Batch Automation and Optimization Experience
A case study was presented this year at the Texas A&M Instrumentation Symposium for the Process Industries jointly with our client, Master Chemical Corporation. This paper covered the successful automation of a large quantity of different batch products. Using open systems technologies, the recipes were dynamically retrieved as needed from a secure site out of state. This allowed the corporate research group responsible for the recipes to operate efficiently using their current tools. We in turn interfaced to their system in a manner that required essentially no on going maintenance. The recipes were interpreted, and manufactured without any hard coding of recipe steps.
This approach has proven very successful in operation and allowed the project to be accomplished with absolutely no recipe creation, and all future recipes require no programming or recipe entry. The recipes continue to be created and maintained by the corporate research group as a routine part of their normal function. Similarly, the production batches are set up by operations using their existing ERP software, and each batch is downloaded by the control system dynamically, along with all tracking numbers and batch size, when ready for production. By creative application of automation technologies, no additional support or training requirement were added. Significant benefits were realized in the areas of productivity, quality, and manufacturing agility.
We have also presented papers at a variety of other events, including the World Batch Forum.
Our clients have seen significant improvements in manufacturing agility / flexibility / responsiveness, productivity, and quality / traceability.
- A wide slate of technologies is needed to fit each unique batch process business. Key issues are not just the technical ones, but even more importantly the business needs - including flexibility and maintainability.
- Coherent Technologies Inc. has implemented projects on diverse hardware and software platforms. From the simplest of PLC MMI packages, with our own automation software, to full scale DCS systems with PID / Sequencia / FactoryTalk Batch automation software.
Batch Businesses are Unique
- While the tools and technologies employed are common, each batch processing business is unique. The specific business forces, process economics and technical operations vary greatly.
- Coherent Technologies Inc. can assist by providing a review of your specific batch business to accurately predict the expected economic benefits from an initial automation effort and optimization.