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Sterile and safe production with SKAN and zenon (Switzerland)
SKAN AG (Switzerland)
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SKAN and zenon – team work including:
- Direct drivers for customer-specific control, e.g. Siemens and Allen‑Bradley
- Connection to OsiSoft PI (MES) or SAP (ERP)
- User administration via Microsoft Active Directory with access from sub-networks
- Extended Trend module for historical data display
- Native Multi-Touch for Windows 8.1
Whether for the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnologies or colleges, special equipment is required in all laboratories and production sites where work is carried out with sensitive or dangerous substances. The basic requirements include cleanrooms and isolators.
Isolators protect with strict physical separation of products and people in both sterile or toxic applications in production, quality control and sterile working as well as for active incredient processing. SKAN AG has been a partner of many well-known corporations since 1968. As an expert in cleanrooms and isolators, it provides many laboratories with special technology. The required control technology and visualization is made to order by an on-site engineering team. For its isolators for filling process equipment, SKAN AG builds on the expertise of Swiss SATOMEC AG and the HMI/SCADA software zenon from COPA-DATA.
As the supplier of many customers, SKAN utilizes the advantages of zenon in order to create a uniform and modern interface as standard, which can then be rapidly and simply adapted to customer-specific requirements.
Two pros in the Pharmaceutical Industry
With zenon, SKAN AG has specifically chosen a software that is on the one hand highly deployable and on the other hand, with its specialized functions, is innately able to fulfill many of the mandatory requirements in the pharmaceutical industry. Heinz Leutwyler, Head of Automation at SKAN AG: "For us, a high level of availability in production and ergonomic and rapid diagnosis is particularly important for the user. Compliance with FDA/GMP guidelines is mandatory. Furthermore, we lay great importance on contemporary usability, for example, through Multi-Touch operation, and visualization that can be handled without much extra coding in complicated language or software from other manufacturers." This is why a high level of importance has been given to user guidance. The clear equipment screens ease orientation and help with fault locating. Important information is prominently displayed. And for necessary entries the rest of the monitor is dimmed and the operator's attention is directed to the element which requires action.
zenon can satisfy these demands very well. The FDA and GMP guidelines are fulfilled out of the box. And when it comes to Multi-Touch, its manufacturer, COPA-DATA, is a pioneer. The user administration could also convince immediately, confirms Elger Gledhill, zenon Sales Manager at SATOMEC AG.
zenon is deployed on isolators for filling process equipment and is responsible for the sensor to the MES connection, such as to Osisoft PI, or to the ERP level, with SAP for example. The audit trail for compliance with FDA and GMP guidelines is simply parameterized with a few mouse clicks. Many predefined functions and modules keep programming efforts for special requirements to a minimum, such as the native integration of Multi-Touch. The shift between languages and measuring units for international use is also achieved in a mouse click. SKAN AG engineers simply define the wording and the measuring units for all required languages. These are tailored in the Runtime with the click of a button, or automatically during log in.
The capability of zenon to connect to the customers' Active Directory offers notable simplicity for the engineering team. It makes the user administration very simple and clear. And especially: the regular license renewal of passwords required by the FDA can be carried out in a sub-network in the zenon Runtime. Perfect for use in the pharmaceutical industry: all operations are logged and listed in the Audit Trail. Should an action require special rights or a signature, this can be easily configured.
SKAN AG is often involved in very heterogeneous environments. Its customers utilize various control systems. Furthermore, the plants differ greatly in size. The systems can range from small equipment with a zenon Runtime to large redundant systems with zenon Supervisor and numerous clients. Easily scalable systems such as zenon are obviously at an advantage. Secure and simple integration is especially important.
SKAN engineers particularly need to be able to equally reliably control Siemens or Allen-Bradley PLCs or a Box PC with Windows 8.1 or a broadband monitor with Multi-Touch from B&R. As zenon can directly control all these systems and many more, the connection, selection and configuration of the corresponding driver is rapidly achieved.
The network configuration of zenon is particularly valued: "Activate the network project properties, enter server. Done." Heinz Leutwyler happily states. He adds: "The competent support by SATOMEC and the quick realization of any additional requirements we had of zenon were implemented in conjunction with COPA-DATA in a professional collaboration."