- Difficulty connecting to different systems and the limitation to only connect to basic HVAC systems; there was a need for flexibility in designing and programming
- Connected Components solution – Allows control of temperature, pressure and air flow in each air handling unit (AHU)
- FactoryTalk® software – Centralized SCADA system with FactoryTalk® View SE for HVAC supervisory control; FactoryTalk® Historian & VantagePoint for data collection and reporting to reduce manual works
- Power management system – Monitors the energy consumption in each production cell and helps customers to optimise energy usage
- Increased engineering efficiency – Standardised codes and applications to reduce engineering time and management costs
- Met Standards and compliances – Delivered HVAC system for EU-GMP compliance
Meeting the needs of a complex and changing industry
Established in 2007, Vietnam’s Qui Long Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Technology Co. is a contractor with extensive experience. The company offers consultancy, design, supply, construction and installation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems plus mechanical and engineering works for the life sciences industry, hygiene environments and hospital facilities.
Qui Long prides itself on the delivery of prestigious and high-quality work. However, the needs of clients in the industry are increasingly complex and often subject to stringent regulation. Qui Long has to be at the forefront of helping to meet these changing requirements.
Assessing industry-specific challenges
Qui Long and Rockwell Automation worked together because of the latter’s proven capability in the life sciences industry. Qui Long wanted support from Rockwell Automation to develop connected solutions for its technology that would transform its own internal processes and could also be offered to its customers. The overall objectives were to increase efficiency (including faster time to market), minimise risks and offer a single overview of system status at any time; all while lowering costs.
Qui Long had also seen the limitations of HVAC systems that use conventional Direct Digital Control (DDC) devices and needed to work with Rockwell Automation to develop a solution. DDC controllers are not flexible in terms of design and program, and have limitations including difficulty to connect to different systems and the ability to only connect to basic HVAC systems. In addition, Qui Long was relying on a third party to develop the program and when changes were required, the process was not flexible or swift enough for Qui Long’s needs.
A further challenge was that Qui Long was experiencing trends in the life sciences industry where companies were looking to upgrade to newer and higher standards/compliance (Europe or FDA), which in turn required higher levels of automation control and information systems. The regulatory requirements also extended to data integrity and electronic record keeping, so Qui Long needed solutions that would help it to meet these requirements for end users.
A connected solution that benefits the end user
Following discussions between Rockwell Automation and Qui Long, a set of products and solutions were decided upon. These were easy to use and maintain and allowed Qui Long to develop optimised solutions for end users:
- Allen-Bradley Connected Components Controllers & HMI offer flexible and customisable solutions
- Stratix® switches (5700, 2000)
- Software: FactoryTalk® View Site Edition (SE), FactoryTalk® Viewpoint, FactoryTalk® Historian, FactoryTalk® VantagePoint; including:
- Centralized SCADA system with FactoryTalk® View SE for HVAC supervisory control. The SCADA system easily allows connectivity from machines and utilities
- FactoryTalk® Historian & FactoryTalk® VantagePoint for data collection and reporting to reduce manual works
- Power management system to monitor the energy consumption in each production cell and help customers to optimise energy usage
- Ethernet/IP network that integrates seamlessly with IT solutions
Due to the straightforward and flexible nature of the solutions from Rockwell Automation, Qui Long is able to develop and optimise them for their own customers. For example, the Connected Controllers allow control of temperature, pressure and air flow in each air handling unit (AHU) to link up with chillers and PowerFlex® drives help to improve flexible design and implementation.
With the FactoryTalk® software platform, Qui Long and their end users are able to view the information dashboard and reports for each area, as well as the overall system, enhancing the capabilities of the supervisory and control system. In the control room, operators can easily view the room’s parameters, AHU statuses, chiller working conditions and energy usage as well as any alarms, events or abnormal conditions that may arise – helping them to tackle any irregularities before they become a costly issue. In addition, the connectivity between machines and process equipment is increased, giving rise to an open platform that can easily integrate with other systems.
The software solutions selected by Qui Long have full capability for meeting the needs of the life sciences industry – particularly those compliance and reporting/data collection requirements.
Meeting standards and measuring outcomes
For Qui Long, the benefits they have seen since implementing solutions from Rockwell Automation represent the beginning of their journey to leverage more solutions in order to bring value to the business. The solutions that they have in place will enable them to standardise codes and applications to reduce engineering time and management costs, as well as leveraging the advantages of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture and network.
Qui Long was able to meet industry requirements for technical compliance and enable data collection and produce reports for clients in line with the stringent regulatory standards governing the industry.
Qui Long’s end users have benefited from the new solutions. Not only do their projects have a faster time to market, but the cost of these projects is reduced, as are the risks involved in manual data collection. Integrated systems that are providing seamless data collection and real time information have resulted in better resource utilisation for both customers and Qui Long and allows them to make decisions based on rich diagnostics and both historical and real time data. In addition, their maintenance and spare parts costs have been reduced.
Looking to the future
The project is already yielding results. Since working with Rockwell Automation, Qui Long has become the first local contractor to deploy a HVAC system for a EU-GMP compliance pharma plant. This upgrade to meeting EU-GMP standards and the refreshed offering from Qui Long has created a strong case for future business in this area and Qui Long’s engineers have improved their competencies when it comes to implementing automation and control systems.
Engineers and industry experts from Rockwell Automation are working closely with Qui Long to support their engineering team in building competencies and developing applications in line with best practice. To help to create continued success, Qui Long is investing in HR resources connected with automation; i.e. new team members and specialised training, as well as investing in research and development around new designs for its products.
“For Qui Long, our work with Rockwell Automation is just the beginning of a longer term business relationship that also aligns with the Vietnamese Government’s focus on Industry 4.0 or ‘The Connected Enterprise’,” said Mr Ba Anh Tran, Director of Qui Long.
“This long-term business partnership between our two companies will allow the development, innovation and optimisation of new solutions. It gives Qui Long a compelling value proposition for both existing and new clients in our target industries with the ultimate aim being to lead in providing HVAC solutions for the life sciences industry, combined with cutting-edge automation and information solutions,” he added.