By Ivo Backx, manager of business and project development for the pharmaceutical industry, Siemens
Integration is a challenge for the industry. Many equipment manufacturers have only one piece of the jigsaw but for continuous manufacturing you need to have all the pieces not just fitting together but talking to each other.
Equipment manufacturers sometimes focus on only one aspect of the process. They might, for example, have a solution for continuous coating or for tablet pressing, but they don’t design it in a way that integrates with the equipment that precedes it and the one that comes next in the line. They depend on the HMI to operate and control the single-unit operation, independent from predecessor or successor equipment in a continuous manufacturing line topology.
The separate devices need to be integrated and the interdependencies and data flows between them needs to be understood and controlled.