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Post at 24 Aug 2017

Banks Integration Group implements PlantPAx™ distributed control system for increased flexibility and quality

Background

When afflicted with a headache, stomachache or ache of any kind,taking medicine can often mean the difference between a productive day and miserable hours stuck in bed.

While medications are often an easy fix to common ailments, those pills would be fairly useless without the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) manufactured by companies like AMPAC Fine Chemicals (AFC), a subsidiary of American Pacific Corporation. AFC works with leading pharmaceutical companies to research, develop and manufacture the APIs found in many leading prescription medications that help save lives – and cure our aches.

Based in Rancho Cordova, Calif., AFCs’ manufacturing facilities are designed to meet a wide range of needs. The company typically manages up to 15 development projects at any given time, producing small quantities of APIs for process expansion and trial testing of new drugs.

As those drugs are tested and approved, AFC moves the manufacturing process to a semiwork scale facility. Here, engineers and product development experts can cost-effectively correct process kinks to reduce waste and increase throughput before full-scale production begins.

In fact, the company typically runs multiple full, commercial-scale products simultaneously, generating multiton quantities of APIs that are shipped in bulk to pharmaceutical companies around the globe. These pharmaceutical companies then incorporate the APIs into digestible form.

Challenge
  • To increase its long-term competitiveness, AFC wanted to upgrade its single-product semiworks facility to a midscale production facility capable of producing a variety of products.
Solutions
Results
  • Replaced manual batch process to reduce risk of operator error and production delays
  • Improved accuracy with intelligent motor control for critical pumps and agitators
  • Cost-Effective Solution – Leveraged PlantPAx batch capabilities at no additional cost
  • New Business Opportunities – Increased system flexibility to ease AFC’s introduction of new products