System integration for batch crystaliser research


System integration for batch crystaliser research.
Customer: ISPT, the Netherlands. ISPT, an abbreviation of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology, is a so-called top knowledge institute, i.e. an institute where big and small companies, and universities cooperate, and are co-funded by the Dutch government. In 2011 DotX got involved in the ISPT project PH-00-04, titled “Intelligent Observer and Control for Pharmaceutical Batch Crystallization”. The aim of this project (in which 12 companies and knowledge institutes participate), is to develop and test improved batch control. This aim is to be achieved by (1) improving the seeding technique, (2) applying and testing on-line measurement techniques for crystal size distributions and for solution concentration, and (3) applying and testing methods to control crystal growth rate and crystal size. By the end of 2010 a measurement skid had been realised that contains four different on-line measuring sensors and a pump to circulate suspensions of crystals. The skid can be connected to any batch reactor via hoses, see the figure above. DotX has integrated the software and computer systems in a Control platform. This platform allows to perform a wide range of tasks among which reading all measurements on-line, allow on-line trending of any measured variable, and allow researchers to program algorithms of any complexity in their favourite software environment (Matlab), to control the batch sequencing, seeding and coolant during a batch. In essence, the Control platform integrates a multitude of software and hardware products spread over different PCs and PLCs, using three different communication protocols.