Industrial SCADA for Bioscience

Early Adoption of Industrial Solution Makes Expansion Easy

In the mid 90s a small biotech company needed to record and visualize data coming from its two fermentors.  Instead of implementing limited laboratory software used for ad hoc experimentation, BME Systems recognized the utility of using PC-based industrial SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software.  A robust configuration was developed using the GE Digital platform as a more flexible means for accomplishing the task.  The decision was not easy because the investment was significant for the small company.

Today the same system records over 3000 process value tags in real time 24/7/365 from over 40 continuously operating fermentors as well as from associated instruments of different manufacturers.  Interface to each of the units and instruments is made to the SCADA software via a middleware gateway that allows supervisory control of feeds and cascades for the units by an external control system like National Instruments Labview connected via an OPC tunnel.

The display interface is modular to allow groups of various numbers of units to be viewed for real-time comparison of both process and analytical values. Campaign groups can be configured by the user and then commanded by an always-available drop down box.  Large graphs with preset time periods are a click away for group trends for a given process value or all process values for individual units.

Critical process values alarm according to user preference and setpoints.

The collection of data from multiple instruments of different types provides a central, real-time operational capability that enables large scale experimentation and continual expansion.

Visualization of trend data is important for bioprocesses

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