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VIRTUlink™ Optimizes Uptime for TriRX Pharmaceutical Services
TriRX Pharmaceutical Services used the VIRTUlink IoT gateway system and web application to interface with load cells on large-capacity tanks and the iQUBE² digital junction box. This system provides real-time diagnostics to streamline troubleshooting and maintenance.
Publish Date: 08/01/2022
In the pharmaceutical industry, reputation and integrity are critical, and patient safety is at the forefront of every facet of the business. From research and development to manufacturing and packaging, the highest standards of accuracy and quality must be maintained. When TriRX Pharmaceutical Services was searching for new technology to improve their production environment and overall responsive capabilities, they implemented Rice Lake’s VIRTUlink Internet of Things (IoT) gateway system and web application into their everyday processes.
“A quality scale system is essential for the effectiveness of our products and most importantly, the safety for our customers,” explains Christy Pinkerton, TriRx project engineer. “Our industry is regulated by the FDA and DEA, so any opportunity to improve our processes and strengthen our authenticity is always welcomed. We saw an opportunity to leverage VIRTUlink on our 1,000-, 2,000- and 5,000-gallon tanks to see how our load cells were performing in real-time. It turned out to be a game-changer that helped all groups involved.”
If one of the load cells begins to fail, it may produce an out-of-tolerance result for the finished product. This can negatively impact the pharmaceutical’s overall effectiveness and result in lost business or diminished confidence in the company as a whole.
VIRTUlink constantly monitors the health and performance of connected equipment. By connecting to Rice Lake’s iQUBE²® digital diagnostic junction box, the VIRTUlink IoT gateway enables remote diagnostics, automated maintenance alerts and advanced analytics. A junction box brings multiple load cells together so they can function as a single scale.
“VIRTUlink has been very beneficial,” continues Pinkerton. “It has proven itself numerous times, including an event where one port would not register any readings. We determined the ground wires were missing and possibly the nearby electrical outlet had shorted out. Once remedied, the port was back online and we received an automated notification.”
Another occasion involved one of the tank scales providing erratic readings. By remotely checking the alert logs, operators determined the errors occurred during the same time the team was cleaning the tank. They discovered only one load cell was having the issue and suspected a nick in the cable, which was allowing water ingress. After identifying the damage and replacing the cable, the issue was resolved. “We are very impressed with how quickly the system alerts us there is a problem,” Pinkerton concludes. “Our group knew there was an issue before the production group caught it.”
As a quickly growing company, TriRX relies on the best equipment to maintain reliability in the demanding and highly regulated pharmaceutical field. With Rice Lake’s VIRTUlink as a constant and efficient tool, TriRX looks forward to many years of future success in serving customers.
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