GEA’s CONDUCTOR 4.0 is the highly advanced, SCADA-based heart of the control system architecture that brings all the smart and robust ConsiGma® processes and technological solutions together in one easily controlled environment

One of the main obstacles on the path to #GoingConti is the popular misconception that the process has to be complex, especially among Tier II manufacturers and those involved in the production of generic oral solid dosage forms. There’s no doubt that the global pharmaceutical manufacturing landscape is evolving as never before. Much of this change is being driven by greater connectivity and Industry 4.0 — the fourth industrial revolution.  

As such, GEA is making it easy to implement continuous manufacturing (CM) solutions and derisk the whole integration process. ConsiGma® 4.0 is ready for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), making it possible to gather and analyze data, resulting in faster, more flexible and more efficient manufacturing processes that produce higher-quality goods at a reduced cost. What’s more, functionalities such as real-time feedback provide a constant flow of data that can subsequently be used for process optimization and product development.  

As Richard Steiner, Global CTC Sales Director, Continuous Technologies, notes: “The links between Industry 4.0, ConsiGma® 4.0 and Conductor 4.0 emphasize the point that continuous processing is the next step in the future of pharma manufacturing. Because of the intrinsic process values of CM, we have real-time feedback of the entire production chain. And, beyond the actual unit operations involved in converting powders to coated tablets, for example, we’re talking about the digitalization of the entire industry. Throughout the whole supply chain, aspects such as real-time release, quality control and process optimization are rapidly becoming fundamental elements in a new business paradigm.”
As an adjunct to this evolution in engineering, applications in the virtual world — such as the IIoT — are also playing a greater role in the everyday activities of both drug manufacturers and equipment suppliers. As such, GEA has already invested considerable time and resources to develop state-of-the-art augmented and virtual reality (VR) applications, and now offers a comprehensive suite of Remote Support tools for planning, testing, installation and service, as well as training, modeling platforms and digital twins. For example, irrespective of the size or scale of your CM implementation strategy, our well-established SCADA-based ConsiGma® Conductor 4.0 control software facilitates the integration and consolidation of independent unit operations.  

“So, even if you’re taking an initial step into the world of continuous manufacturing, purchasing a single unit operation from GEA, for example, you’ll already be on your way into the realm of Industry 4.0,” explains Richard: “Then, as you expand, combine and integrate more elements into your system, we’ll be there to facilitate that process and ensure that your plant and equipment provides the best possible outcomes.” Being IIoT-ready, the ConsiGma® Conductor 4.0 control software facilitates the integration and consolidation of independent unit operations. Plus, our multipurpose ConsiGma® 4.0 platform can be supplied as standalone or modular plant for dedicated unit operations and installed in both new and existing facilities with qualified third-party machinery. “We’ve designed the software to make it as easy as possible to integrate additional elements at a later stage,” he adds.

The decision to adopt ConsiGma® 4.0 goes hand in hand with a company’s willingness to embrace Industry 4.0 to fully benefit from the higher levels of available data, process insight and inline control. Conductor 4.0 interfaces with the automation layers of individual ConsiGma® 4.0 modules, PAT instruments and management systems, Advanced Process Control applications such as Pharma MV, Data historian and MES solutions, all depending on the customer’s IT landscape.

An indispensable part of the ConsiGma® 4.0 portfolio, the Conductor 4.0 control system architecture ensures smooth operation and communication between the different elements of a continuous manufacturing line. 
Richard concludes: “The benefits of advanced technologies, such as process analytics, modularization, digital twins, predictive modelling and data mining, can only be fully realized if the plant is paired with a similarly advanced process control technology. Conductor 4.0 enables you to stay in tune with upstream and downstream processes, gather data in real-time, run faster, more efficient manufacturing processes and produce higher-quality goods at a reduced cost.”

GEA’s mission is to simplify and expedite the process of accessing and implementing continuous manufacturing solutions, no matter what the scale or throughput of your line or facility. And, as ConsiGma® 4.0 is available from standalone bin-2-bin suites to fully integrated production lines, all equipped with the Conductor software, it’s easy to take a step-by-step approach to #goingconti. Even small steps forward are better than standing still.” – Richard Steiner, Global CTC Sales Director, Continuous Technologies at GEA


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