E Technologies Group’s Banks Integration, a part of Superior Controls since 2017 and a Rockwell Automation Solution Provider, was hired by AMPAC Fine Chemicals (AFC) to upgrade the process control system of a single-product semiwork facility in Ranchero Cordova, California. During the project, AFC asked Banks to also convert the equipment to a flexible midscale multi-product production facility… with no increase in project budget.
The existing hard-coded control system was built in the 1990s, and was not capable of handling the flexible manufacturing that AFC desired. Banks designed and installed an updated process control system that met the strict FDA regulatory requirements and high level of security required for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and was a cost-effective alternative to a traditional server-based batch solution.
Banks engineers selected the PlantPAx process automation system from Rockwell Automation for the complete control system upgrade. PlantPAx provided a control solution that allowed the flexibility to easily change the manufacturing schedule and produce more than one product on the equipment. Additionally, the use of PlantPAx Logix Batch & Sequence Manager allowed a controller-based solution and saved money by removing the need for costly custom code or additional server infrastructure. FactoryTalk View Site Edition software was chosen so that AFC personnel can configure recipes directly in the controller.
Technology used in the project:
- PlantPAx Logix Batch & Sequence Manager
- FactoryTalk View Site Edition
- EtherNet/IP network
- Allen-Bradley FLEX I/O modules
- Allen-Bradley IntelliCENTER motor control center
- Allen-Bradley PowerFlex VFDs
The new control system has improved the quality, consistency and speed of manufacturing AFC’s APIs by automating processes that were once manual. The new system has reduced reliance on paper-based documentation, which offers additional cost savings. The success and quick ROI of this project has led to AFC pursuing additional upgrade projects with Banks Integration and Rockwell Automation in other plants.
“With the automated batch solution from Rockwell Automation, we’re improving the quality and consistency of our APIs, and avoiding the delays that naturally occur during manual operations,” said Mike Ryan, director of Automated Systems and Calibration, AFC. “The Rockwell Automation solution allows us to meet customer needs more quickly than our competitors, while still staying in full compliance with industry regulations.”
Ryan continued, “We need to align ourselves with leading partner companies in order to be competitive and each project we complete with Banks Integration Group and Rockwell Automation is a perfect example of that strategy.”