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Packaging World     VP/Editor, Pat Reynolds
SPONSOR: Rexroth Bosch Group October 6, 2011 | Edited by Pat Reynolds

Performance-improvement software brings a boost

A leading global pharmaceutical manufacturer continuously leans out its operations by focusing on improving flexibility, reducing product variability and waste, and operating a more cost-effective supply chain.

At the heart of its efforts are DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) principals and a commitment to building continuous improvement on a foundation of timely, accurate information. Among the firm's goals are these:

  • Automate OEE data collection and reporting in formulation and packaging areas
  • Identify root causes for equipment downtime
  • Promote operator involvement in the continuous-improvement process

A key tool used by this company as it seeks to accomplish its goals is TrakSYS, a real-time operations and performance management software from Parsec. TrakSYS was deployed as a central application server with OPC connection over Ethernet LAN to the SCADA system and to Parsec's SENSORTrak data collectors. The SENSORTrak high-speed data collectors, networked via Ethernat LAN, capture raw production data from various production systems, while 25 Parsec EVENTTrak operator interface nodes throughout the facility enable interaction with the systems (for example, view information and reports, enter observations, categorize events, etc.).

There are 70 concurrent Web users engaged across operations and production. Integration with SAP's MII (Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence) package for KPI (Key Performance Indicator) visualization on LCDs on the production floor is also part of the TrakSYS solution architecture. Plant-wide user workstations let a variety of plant personnel view production and performance information via standard browser technology.

The full implementation at this firm's plant included formulation areas of tablet compression and coating machines as well as packaging lines handling blister, bottle, vial, and hand-pack operations. Several functional benefits were quickly realized after deployment of the TrakSYS solution:

  • In the first year OEE on one bottle line was improved by 10%, adding 1 million bottles per year of capacity without additional capital investment.
  • OEE typically improved 10 to 40% on various lines in areas where TrakSYS was deployed.
  • Operators were motivated by being able to view production efficiency in real time and make a noticeable contribution toward improvements during the production process.
  • Plant performance status and reporting in real time was simplified and enhanced.

The TrakSYS implementation, it should be noted, was executed by Applied Control Engineering, a Parsec Certified Partner.

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