Rockwell Automation proposed a configurable and pre-validated base solution, which significantly reduces implementation time. The serialization solution is based on its Rockwell Software® PharmaSuite® MES platform, using a client-server architecture running FactoryTalk® View Site Edison (SE). The Product Management Client (PMC) is designed as a module of the PharmaSuite MES and acts as an operator-interaction screen. Unlike many solutions designed and developed from Tier 1 systems, the Rockwell Automation serialization solution is designed as a Tier 3 specific module. It therefore benefits from the ability to interface with other ERP and MES suites, as well as line controllers and lower-tier machines.
From an automation perspective, the project employs an Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® programmable automation controller (PAC). This is powerful processor that is specified due to the large amounts of serialisation data it needs to store. Should the serialisation server fail, the PAC can run autonomously using the pre-downloaded data. Allen-Bradley CompactLogix™ PACs can also be used if a full batch download is not required. Due to the Logix range’s scalability, very little effort is required to change controllers.
Visualisation and operator interaction is provided by an Allen-Bradley VersaView® industrial computer, Although FactoryTalk View does not normally need a computer equipped HMI, in this instance more functionality was required as was the need to run parts of the PharmaSuite client on screen. The PLC and motion solution can also be controlled from this interface.
For product movement and orientation, the serialisation solution deploys several Allen-Bradley Kinetix® servo drives. These are used to control both the upper and lower belt rotation, the vertical position of the upper belt (to cater for varying box sizes) and the two-axis printer head. Servo delivered accuracy is important to synchronise printing and the application of the tamper evidence solution. This accuracy is coupled to the flexibility need to cater for a variety of box sizes, with simple re-programming or recipe selection via the HMI.