The operation of Freeze Dryers is a ‘black art’ to many people, and so it is perhaps very surprising and a credit to Optimal to have automated perhaps 10 or more Freeze Dryers. It is fair to say that all the systems supplied have to date had a high level of automation and control with Client Server SCADA systems at the front end, however we could use our in-depth knowledge to build control systems using more basic controls if so required. In order to optimise productivity data historians have been used to capture Critical to Quality parameters. These have been used together with Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) systems to ensure the maximum productivity per dryer.
One system in particular is fully automatic in operation and uses a Rockwell based solution with a Control Logix PLC together with RS View and Rockwell’s Plant Metrics for process optimisation. All salient parameters are stored to the historian and trended on the screen as necessary. The system has a comprehensive recipe system and produces batch reports at the end of the production cycle. The system sits on a corporate LAN to enable authorised users access to the data for process optimisation.Opto 22 upgrade