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Pharmaceutical and Laboratory Applications –Automating with Unitronics PLC Controllers

Industry - Pharmaceutical, Medical

Durga Automation and Control is a leading distributor and solutions provider of automation products in India. Since the company’s founding in 1979, their mission is to fulfil automation needs by providing cost-effective solutions and world class components that return the best value for financial investment.

When recent clients in the pharmaceutical and laboratory science industries turned to them for control solutions, Durga Automation and Control naturally turned to Unitronics.

Biolyte, a company engaged in the pharmaceutical industry, needed to automate a process—chemical mixing process. Durga provided a Vision 350 advanced programmable logic controller, model V350-J-TA24, with onboard high-speed HSC/shaft-encoder and PT100 thermocouple to do the job. The V350’s integrated 3.5″ color touchscreen provided the HMI interface that the project required.

The V350 regulates the flow of water and chemicals into the mixing tank via an interlocked Flow sensor and shunt unit until the tank is full. The V350 controls the mixing process. Once complete, the V350 empties the tank, and commences the rinsing procedure, which takes 15-20 seconds.

Orchid Scientific produces pharmaceutical equipment. Their current project was to create Individually Ventilated Caging systems for Mice, Rats and Guinea Pigs. Orchid’s IVC systems must ensure high biological safety for laboratory animals and scientists, and comply with standards of compliance for safety, animal welfare and ergonomics.

The system needs to strictly control a number of environmental parameters per cage, including temperature, air flow input, ventilation and humidity via exhaust ports, while providing an operator interface to set analog input and output values.

Durga Automation recommended a Vision Series V700-T20BJ and snap-in I/O V200-18-E2B. In addition to filling all I/O and control requirements, the V700’s high-quality embedded HMI touchscreen and built-in Alarm system enables operators to monitor and respond to any malfunction.

Vijay Enterprises needed to create a dosing unit for injection molding. Here, Durga Automation supplied a Unitronics’ Samba, an excellent, cost-effective solution for small machines that require a graphic HMI touchscreen.

Dosing requires two or more components to be combined and mixed in the right ratio. In this application, the unit draws an exact amount of material from a supply hopper and transfers it to a reservoir or directly into the processing machine.

For this application, a stepper motor was needed to control the metering device with pinpoint accuracy, enabling the dosing of granules, micro-granules or powders.

Stepper control is accomplished via programming, using free VisiLogic, the All-in-One PLC and HMI software for Vision and Samba controllers that is supplied by Unitronics at no additional cost. Via the HMI touchscreen, the operator enters the master batch percentage, shot weight & refill time—the program can then calculate and operate the stepper motor at the correct RPM.

Samba model SM35-J-T20 provided all of the control and HMI requirements for the project.

According to Durga Automation and Control: ‘Unitronics control products deliver excellent functionality at excellent prices—when combined with free software, the price-profit ratio really can’t be beat’.

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