Hi-Tech Product,

Out-of-Date Process?


A pharmaceutical client manufactures a state-of-the-art antibody-screening unit used by blood banks.


The unit, based on column agglutination technology (CAT), consists of a small plastic card with multiple built-in micro tubes.  The CAT unit’s simple and easy-to-use format increases laboratory productivity and safe blood transfusions.


The line that produced this state-of-the-art unit had an out-of-date control and information system.  Each year the client experienced increasing downtime.  Spare parts were expensive and the possibility that parts would become obsolete and unobtainable was very real.


Our client planned their controls and information systems improvements over two years and two phases.  The goal was to have supportable equipment and current components.  In Phase 1, Primary Systems Inc. oversaw the upgrading of the client’s Allen-Bradley PLC/Motion Controllers as well as their HMIs and vision systems.


In Phase 2, PSI upgraded the client’s servos and I/O.


  • The manufacturer no longer supported the client’s seventeen servos.  Breakdowns and downtime negatively affected production yields.  PSI recommended replacing all 17 servo controllers and motors with 13 new Allen-Bradley Kinetix-6500 Servo Systems and new Allen-Bradley Control Logix 1756-L72 PLCs.

  • Allen-Bradley Flex I/O had previously connected to the client’s proprietary network.  PSI upgraded this to Ethernet using adaptor modules that allowed for most of the signal wiring from the I/O to the field devices to “stay put”.

  • The new servos and PLC also communicated over Ethernet, enabling easier setup and troubleshooting.


PSI recommended the Allen-Bradley PLC/Motion Control solutions for three reasons:


  • Ease of communications to the existing Allen-Bradley Flex I/O;

  • Ease of communications and integration between the servos, motion controllers and HMIs

  • Easy availability of spare parts and flexible servicing options for the near future


Finally, PSI prioritized the processing code.  By taking advantage of the increased speed of the new processors, all logic and motion control can now be handled by a single CPU instead of the previous two units.


From a project whose objective was improved integration and serviceability, our client experienced a bonus 8% improvement in yield!


Does your state-of-the-art product have an out-of-date process system?  We are happy to discuss how the state of your control and information systems could impact your yields.