Modular production: realize potentials with zenon

When great things are made using small parts – the potential of modular production

The rising demand for individual solutions and small batches is leading to increasingly shorter product and innovation cycles. This is a challenge facing the pharmaceutical industry and process manufacturing in particular. Conventionally structured process plants in the fields of chemistry, food, cosmetics and pharma are usually not flexible enough. They cannot efficiently manage the introduction of new products or changes to production quantities. Digitalization and modularization offer solutions to these challenges as they simplify the process. Modular production allows the overall task to be subdivided into small parts. In contrast to previous monolithic approaches, the production process is divided into individual services and standardized. Logical interconnection enables the individual modules to be connected in multiple different ways, a.k.a. plug & produce. The result is a high-performance solution for agile production that not only offers advantages for the pharmaceutical industry and process manufacturing, but will revolutionize production in many industries.


Cross-industry advantages of modular production

High innovative capacity

Modularization reduces the investment risk associated with market entry as the production capacity can be adapted to the market, thus ensuring greater competitiveness.


Reduction of production costs by 40 %*

The efficient set-up of modular plants reduces the conversion/initialization costs of a production plant. The reduced production costs make themselves felt especially when producing small batches.


50%* faster time to market

The time to market is significantly shorter in modular production as the majority of engineering takes place using prefabricated modules. These can be integrated into the process control system with minimal outlay. Scaling from the laboratory to production phase is also made much easier, thus reducing overall product development time.


Maximum flexibility

The flexibility of plant use increases considerably thanks to modularization because modular units can be re-used or easily substituted without any further outlay for engineering. The freedom from being tied into machines from particular manufacturers that zenon delivers increases flexibility still further.



Module Type Package – a paradigm shift in production

The basic requirement for consistent modularization in production is a uniform description of the information about the individual modules. Which data objects are recorded? Which services are to be executed? The description is completed in a uniform manner via the cross-industry and manufacturer independent standard “MTP” (Module Type Package). All information is provided in a standardized format, facilitating integration into a superordinate Process Orchestration Layer (zenon POL). zenon POL and the zenon Engineering Studio interlock in a fully automated manner here. All work steps are thus automated in the Engineering Studio and transferred to the Service Engine via the POL, resulting in a fully automatically generated process control system (DCS) in just a few steps.



The majority of engineering already incorporates modular engineering. Subsequently, the integration of fully automated modules into the process control system involves far less outlay for engineering. Older existing plants can be made MTP-compatible and integrated into the POL without excess programming outlay using the integrated zenon Soft Logic.


As an idea, MTP can be compared with a printer driver. The printer (a subsystem) is connected to a central computer independent of the manufacturer. The aim is to make connecting the device as simple as possible to enable it to be used without delay. The computer can easily access the services “print” or “scan”. Similarly, the POL detects the available services of the individual modules via MTPS and can access them directly. “Plug and print” becomes “plug and produce” in factory automation and process engineering – after all, digitalization can be easy even on a larger scale!


All MTP-capable modules and their statuses can be managed via zenon Process Equipment Assembly (PEA). This provides an overview of the modules currently integrated into a POL and which are available for use.



MTP – modular production with zenon by COPA-DATA

COPA-DATA has been committed to simplifying processes with digital and automation solutions for over 30 years. Today, the technology behind it has a name: MTP. We draw on our extensive experience to continuously advance the zenon software platform. You can rely on us to meet your modular production requirements both now and in the future. When well thought through, modularization via MTP can revolutionize the process manufacturing sector and make it competitive for the future. Get in touch with us today to find out more about zenon.



*Source: ISBN: 978-3-89746-191-2 Modular Plants

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