Economies around the world are suffering from the impact of Covid-19, businesses are experiencing losses, workers are without jobs, and many are facing the challenge of a complete disturbance to lead a normal lifestyle. The need of the hour is forcing pharmaceutical industry and companies to take centre stage in the COVID-19 fight. The pandemic has also affected the supply chain for pharmaceutical companies. The pandemic presents a moment of opportunity and challenge. The pharmaceutical majors must ramp up production and develop products that help protect public health and find cures for diseases.
The manufacturing process in the Pharmaceutical industry is a continuous process that supports production for extended periods without interruption. This approach permits 24-hour production cycles with minimal or no interruption. The extended utilization of processing equipment often results in wear and tear, unplanned downtime, low equipment life, and ultimately production loss. Besides, these machines are designed to perform continuous production, where stoppage, malfunctioning, or breakdown of even a single machine can stop the entire plant, resulting in enormous material, production, and quality loss.
The impact of maintenance problems is visible in the following forms:
- Unplanned downtime
Costly downtime is caused by machinery breakdowns and issues tied to setups and necessary tunings of equipment during the production process. Production stoppages occur often due to equipment failures due to improper maintenance or repair. To get it to restart requires calling in service engineers or allowing time for the equipment to warm-up.
- Production rejections and poor product quality
Because of an equipment malfunction or processing error, huge amounts of product can turn out below the accepted quality standards and will be rejected. The rejected product may need to be discarded, scrapped, or recycled. This ultimately leads to an overall decrease in product quality and a less reliable production process.
- Long-term hidden spare costs over time
Continuous investments in replacement parts and repairs bring up unexpected hidden costs. Besides, they interrupt and slow down production, which results in an even lower return on investment into the process.
The best solution to overcome such challenges is to implement machine health monitoring systems throughout plants and factories of Pharmaceutical Industry with sophisticated vibration sensors.
A monitoring solution configured for equipment uptime monitoring allows organizations to know the overall equipment availability and current state of their equipment. The smart sensors are mounted on the equipment and sense the real-time vibration from the equipment. These sensors can detect inputs like vibration, temperature, and noise from the machines.
Vibration analysis is carried out on equipment like rotary drives, agitators, compressors, fans, centrifuges, packing plant equipment, chillers, agitators, blowers, boilers, cooling towers, dryers, and granulators.
Vibration monitoring can detect faults and equipment deterioration before impending failure which enables maintenance engineers to act to protect equipment from failure and optimize spares inventory and costs.
Spectrum analysis is used to measure the various contributing frequencies in vibration data. To determine the condition of the motor the vibration severity is compared with the standard severity table. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrum analysis is used extensively to develop a unique predictive analytics technique for monitoring the condition of the equipment.
The end-users get relevant information on a common dashboard. They get alerts on email/SMS for any violation of the configured alarm limits. They can view reports, FFT spectrum of fault frequencies, and analyses of these FFTs to predict faults in advance.
When data is required to verify compliance, it is readily and instantly available when needed, minimizing production delays, and ensuring work carries on as expected.
Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE), a Make In India, patented edge-computing Vibration monitoring system for predictive analytics and maintenance remotely gathers tri-axial vibrations, noise, and temperature of any mechanical rotating equipment in real-time. It empowers the Maintenance team to monitor the machine uptime, reduce unplanned downtime, and combat impending equipment damage in advance. Moreover, the end-to-end solution with visual indicators ensures maximum machine-availability, decreased inventory of spares and maintenance costs, and complies with the guidelines on safety and physical distancing directed by the Government. Not only does it help reduce maintenance fixed costs at a time where a reduction in costs and manpower is a dire need, but it also enhances social distancing by allowing remote monitoring of a plant without physical intervention.