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Pharmaceutical Application for Medical-Grade Pharmaceutical Production with CIP Station

Automated medical production line with production up to 700 million units per year with more than 25,000 m2 of production space and a solution to accommodate a clean-in-place (CIP) station, which allows the tanks, motors, and valves to be cleaned automatically to remove the need for manual disassembly and external washing equipment.

Automated Medical Application for Pharmaceutical Production with Clean-in-Place (CIP) Station.

The End Users:

A+M (Autocontrol y Maquinaria) is an industrial solutions provider based in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Since 2006, they have operated throughout Central America and Mexico, with an emphasis on advancing the region’s pharmaceutical and food industries.

In 2021, A+M began work on a project with Lamfer Group, a pharmaceutical corporation also located in Guatemala. Lamfer Group has been manufacturing a wide range of medicinal products for over 25 years. They produce up to 700 million units per year with a construction space of more than 25,000 m2.

The Challenge:

The goal was to design an automated solution for Lamfer’s serum line, specifically for a tank-based storage and transfer system. The serum was to be pumped from the preparation area into a storage tank, then later to the main production area. The solution also needed to accommodate a clean-in-place (CIP) station, which would allow the tanks, motors, and valves to be cleaned automatically. This removed the need for manual disassembly and external washing equipment.

Lamfer wanted a simpler way to activate and keep track of their tank processes, as well as programmatic control for the motors, sensors, and other components. To accomplish this, A+M adopted CIMON human-machine interfaces (HMIs) to provide a user interface and CIMON programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to handle the operational logic.

Our Solution:

Two main setups were developed: one for the production area and one for the CIP system. Each station utilizes one Xpanel HMI and one PLC-S CPU. An Ethernet network is used for the PLC-HMI communication. Digital, analog, and resistance-based PLC-S modules are also included to connect with the machines and sensors.

Resistance temperature detector (RTD) modules and the PLC-S’s built-in proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control help to maintain suitable temperatures. A careful combination of heat, timing, turbulence, and chemical solutions is used to perform the CIP operations on an automated schedule. The PLCs manage the filling and draining of the tanks by analyzing data from sensors, then outputting signals to the corresponding mechanisms. This data is also shared with the HMIs for viewing and logging.

The HMI touch screens let users oversee, trigger, and reschedule these processes in real time. Dedicated pages for the tank status, CIP parameters, diagnostic tools, and other information allow operators to monitor the serum with precision and ease. The production and CIP areas are also better able to communicate with each other—thanks to the network connection, data from one location can be viewed on an HMI in a different part of the facility.

The Outcome:

By automating their storage and cleaning workflow, Lamfer Group can better ensure the quality of their serum line, with a lower chance for human error and oversight. Because of the reliability and efficiency of the PLC logic, there is a reduction in operating costs and downtime. Using the on-site HMIs, operators can immediately see when errors occur and take appropriate action. Altogether, the introduction of CIMON products will add value to Lamfer Group’s laboratory for years to come.