our software has the capability for auto-adaptive control for compensating for process and equipment nonlinearity.
- We have extensity knowledge and experience in control loop monitoring, diagnostics, PID tuning and optimization and sequence and other process control logic safety and efficiency improvement for:
- Batch and semi-batch reactor units
- Thermostat units
- Distillation columns
- Re-humidification units
- Photo-bioreactor units
- Batch drier units
- Batch crystallization units
- Sterilization units
- Fermentation units
PiControl Solutions expects to see a minimum 2 – 10 % improvement in the pharmaceutical plants operation by increasing the efficiency of a pharmaceutical production units, and a 30 to 50 % or more reduction in oscillation amplitudes due to optimized and improved control. The oscillation reduction will enable smoother but faster running of the pharmaceutical plant with increased stability in all control loops.
PiControl is an innovative process control software and services company that offers state of-the art, modern solutions at a lower cost, implemented in shorter time compared to competitors.
PiControl Solutions is the only process control and automation company in the world which can perform any process control project completely remotely. Nowadays, every country uses high speed and reliable internet connection and with a help of medium to high resolution cheap web-cameras or even over widely used remote meeting and screen sharing applications it is possible to do complete design, tuning and optimization, FAT test and start-up of any process control project. Over this low cost online/remote approach huge travel and accommodation costs can be saved and human health and safety can be kept on the high level.
For more information and details, please send us an email: info@PiControlSolutions.com or call the Tel: (832) 495 6436.