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Plug and Produce - the next level towards Pharma 4.0 at GE Healthcare

The new solution of connecting software and equipment in Biotech production reduces engineering efforts especially regarding qualification efforts to satisfy compliance requirements. Engineers save between 40% and 70% of the time spent on integrating systems when compared to existing solutions.

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Today, many solutions for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry are still not or less integrated, requiring high efforts in engineering and synchronization of data between MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and DCS (Distributed Control System). Especially in GMP plants (GMP = Good Manufacturing Practices) this has a crucial influence on time to market, quality and profitability.

Main facts

    Industry   Pharmaceutical and life sciences
    Customer   GE Healthcare
    Country
     Sweden
    Solutions  


    Pilot implementation at GE Healthcare

    The so called “Shop Floor Integration for Life Sciences” is a new addition to the ABB Ability Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) offering. Two pharmaceutical companies are early adopters of ABB’s Shop Floor Integration product. GE Healthcare runs it as a new manufacturing installation and another large company is implementing Shop Floor Integration on an existing plant.

    GE Healthcare’s site in Uppsala, Sweden, is the first in the world to use ABB’s message-based communications system to connect the MES to its DCS (Distributed Control System). The manufacturing site in Uppsala, Sweden, which is one of the world's largest installed capacities for production of chromatographic resins, uses the new approach to integrate the automation and equipment level for the production of a chromatography medium.

    GE Healthcare is one of the first customers to implement the new Plug & Produce solution.

    Digital collaboration in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries

    How message-based communication simplifies data integration between shop floor and production management systems

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    Werum's MES PAS-X with ABB's DCS 800xA

    The new solution was first presented on Werum IT Solution's annual User Group meeting in Lüneburg. Since 1998, it brings together a global network of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing professionals – making it the biggest event of the Pharma MES community worldwide to foster new business opportunities and innovation. 

    The global leading MES PAS-X from Werum has been integrated with the global leading Process Control System 800xA:

    • ABB and Werum have agreed on a long-term roadmap for an aligned offering
    • Customers will benefit from simplified operation
    • Faster Master Batch Record (MBR) creation
    • Joint deployment and validation approach

    The new version of plug & produce solution launched at ACHEMA 2018 is one of the first to offer pharmaceutical companies digital twin modelling to install this interface onto existing machinery. This gives engineers the opportunity to test the running of the line in the digital world before any connection is made in the real world.

    ABB together with Werum has developed a message-based communications system that sends and receives instruction between the MES and the production equipment. This provides regular synchronization between the systems and communicates data such as quality, setpoint and consumption.



    By bringing together both offerings, ABB and Werum IT Solutions are able to deliver full scope engineering and validation solutions according to the GAMP5 guideline, and comply with regulations, such as FDA (21 CFR part 11).

    MES / DCS integration solution for Pharma & Biotech
    Using the new software solution called Shop Floor Integration, engineers save between 40% and 70% of the time spent on integrating systems when compared to existing solutions.

    ABB Ability MOM Shop Floor Integration for Life Sciences

    The solution implemented at GE Healthcare is globally available for sale from November 2017 as part of the Shop Floor Integration Solution for Life Sciences. It provides an integration between Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and 800xA Batch Management, the integrated Batch system of ABB Ability System 800xA. It includes features for automatic parameter assignment and automatic synchronization of 800xA Batch Management recipe procedures and MES.

    The historical route for integration between manufacturing systems was both labor-intensive and multi-staged. ABB has cut down the often lengthy process needed to define OPC tags, define interface handshakes, states and logic and replaced these with a simple, efficient and qualified interface needing just a few steps – defining the message, defining PAS-X and Master Batch Record interaction and steps, and finishing with defining DCS and Batch interactions and steps. This reduces the possibilities for malfunctioning and makes it simpler to program, with less machine-operator interaction during the manufacturing process.

    In contrast to today’s tag-based integration, the new concept is based on OPC UA (Unified Architecture) and the widely used standard for message-based communication MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport). This ensures highest standards of cyber security, data integrity and ruggedness.

    Traditionally process control and equipment in the pharmaceutical production are often isolated in the Operational Technology (OT) from the production control (MES) which is handled by the IT department. The digital factory of the future solution from ABB sees a convergence of the IT and OT systems and departments which will increase the efficiency and flexibility both in greenfield and brownfield sites.



    ABB Ability MOM Shop Floor Integration solution allows automatic parameter assignment and automatic synchronization of 800xA Batch Management recipe procedures and MES. The new version launching at ACHEMA is one of the first to offer pharmaceutical companies digital twin modelling to install this interface onto existing machinery. This gives engineers the opportunity to test the running of the line in the digital world before any connection is made in the real world.

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