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A modern pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Brazil is using CC-Link open communications to enhance the productivity of its automation systems.

The Mantecorp facility in Rio de Janeiro produces more than 100 million units of products and medication for human use.

With a total area of 300,000m2 and 50,000m2 of industrial facilities, it is one of the most modern plants in Brazil’s pharmaceutical industry.

As part of a modernisation investment, Mantecorp decided to upgrade its facility with a more reliable control system employing Mitsubishi automation controllers and the open technology CC-Link industrial communication network.

This upgrade solved numerous control system and communication problems that were previously encountered with the old system.

The CC-Link communication network is the pathway for system data to the operator control panels and computer screen displays.

The existing CC-Link network consists of one Mitsubishi Q Series master and 10 Mitsubishi FX slave stations.

Each of the FX CPU slave stations has four CC-Link remote I/O racks containing analogue and digital I/O modules connected to the various field sensors and output devices.

The reverse osmosis process within the facility purifies the water used in product manufacturing.

This system is controlled via the CC-Link network and the FX CPU slave stations.

It ensures that the water used on a daily basis is always of the same high quality to guarantee consistent product manufacture and product safety.

Another FX CPU slave station controls the refrigeration within the manufacturing process to maintain proper temperature for producing prescription pharmaceuticals.

This refrigeration control also maintains the proper temperature for storage of certain pharmaceuticals that require colder temperatures after the manufacturing process is complete.

Also connected to the CC-Link network are additional FX CPU stations that closely coordinate to control the environment within the facility.

The first of these manages the adjustable speed drives that control the steam and air handling units.

Another FX CPU station is responsible for maintaining consistent temperature and humidity within the entire facility to provide a comfortable working environment.

This networked station works in conjunction with the energy management control system, operated by additional networked FX CPU stations, to help reduce the operational costs of the facility and control environmental emissions.

Other FX stations control the sterilisation process within the research lab.

This sterilisation process controls the purity of the air for process control within the product manufacturing areas as well as controlling the purity of the air within the lab for new product experimentation and research.

With CC-Link networking, Mantecorp is able to produce prescription pharmaceuticals that require the certification of a Class 10 environmental facility.

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

The CLPA is the organisation of manufacturers of CC-Link compatible products and users of CC-Link technology. The CLPA oversees and manages the CC-Link specifications, provides technical support and conformance testing and promotes the worldwide adoption of the CC-Link open automation network technologies. The CLPA was formed in November 2000. Global adoption of CC-Link is demonstrated by the following:

  • Over 12 million CC-Link devices have been installed
  • There are more than 2,100 members of the CC-Link Partner Association
  • There are more than 1,300 certified CC-Link products available from over 280 manufacturers

CC-Link is acknowledged by third party research to be the leading choice for open automation networks in Asia. By adding CC-Link to their portfolio, companies will be able to access up to 20% of the Asian market not accessible to Western technologies. To assist companies with this, the CLPA offers the “Gateway to Asia” (G2A) programme, G2A provides development and marketing assistance to companies who join the CLPA and develop CC-Link products.

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