Solutions

a product that eliminates bad batches pays for itself: here are three;

all are Electronic Batch Processing's IIoT-enabled solutions.

The perfect batch starts with a desired formulation, one that provides products that have a specifically desired effect.  That formulation is the standard.  

A perfect batch is an exact replica of the standard.   The challenge for the batch manufacturer is to make precisely repeatable batches that match the standard - and achieve this result at the lowest possible cost.  

 

A method that assures strict compliance with the recipe steps is absolutely essential. Deviations - incorrect settings or missing ingredients or processing for the wrong amount of time - will lead to lower quality, off-spec batches, often suitable only for waste.  Methods that reliably enable strict adherence to the recipes can quickly pay for themselves by focusing the factory's time and resources on making perfect batches, and eliminating waste.

But practically, batch quality is a result of three principal factors:  the degree of adherence to the recipe procedures specified by the formulators, as already mentioned; the quality of the ingredients; and the soundness of the electrical and mechanical devices associated with the manufacturing tank.  

All of the Electronic Batch Processing solutions presented here report on aspects of all three.  However, when the ingredients are consistent with those used in the standard; and when the equipment is operating correctly, the burden falls to the controller.  For the automation solution, DART automation, the controller is a PC-operated electronic control system.  For the two non-automated solutions, OmniBatch and SeeBatch the controller is a person, the operator.

DART Automation: the most easily understood solution

The PC-based recipe is precisely duplicated every time the batch is made, guaranteeing success with DART.  Where the factory is prepared to make changes, there is no better, more reliable solution.  There are two principal changes needed:

  • Infrastructure - solenoid valves replace manual valves; variable speed drives replace fixed speed props; embedded thermal probes penetrating tank jacket walls replace portable dip probes ... And then a control system and PC are installed to operate these.

  • Procedure - the role of the operator is restricted to adding ingredients to the tank and to general observation.  That person has much less to do during manufacture and can be assigned to multiple production tanks

 

Lower cost alternatives rely on strategies that promote operator effectiveness. That means that the operator's full, undivided attention is materially encouraged and enabled.  Here's how.

OmniBatch: sophisticated, yet out of your way

A combination of three ANA products - TraKit, the Optical Analyzer, and the Process Variable Analyzer - are integrated into a simple, secure, Cloud-based package. Each of the three products is very easy to operate, and each send data independently to the Cloud, where the files are combined in a highly interactive plot that reports the status of the batch on a minute-by-minute basis over its entire time of manufacture.

OmniBatch is indifferent to the factory's procedures, requiring no change whatsoever to any procedures.  The analyzers are passive, never interfering with any actions taken by the operator or even touching the batch. Algorithms built into the OmniBatch routines enable operator actions to be reported at precise, server-clocked, times and confirm that these were done according to the recipe. Furthermore, the detailed status report generated by OmniBatch is really an end-to-end QA report, as described in the OmniBatch section.

SeeBatch: definitive, but simple and universal 

The name describes the actions.  TripSaver is used to show and record the entire manufacturing process. This method requires absolutely nothing of the factory and is universally applicable to any batch process.  The operator's moves are recorded and can be readily be compared to the recipe to verify that every step in the procedure has been done correctly and on-time.  The operator is now fully accountable.    

 

The broadcast camera is set up in the production area for continuous recording, though select individuals such as the supervisor can view everything at any time they wish.  Acting as viewer while the TripSaver broadcasts, the operator uses a tablet to add   notes, "NowEvents", that sync with every action taken  including the appearance of the operator in the TripSaver field of view to add ingredients.  Since SeeBatch, as OmniBatch, is server-clocked, every action that is reported can be located on the recorded video to confirm that it was done properly and at the correct elapsed time. 

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