One of the most important points to bear in mind when considering the initial design of a new production line is to ensure that once the product is packaged it meets all the quality, composition and physicochemical property requirements that we state the product must meet.
The current trend of the market is to produce flexible production lines that allow production of more than one product in the same line whilst meeting the most demanding quality standards to face the current and future challenges.
In this blog we will focus on the prerequisites and points to take into account with the mechanical design , which with a good PLC and MES control systemwill ensure the desired traceability and quality.
From the mechanical point of view we are going to encounter the following difficulties:
- Impurities in raw materials: the initial focus of our process is to ensure there are no impurities in the raw material. Initially we take samples of the material and we will take the whole product through a stage of filtration and impurity detection.
- Conservation de materials: We must ensure that all products maintain the initial properties and do not suffer any deterioration during storage and/or handling. For this it is very important to know if the product has to be stored at room temperature, under controlled humidity conditions, refrigeration chambers at + 5ºC …
We will also take it into account the design of equipment and pipes: include thermal insulation or cooling the system with cold / hot water.
- Bacterial Proliferation:Certain products must be in constant movement to avoid microbiological generation when at rest. To overcome this, installations are designed in the form of a “loop” that maintains the movement of matter from the point of storage to the dosing points, returning continuously. For example: distribution loops of purified water and water for injectables for the pharmaceutical industry or yeast in food.
- Emptying the installation and purifying the product: In the installations design, the delivery of the product to the dosing lines must be optimized and ensure that they are completely empty once the cleaning phase has been completed. This point is achieved by making a 3D design of the pipe route and ensuring that the pipe is always sloping down to the end point. The teams will design and position them so that they remain empty once the process is finished, installing drainage points in all the lower parts of the installation
However, when you want to make a product rush and avoid any type of loss you opt for automatic product recovery systems. These systems consist of passing a ball driven with air or water through the pipes to move all the remaining product to the point of dosing
- Installation cleaning: The installations must be equipped with automatic cleaning systems. A crucial requirement in the data collection of a project is an agreement with the quality and production departments on what type of cleaning is going to be carried out and to answer the following questions:
- Type of cleaning equipment:we must know if the equipment is cleaned manually or if we have to provide necessary accessories such as “cleaning balls” that act as a 360 ° shower to clean deposits.
- Cleaning products: No one knows better than the client which chemicals they need to clean their installations. Examples of products are: hot causic soda, acida, solvents or hot water
- Cleaning schedule:in the design process it is necessary to take into account if the cleaning will take place with the lines stopped or if the system must be able to clean one section while there is production in another.
In this way, a good initial design of the process will help us design a safe, clean installation that optimizes our productivity requirements.Consequently, adding an MES management system, will achieve an installation with maximum traceability and quality that meets all health and food use requirements and regulations..