GE Healthcare to add automated protein separation media production


GE Healthcare's Life Science division in Uppsala, Sweden has placed an order for automation systems to be used in the production of protein separation media. The automation systems are part of the development of a new production plant to meet the increasing demand for separation media based on agarose and dextran.

Worth approximately $4 million, the automation is based on ABB's 800xA Extended Automation system, which provides control and monitoring of tanks and reactors, batch control plus control functions for automatic valves, stirrers and analog measurement signals for the process. The systems also include functions for the assembling and handling process, operational data management with functions for reporting and archiving.

This project will also take advantage of the ABB PCEquipment Library, a generic, reusable software suite for batch applications that distributes the control intelligence throughout the control hierarchy, thus enabling truly generic, pre-tested and re-usable library objects to be provided for units, equipment modules and phases. This makes specification, implementation and configuration of control systems less complex and less time consuming. It enables, in many cases, process engineers to change recipes rather than require configuration engineer specialists for the task.

The systems comprise about 4,000 I/O signals, of which 75% will be handled by ABB's distributed I/O-channel’s S900, which will be mounted in Ex-classified areas along with local operator workplaces.

The order is the third from GE Healthcare in Uppsala to ABB for automation equipment, including a System 800xA for different production purposes. Previous experience with System 800xA and ABB's project handling capability determined the selection of the systems. This also gives GE the flexibility of making it easier for the operators to work with the same operator interface for different plant areas.

The system is scheduled to be in operation in late 2007.

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