Contemporary technology helps Diosna address customer’s local demands alongside safety and automation needs
Leading food and pharmaceutical machinery manufacturer opts for Allen-Bradley GuardLogix PACs, for batch, automation and safety infrastructure
With a 120-year pedigree Diosna has a history of supplying machine-based solutions to the food, bakery, pharmaceutical and chemical industries across the globe – providing them with state-of-the-art production and laboratory plant and equipment.
For the bakery trade the company supplies kneading plants, lifting and discharging stations as well as kneaders and mixers for canteen kitchens, butchers and food production companies.
For the chemical, pharmaceutical and plastics industries it produces standard and specially designed mixers, granulators, dryers (VAC) and vacuum dryers for single-pot processing, fluid-bed batch processing plants, coating plants, mixing and processing plants.
Today it describes itself as a system provider capable of offering its customers complete process solutions, from individual plant planning through to state-of-the-art qualification, with a history of innovations, which have changed the market in the same way that its first kneading machine did many years ago.
Diosna was recently approached by a customer who wanted a Compact Granulator Solution (CGS) for a tablet manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico. Comprising a granulator, a mixer granulator and a fluid-bed drier, the system needed to offer a compact installation, good accessibility and exhibit good containment as well as incorporating a robust safety infrastructure. In this particular instance, the customer specified Allen-Bradley® equipment, not only because Rockwell Automation’s technology was more than capable of handling the task, but also because of its global presence, comprehensive product and service offering and the availability of knowledgeable local support.
Rockwell Automation not only provided hardware in the form of Allen-Bradley GuardLogix PACs, Distributed Safety I/O and PowerFlex 70 drives, but it also delivered significant help from its Customer Support and Maintenance (CSM) division. This included a commercial engineering team, the services of an embedded engineer to oversee the design and tailored training to help the company make the most of its investment.
In the pharmaceutical industry, granulator suites are used to both mix and prepare raw material ingredients prior to final tablet pressing. The multistage process used in this Diosna installation uses the Allen-Bradley GuardLogix PAC to handle the batch control, the process parameter control, all of the automation needed to keep the machine and materials moving and, last but not least, the machines safety infrastructure. It also encompasses the integration of several PowerFlex drives and other and external devices; connected via ethernet.
This is a graphic example of a GuardLogix unit being used as a multidiscipline PAC for discrete, process, drive and safety control. This means that there is only a single software environment needed to realise what is a complex application; helping achieve a reduction in engineering time and effort. Henning Falk, Product Manager, Fluid Bed and Coating Technologies at Diosna explains: “In operation, the granulator suite accepts all of the carefully measured raw materials, comprising the bulk materials and the active ingredients and mixes them thoroughly before transferring them, in a granular form, to a fluid bed drier. The drier is then used to remove the moisture content until the required level is obtained before transferring the material to an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC). Once in the IBC further additives are introduced and a further mixing operation takes place. Once this final mix is completed, the raw material is then passed to the tablet press which creates the final product.
“Throughout the entire process, strict controls have to be maintained at every stage,” he continues, “to help maintain quality, throughput and machine utilisation levels. The GuardLogix PAC controls all elements of the operation: fans, vacuum conveyors and the IBC blender by monitoring multiple parameters including temperature, moisture and throughput.”
“All of our machines are bespoke; created to match the customer’s application requirements, however, we can still re-use blocks of code for standard operations and we have found that programme editing on the Allen-Bradley equipment has been nice and simple; some of the calculations are easier to perform than they are on equipment from some of our other suppliers.”
“Throughout the whole project, we have had a great deal of very useful support from Rockwell Automation – at multiple levels – from design through to help with communications,” Falk concludes. “This was our first project with this particular hardware and software combination and the immediate support we were given has made it much easier to deal with... so much so that I would have no hesitation in specifying Rockwell Automation again.”
Rockwell Automation’s global presence and its extensive experience in the food and pharmaceutical world in general, are becoming more apparent to machine builders in the EMEA region. As export potential grows, so does the machine builder’s need to satisfy the automation requirements of the markets they are exporting to. In many cases, thanks its comprehensive product range, device interoperability, simplicity of installation and programming and international support capability, Rockwell Automation is the first name on many people’s lists.
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