By Craig Correia , FESTO
Compressed air is used throughout the pharmaceutical manufacturing facility to actuate valves, manipulate products, or pressurize vessels in processes from API production to secondary packaging equipment and at every process in between. Proper monitoring of compressed airflow and consumption can tell operations personnel much about the health of the system and provide specific and critical diagnostic information before larger problems occur. Monitoring also provides necessary data to ensure that long-term energy costs in the plant do not mysteriously increase.
Most applications or skids used in pharmaceutical production and packaging have an air preparation assembly on the front end to regulate pressure, filter the air to cleanliness levels required by FDA, provide a manual on/off valve, and monitor the system pressure. The pressure sensor in this assembly will alert the control system if there is a pressure drop that will cause actuation components to not perform properly or a pressure spike that can result in component or instrument damage.