The billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry is known for insisting on the tightest possible security,while solar cell manufacturers use specialized camera technology for production purposes.
Milestone Systems and partner Softex Data have implemented a digital monitoring system for the Central Pharmaceutical Company CEFARM. CEFARM's head office is based in Warsaw, Poland, with offices located in two buildings, and two local branches occupying several facilities as well. This geographical challenge made supervision extremely expensive and not always effective with their previous analog system.
A new solution that was more economical has provided CEFARM the ability to control their security system and the company's business processes: it is a networked digital video surveillance system based on a solution by Softex Data makes use of the already existing surveillance system, additionally equipping it with 17 new network video cameras from Axis Communications.
The CEFARM surveillance solution is based on Milestone software for managing camera images, setting cameras to only record on motion detection, sending alerts, and for real-time browsing of activities. It was implemented together with access control systems for an integrated solution. The new technology ensures consistent, physical area control and time-synchronized images coming from the different cameras, also enabling dynamic analysis or export of evidence from the recorded events.
The company has lowered the cost of managing the security of their physical premises.
All critical places in the company are being monitored, such as the building's main entrance, the gate passageways, the loading and unloading areas, as well as selected administrative offices and storage rooms.
"Digital technology means reliability and durability of recording, with direct access to images from different video cameras at any time and with central management. We have had bad experiences with the analog monitoring system we used for several years, based on VHS video tape recordings. Their durability did not meet the quality guaranteed by the producer. The image quality was not satisfactory, either, so important details could not be seen. With digital recording, images are clear and stable. Image resolution can be individually adjusted for each video camera, too, depending on the image type,"reported Piotr Bronowski, IT Manager at CEFARM.
Pharmaceutical companies adopt Hand Geometry
Organichem Corporation offers a wide range of third-party development and manufacturing capabilities to chemical and pharmaceutical companies. It is a world leader in contract manufacturing of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients. Products manufactured by Organichem include controlled substances, cancer fighting drugs, and diagnostic imaging agents.
Organichem's 23-acre complex near New York's Albany provides a window into the future of the pharmaceutical industry. Most major drug companies no longer handle everything internally. They are increasingly outsourcing research, development, and manufacturing. Large and small pharmaceutical firms rely on companies like Organichem to produce pilot batches of new drugs for testing purposes. If the tests are successful, these third-party firms then manufacture the drugs commercially.
To meet growing demand, Organichem began expanding its production capacity in June 2002 with the construction of a new 20,000-square-foot manufacturing building with four potent compound production suites. Plans are in place and construction has started to expand the building to include 12 more production suites.
The company is teaming up with Johnson Controls to provide precise control of temperature, humidity, ventilation, pressurization, and security in the new building. Johnson Controls has installed a sophisticated security system concurrent with the plant expansion project. The system allows Organichem to limit access to certain parts of the complex until people have met specified training or medical surveillance requirements.
Along with the traditional proximity card readers for access, the system also makes use of biometrics. If a person's hand geometry pattern does not match a list of authorized patterns for a specific space, the system will not allow the person access to that space.
"If we're dealing with a narcotic, very few people will be authorized to work on its production," said J.P. Monteau, Organichem's Director of Engineering, Environmental Safety, and Health. "If you're going into an area where we're making oncologic products, you may need to be medically cleared either by attaining certain medical training or by passing a physical exam."
The system also replaces Organichem's existing security system, which performed traditional building access functions. "We didn't want to have two separate systems one for regular card access and one for limited access," said Monteau. "Now we have it all in one system."
Automatic Inspection & Robot Guidance
Several machine vision applications and systems are being used at a solar cell manufacturing facility. The overall functions of these applications may be divided into automatic inspection and robot guidance. The robot guidance applications utilize FSI FyrEye-5150 Solar Cell Robot Guidance Systems. The nature of the solar cell manufacturing processes is such that the geometries of individual cells are imperfect and complex, even after out-of-tolerance ones have been removed by an earlier inspection. Optimizing their placement in a closely spaced manner into a larger array is thus a mathematically complex process, including the necessity to make tradeoffs between conflicting goals.The output of the algorithm provides the X, Y and Theta translations that are required to place and orient it in the optimized position. The PC architecture of the FyrEye-5150 systems enabled the results to be stored across a network for use by the robot using simple file storage techniques.
The inspection applications utilize FSI's FyrEye-5100 Solar Cell Inspection Systems to provide pass/fail, data acquisition, and grading functionality at various stages of the solar cell manufacturing process. The end user's core objectives for doing the inspections are to provide 100 percent quality, maximize yield, and reduce scrap costs. The latter is significant because the production process entails many high value-added steps, culminating in the wafers becoming a part of a larger assembly. Removal of defective items early in the process prior to adding additional value provides substantial cost savings.
The user's motivations for using automatic vs. manual inspection are cost savings plus increased reliability (quality). The primary cost saving is avoiding the labor costs of four to five shifts for 24/7 staffing of each inspection location. Eliminating defective products which may slip though manual inspection due to operator fatigue, distractions, and boredom provides an additional quality benefit. Finally, this solves the solar cell manufacturing problem of finding near-microscopic defects on a relatively large product, which is very difficult for humans to do reliably at production rates.
Standard machine vision imaging was not up to the challenge of imaging reliably making near-microscopic defects on larger objects available for analysis. The solution uses the FyrEye-5150's options for very high resolution and line-scan imaging of front ends. These types of imaging are used to meet this challenge for stationary and moving inspection cases, respectively. The FyrEye-5150's inherent ability to handle very large images with no special programming or modifications allows images to be easily processed after acquisition.