Editors' Picks of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology Innovations
The trend towards automation in the pharmaceutical industry is evident in all aspects of the process, from batch control to inspection and packaging. This month's reviewed products help processors further improve productivity and manage their systems efficiently. A programmable controller from Rockwell Automation has increased processing speeds. A batch manager from Honeywell improves system performance. A vision system from Cognex is designed for simple, high-speed part inspection.
Programmable automation controllers provide integrated motion control
A new programmable automation controller (PAC) from Rockwell Automation gives machine builders a high-performance, compact option for integrated motion control. The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5370 controllers have increased processing speeds to boost system performance and enhance access to real-time information for improved productivity. User memory ranges from 384KB to 3MB, which makes these controllers ideal for applications such as sorting, labeling and packaging, blending, batching, and filling. The series includes three controllers that support integrated motion: L1 for two axes, L2 for up to four axes, and L3 for up to 16 axes. The series has battery-free energy storage, which, along with other design enhancements and technology developments, allows a more compact size than earlier PAC generations. The PACs are used on a standard EtherNet/IP network that offers more communication bandwidth than available to previous CompactLogix controllers. The controllers use the common design and networking environment of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system.
Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5370 programmable automation controller Rockwell Automation www.rockwellautomation.com
Batch manager embedded in the controller increases productivity
Honeywell's new Experion Batch Manager R410 brings batch control closer to the process by embedding it directly within the controller, which improves availability and overall system performance. Batch Manager functions faster, is more reliable, and is easier to maintain than typical server-based solutions. New capabilities include built-in batch summary displays and class-based master recipes, which streamline recipe creation and maintenance. A separate Recipe Builder has the same look and feel as the Experion Control Builder, but is used for the configuration of recipes.
Experion Batch Manager R410 Honeywell www.honeywell.com
Industrial vision system inspects parts at high speeds
Cognex Corporation's new In-Sight 500 industrial, fixed-mount vision system uses a proprietary vision chip technology, Cognex VSoC (Vision System on a Chip), that can process images at up to 500 frames per second (fps) by windowing acquired images. At the full 1024 × 768 pixels of resolution, the system can achieve 100 fps. The fast acquisition speed can be used for applications requiring simple inspections in the medical device, packaging, and pharmaceutical industries.
In-Sight 500 Cognex www.cognex.com