Single-use pharma solutions on digital DCS platform with cyber security in mind


Rockwell Automation will showcase at Achema, Frankfurt, its digital transformation, security and single-use pharma capabilities as well as how it can help provide support at every step of the journey

At this year’s Achema event Rockwell Automation is highlighting why it is the collaborator of choice for companies that need to evolve, modernise, and secure their processing and manufacturing systems to deal with the challenges of rapidly evolving small batch and data-driven operations.

Major highlights on the company’s stand (E27 in Hall 11.1) include established and widely deployed responses to two of industry’s most pressing issues – single-use solutions, cybersecurity and networking.

Single-use solutions in the pharmaceutical industry demand flexible and agile plug-and-play process-control architectures that offer rapid re-configurability and re-programmability.

They must also offer robust data capabilities to address industry-mandated track and trace, and serialisation demands. The Rockwell Automation PlantPAx DCS solution is an ideal solution for pharmaceutical companies facing these demands.

The PlantPAx DCS offers a common digital platform for seamless integration between critical areas, connecting process, discrete power, information and safety control into a single-machine, cell, line or plantwide infrastructure.

What is more, by exploiting EtherNet/IP single-use architectures running on PlantPAx can be quickly and easily reconfigured and rebuilt thanks to its plug-and-play capabilities. At Achema, Rockwell Automation will demonstrate these features in the single-use environment with a bioreactor that will be simulating a typical processing environment.

Cybersecurity is another hot topic that Rockwell Automation will address at Achema. Many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies have faced cyber intrusions and ransomware, which have been difficult to combat due to older solutions that cannot offer the level of security demanded in today’s market.

“What we are seeing,” explained Billy Sisk, life sciences industry Manager EMEA at Rockwell Automation, “is mature solutions that have been developed and certified for the lifecycle of a particular drug. The problem is, these legacy machines often deploy much older control, automation and networking that are not as robust as their contemporary counterparts. As a result, we are seeing a large uptake in the services offered by our networking and security engineers, who are helping companies to audit and redesign their hardware and systems to counter the cyber threats.”

Rockwell Automation will demonstrate its cybersecurity solutions with an industrial data centre on its stand; and will further expand on the issue in the Achema forums 14 June – 10:30-16:00, where it will be presenting discussions and solutions alongside Cisco, Microsoft, Panduit and Clarity.

With far reaching capabilities in the chemical, process and pharmaceutical sectors, Rockwell Automation will demonstrate how its connected enterprise philosophy – underpinned by modular, scalable and totally integrated hardware, software and networking solutions – holds the key to releasing and exploiting the potential of a company’s digital transformation.

The deployment and subsequent security of these digital infrastructures are essential facets of the Pharma 4.0 approach. And with single-use technology becoming the norm, Rockwell Automation believes it is essential that these two approaches work with each other in the most effective way possible.

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Many Achema exhibitors will have solutions for single issues, but very few will be able to offer a fully integrated, scalable, data rich, plug-and-play architecture.