Danish manufacturer of instruments developed for patients’ own daily use of receptor-dined medicine.
The production of instruments and materials for treatment or use of the active ingredients takes place in traditional industrial settings, but of course with extraordinarily high demands for precision and quality. A margin of error of zero is the prerequisite for being able to deliver products that are a matter of life and death for patients. Monitoring and maintenance of the production line is therefore essential for compliance and thus the requirements of GxP
At the start of the project, the digitized monitoring of the production line consisted of several thousand PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), which can best be translated into low tech physical sensors that register everything from pressure and temperature to speed and the lubrication of the gears. These digital devices had been gradually built on top of the production line, and every time a new production link was added or a new measuring point designated, it got its own PLC.
The number of PLCs had thus skyrocketed over the years – resulting in the many thousands – but was not intended as an overall integrated solution, and the data collection could not be scaled. The consequence of this was that data was collected in silos, without the possibility of sharing across, and that it was often delayed or even unavailable.
To create a unified, scalable and transparent solution with the ability to monitor, share and analyze data across the entire production line, KeyCore designed an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) solution with migration to the cloud.
With AWS Greengrass, data from all local PLCs is collected in real time: Depending on needs, between 500 and 3,000 measurement points per second. AWS Greengrass is data-agnostic and can thus handle all data sources. From here, data is sent to AWS Kinesis, which – also agnostic – collects, processes and analyzes data in real time, with the option of, among other things, to send alerts via SMS or email in the event of, for example, system errors, outages or production stops.
An important part of the task was also to make the collected data available across the organization – locally and globally – and thus usable as a decision-making basis. To ensure the optimal dissemination of the collected and analyzed data, a setup with a feed from AWS Kinesis to a local Alteryx setup that feeds directly into Tableau was established, so that everyone in the organization can draw individualized dashboards that minute-to -minut provides a complete overview of relevant, processed data collected across all the production line’s PLCs. As well as integration to the company’s data lake, which enables the combination of data in new ways that have not previously been possible due to siled data storage.
Dealing with the acute challenge; silos, the lack of availability, sharing and the ability to quickly react to system errors, outages, production stoppages, etc. was the immediate benefit of the new AWS IIOT solution.
However, the full potential of the migration to AWS in the cloud is far greater and part of the work that is still ongoing.
With AWS, the solution can be scaled without limit – up as well as down – whereby the desired capacity is always available, but never used more than necessary. With the current setup, it can be scaled up to draw data from up to 10,000 measurement points per second, which means that future-proofing of the monitoring of the production line has been incorporated.
Another need that can be met with the new AWS solution is improved security and optimization of the production line. Through utilization of the many functionalities and tools in AWS Kinesis, the company now has the opportunity to make in-depth analyzes of the historical data, which can partly be used to establish predictive maintenance procedures as well as a gradual automation of the ongoing optimization of the production line. Both parts, of course, with moderating and quality-improving effects and ultimately a significant strengthening of the essential patient safety.