"Pharmaceutical clean rooms in the high-tech sectors have strict access control requirements to prevent contamination", explained John Fenske, Director, Product Programs, Johnson Controls." Only staff members who have had proper training can enter. Most use an access control system that integrates access policies and checks credentials." Those who have been in production facilities may also be restricted from accessing clean rooms.
One key feature of access control in pharmaceutical environments is ability to audit access records in detail to comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. Precise control of temperature, humidity, ventilation, pressurization and security is essential. An equally important component is documentation.
Within pharmaceutical assembly lines, cameras check product color, components, shape and size, said Yoran. Digital imagery is used to ensure active ingredients are being pushed through the manufacturing process. Digital images can be used for pattern recognition, such as reading numbers and codes, to ensure correct alignment, scanning code numbers on bottles and pills as well as confirming completeness of finished products.
As for semiconductor facilities, automated systems can be used to look at chips or chip components to ensure that they are aligned correctly within circuitry. Such systems are highly scalable and efficient, and can continually perform repeated tasks.
Analytics algorithms are used at different levels, said Dov Yoran, Partner at MetroSITE Group, while observing that a pass or fail application is a relatively simple one compared with those that check ingredients or product approvals. While the former is a yes or no application, the latter is a qualitative one that requires more complex integration, implementation and maintenance in addition to major software applications.
Yoran examined the process in greater detail: As a product travels along an assembly line, a motion sensor is triggered and a picture taken. The image is then fed to a central processing unit (CPU) that makes sure the product meets a predefined set of specifications. The CPU then sends an accept decision to a sensor, allowing the product to pass onto the next stage, or a reject decision, pushing it off the production line. Automating the process is a cost-effective way to weed out faulty products, saving time and money.
Semiconductor production facilities tend to upgrade security systems in phases, revealed Manish Shah, Vice President of Sales, Verint Systems APAC, because it is not uncommon for semiconductor manufacturers to have a dozen production sites spread over a wide area or in different locations around the world. Budgets for security equipment may be allocated in stages for each site or area within a site by central purchasing departments. Another reason is that production must continue during security upgrades and deploying solutions in stages minimizes possible disruptions.
Similar levels of scrutiny are seen at data centers, which contain customer information and manage transactions. A breach there can result in supply disruptions or damage to reputation.