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Flexible automated batch exception reporting in drug manufacturing

When you want or need to generate plant information on a regular basis, don’t overlook PI System’s—or any other installed plant historian’s—reporting capabilities because your control system happens to collect and store plant data.

Likewise, unless you like to wait just short of forever for reports to generate, it is best to avoid SQL for time-series data. SQL offers many benefits, but it is not built for this purpose.

The right PI reporting tool

Still, with PI System, you’ll want to pick the right tool for the job. OSIsoft offers a number of reporting options.

For batch exception reporting, something one of our life sciences customers has to generate each quarter for the Food and Drug Administration, the right product was PI DataLink.

While their control system does indeed collect and store data, getting out what they wanted on a regular basis looked difficult. Typically, control system reporting tools are clumsy. Some are not automated. As a result, many people resort to printing out a lot of raw data and wading through it the old-fashioned way; crossing things out, cutting and pasting or transcribing.

These cumbersome steps reduce the ability to detect, diagnose and correct problems that fly beneath control system alarm levels. Either you don’t get the information, get it too late to do anything with it, don’t trust it because it has errors or you just want to stop compiling it because it’s so mind numbing.

The value of collecting data ahead of knowing how you might use it

Our life sciences client couldn’t abandon the effort. The FDA wants its validated batch exception report each quarter. And what the FDA wants, you must deliver. Fortunately, alarm, their exception and batch data was dumping into their PI System.

We installed DataLink and created a query that automatically generates the validated report. They just print it out and send it. They are saving many man-hours. Reports are more accurate. The FDA is appeased.

With DataLink installed, the customer can now use Excel to create any exception report for any period for which they have data. They can see all the exceptions and which one or ones triggered alarms.

The moral? Collect data, even if you aren’t sure how you’re going to use it. Select the right tool to get your reports. And, of course, remember real knowledge is not just data. It is being able to get the right filtered information to people when they can still do something about or with it.

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