Banks Integration Group, a Superior Controls Company, is featured in the cover story for the February 2018 issue of Control Engineering magazine.  The article is entitled “Biopharmaceutical Company Optimizes Manufacturing Processes with Modern DCS,” and takes an in-depth look at a recently completed distributed control system (DCS) for Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s Foster City, CA campus.  The project was to design, program, and implement the process control system for an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) small-molecule pilot lab to support Gilead’s research and development (R&D) and phase three clinical drug trials.

A virtualized Rockwell Automation PlantPAx modern DCS with production intelligence was selected for its ease of use, scalability, reporting capabilities, and ease of integration with other lab equipment and vendor-supplied control systems.  Banks Integration used the PlantPAx DCS industry-specific library of life sciences process objects to reduce development and verification time with the added benefit of the library modules being vendor verified.  Two host machines onsite run the five thin-client human-machine interfaces (HMI) and historian software.  The platform also contains nine virtual servers which reduce hardware and energy costs as compared to physical servers.

The virtualized DCS meets Gilead’s needs by providing a cost-effective, flexible, streamlined solution enabling Gilead scientists easily compile historian reports and quickly complete batch changeovers.  The new system offers the flexibility to adapt the manufacturing process to produce a wide range of products for research and experimentation.

“Our process chemists were very pleased with the new system’s ease of use,” said Andy Chong, senior automation engineer at Gilead.  “It allows for tighter control of our manufacturing process and has improved visibility at every phase.”

To read the full article, click here.