Allpax, a ProMach brand, has introduced a new suite of software applications, including retort supervisory control (AllSet), tamper-resistant data capture (AllLog) and retort and retort room automation machine control (AllView). Allpax customizes this suite of applications to customers’ specifications. Customization lowers the learning curve for customers.
This suite of software solutions provides functionality and flexibility, ease of use, security and operational control versus its previous software suite, and is fully compliant with FDA regulations, including 21 CFR Part 11, states the company. Allpax software engineers invested over two years in the development effort. Allpax collaborated with outside process authorities and manufacturing leaders during the development process to ensure conformance to best industry practices for shelf-stable food sterilization safety, quality, consistency and throughput.
Allpax developed the suite in the Microsoft .NET Framework, a platform for software engineers and programmers. Placing the new applications within the Microsoft .NET environment reportedly ensures longevity and ease of upgrade and future customization. The new suite also implements OPC UA for PLC-level communication, which enables the use of encrypted connections and enhances the security of machine data and interoperability.
Older Allpax retorts can be retrofitted with the new software suite, and Allpax also expects there will be demand for software retrofits on non-Allpax-made retorts due to advanced capabilities. Competitive retorts are being retrofitted with Allpax software annually. The owners of these retorts say their existing software and/or hardware is obsolete and is too difficult or too inflexible to use anymore, Allpax states.
The new AllSet supervisory control software allows customers to designate authorized users, and to create and edit recipes. AllSet users can review batch process data in both tabular and graphical formats. The application generates reports that enable users to review system efficiency as well as assess processes for accuracy and validation.
The new AllLog logging engine captures process data while ensuring tamper resistance. AllLog records data onto the customer’s designated server or onto an Allpax-provided server. AllLog automatically begins capturing data as soon as a process begins and autonomously operates in the background during operations without operator input.
The new AllView application controls and interfaces with the retort and automated batch retort system. AllView was designed to adhere to ISA101 – the international standard for Human-Machine Interface design. The company says interactions with the interface feel modern and in line with current smartphone and computer interfaces. The interface makes it easy to spot operational anomalies, which promotes fast and effective responses. Although the interface has been refreshed and redesigned, layouts and core functionality were kept in place to minimize the need for re-training operators.