Pharmaceutical Specialist F. Hoffmann-La Roche relies on TAPCON® Automation

The major pharmaceutical manufacturer F. Hoffmann-La Roche from Basel, Switzerland, replaced part of its area power supply system last year. As part of this work, three TAPCON® voltage regulators have been installed.

The notable aspect at the F. Hoffmann-La Roche facility is that three transformers run in parallel operation but only two transformers are operated at the same time. One transformer is switched in and one is switched out in a four-week cycle. Thanks to TPLE, an added function module for TAPCON®, this transformer changeover can take place without any interruptions.

La Roche also wanted to redesign the voltage regulation on the Siemens transformers as part of the renovations to its local power supply system. Unlike the previous solution, which housed the intelligence in the control system, the customer wanted an autonomous, automated regulating system. Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) cooperated with Siemens to realize the necessary solution. This application was even outside the norm for our TAPCON® voltage regulator. This was because, while three transformers were to operate in parallel, only two transformers were to be in active operation at a time. During every swapping operation, an active transformer must automatically be named the master in Master-Follower-System. Together with Siemens, the project managers at MR developed a solution that allows the activation and deactivation of the transformers to take place without interruption, and enables the TAPCON® units to control the two "correct" transformers, i.e. the ones currently in operation, at all times. The idea from the electronics specialists was to equip the TAPCON® units with the TPLE* added function module (PLC function). The module allows the controller to detect when the control system initiates the transformer changeover at regular intervals, the changeover operation takes place safely and automatically. For the transformer changeover operation, the control system sends commands to the circuit breakers of the transformers, which change their position. All of the transformers are very briefly in operation before the control system puts one transformer into a non-operating state.  The TAPCON® units query the position of the circuit breakers for the transformers, and thus detect which of the two are currently working and which is not.

The MR specialists were confident that their solution would provide stable operation. F. Hoffmann-La Roche received a demonstration of the functionality in a FAT (factory acceptance test) at Siemens Munich. The overall system was set up and simulated for the FAT in the same way that it would later be commissioned at the customer's location. The new control cabinets produced by Siemens for La Roche were prepared with the installed TAPCON® units. Other equipment that was more difficult to move (such as transformers with motor-drive unit and OLTC) remained in Basel and was incorporated using different simulations. The FAT proved that the solution developed by MR functioned and satisfied the requirements of the major pharmaceutical manufacturer. The implementation of the solution in Basel was resolved quickly and according to plan. The new system has been providing stable operation without any errors for about a year now.

* TAPCON Personal Logic Editor


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