Automation Emerging in Pharmaceuticals, Biotech

If some automation is good, then more will be better. That's how the nation's drug makers can increase product quality, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent process analytical technology (PAT) guidelines. It's also how automation and control technologies will help Interphex 2005 showcase a record-breaking 1,000 exhibitors in its 26th annual show, April 26-28, at New York'...



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If some automation is good, then more will be better. That's how the nation's drug makers can increase product quality, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent process analytical technology (PAT) guidelines. It's also how automation and control technologies will help Interphex 2005 showcase a record-breaking 1,000 exhibitors in its 26thannual show, April 26-28, at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

More than 55 companies will demonstrate PAT technologies in Interphex 2005's Process Automation and Controls Pavilion, sponsored by Control Engineering (Booth #1825). Organizers report these proven technologies can dramatically increase throughput, reduce errors, and establish science-based standards for manufacturing control. Besides PAT solutions, the pavilion will feature instruments and process controls that can help users meet regulatory requirements, reduce time-to-market, optimize lifecycle operations costs, and achieve manufacturing excellence.

The pavilion is part of Pharma Manufacturing, which is one of Interphex 2005's four main divisions. The other three are Pharma Sourcing and Services, Pharma IT, and the new Pharma Facilities forum. These four concurrent events cover every phase of the drug development and manufacturing cycle.

For example, Pharma Manufacturing also will feature equipment and technologies that enhance manufacturing productivity, including automation and process controls; packaging and processing equipment; tableting/capsule fillers, and validation. Related pavilions include new solutions and sourcing for automation and controls, packaging, RFID Solutions, and Rockwell Automation's new partner pavilion.

Interphex 2005's exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 26 and 27, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 28. The show's conference will be held from 8:45 a.m. on April 26 and 27, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 28. The Pharma Facilities event will open at 9 a.m. each day.

RFID solutions

Radio frequency identification (RFID) may help the pharmaceutical industry save billions of dollars by ensuring product integrity, increasing inventory control accuracy, decreasing dispensing errors, and eventually making drug development and clinical trials more efficient. As a result, the show's RFID Solutions section will provide industry-specific solutions, such as tags, readers, and middleware, as well as partners, who can provide expertise and experience to help potential users benefit from RFID technology. Also, this year's conference program addresses the importance of RFID to the pharmaceutical market, beginning with a general session entitled "Emerging Technologies: RFID in the Pharmaceutical Industry."

Rockwell's partners

This new pavilion by Rockwell Automation (Booth #RP-3) will concentrate automation solutions in one location, and feature complementary products, such as analytical instruments, controls and sensors. This pavilion also features system integrators experienced in the design, implementation, project management and maintenance of industrial control systems.

Exhibitors will include Advanced Micro Controls Inc. (AMCI), American Power Conversion, Belden CDT, Endress+Hauser, Festo, Hardy Instruments, Hoffman, Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Spectrum Controls, S&C Electric, and Tricore AEA.

In-depth education

Besides its exhibits and pavilions, Interphex 2005 will include its application-oriented conference program with more than 100 sessions created to help pharmaceutical and biotechnical professionals gain skills and increase performance. The conference's tracks will parallel the show's four main divisions. Several workshops offer CEUs, accredited by the Institute for Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences, a division of the Center for Professional Advancement. For more information or to register, visit .

Offered free-of-charge to all badge holders, the show's three keynote addresses will include: "Strong Medicine: What's Next for Drug Development?" at 8:45 a.m. on April 26; "Rudy Giuliani: Leadership in Challenging and Uncertain Times" at 8:45 a.m. on April 27; and "Risk-Based Inspections: What's the FDA Looking For?" at 9 a.m. on April 28.

Solutions scintillate

Interphex 2005's more than 1,000 exhibitors will show thousands of innovative and useful products, solutions, and services. Here are a few of the most significant:

GE Fanuc Automation Americas Inc. says its Proficy Plant Applications, Version 4.1, is a major new version of its efficiency, quality, production, and batch-analysis software, which enables managers to gain clear insight into operations to more efficiently manage to peak performance and compliance. Proficy Plant Applications 4.1's new capabilities reportedly reduce overall implementation time with improved ease of use and configuration, enhanced reporting, improved connectivity and extensibility, and more expansive scheduling execution and production tracking. This new version also has advanced analysis and drilldown improvements, making it easier to determine production variation. It also has enhanced security, auditing, 21CFR Part 11, and e-Signature features that identify changes and allow access to the system. Booth #537

Iconics Inc. will exhibit the newest software product in its BizViz V8 Manufacturing Intelligence Suite, PortalWorX V8, which provides a collaborative platform for creating and managing manufacturing and business intelligence portals and visualization dashboards. Built on Microsoft's SharePoint and .Net technologies, PortalWorX enables creation of custom and personalized portals that integrate real-time, historical plant, and business information. Users can log on to multiple HMI/SCADA and business systems, which can increase productivity by providing overall system access. Iconics also will show its BridgeWorX V8, which provides data integration and interface management, but requires no programming. Also built on .Net technology, BridgeWorX provides data mining of virtually any real-time or corporate database by using function block configuration. Booth #2343

Swagelok reports that its 88° and 92° drainable angle fittings provide smooth flow, and help users configure biopharm process systems that are easy to drain and clean. Elbow fittings are manufactured with 88° and 92° bends, while an 88° tee is also available. Consistent tolerances, ovality, angularity, squareness, and polish finishes are ensured through statistical process control. Available in sizes from Booth #1363

Humicap Series HMT330 humidity and temperature transmitters from Vaisala are designed for industrial applications requiring stable measurement and wide customization. HMT330 features a large numerical and graphical display with a multilingual user interface, which allows users to monitor measurement trends, and includes a one-year history. HMT330 series consists of six models covering the humidity measurement from 0 to 100% RH. Depending on the model, HMT330's temperature ranges are between -70 and 180 °C, and pressure ranges between 0 and 100 bar. Booth # 869.

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