Early adoption of a modular industrial SCADA for an R & D application 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 laboratory software used for ad hoc experimentation, BME Systems recognized the utility of using PC-based industrial SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software as a more robust and potentially expandable 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 from over 40 continuously operating fermentors and associated instruments from different manufacturers.  Interface to each of the units and instruments is connected to the SCADA software via a middleware gateway that allows supervisory control of feeds and cascades for the units by an external control system connected via and 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. Groups can be configured by the user and 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.


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