Saudi Arabia's largest pharmaceutical plant receives industrial LAN

26th July 2016
Daisy Stapley-Bunten

Belden has been selected by Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) to provide a network solution for its Al-Qassim Plant, the largest pharmaceutical plant in Saudi Arabia.The plant, which covers 150,000m2, ncluding over 60,000m2, is operated by 500 highly qualified professionals and has earned national quality awards and attained major international certifications.

Working in close cooperation with project leader ZMS Technology from Stuttgart, Germany, Belden needed to integrate all of the plant’s medicine manufacturing machines into a single network, with centralised Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

The Belden network solution is resilient and fully scalable in all directions. It incorporates the latest security features and functions in line with the requirements of the IIoT. Moreover, installation in the demanding clean-room environment of a modern pharmaceutical plant was achieved in record time without disturbing running operations.

A total of 500 IP nodes were installed to communicate with the central MES. This involved installation of most of the panels outside the hygiene area, in locations such as corridors and walkable ceilings. The industrial network was designed and executed to the highest standards, while controlling costs to meet the approved budget. The network, with Hirschmann and Belden components, meets or exceeds the specified real-time control and reliability needs, and it will deliver many years of productive infrastructure use.

“In our industry, reliability is the key. We found that the ZMS/Belden team was very responsive and involved. They made everything crystal clear from the beginning,” said Mansour Al-Rebdi of SPIMACO, who added: “From planning to actual deployment it took approximately 9 months – and in fact, once we completed the planning, everything worked very quickly.”

ZMS Technology’s Shariq Khan said: “After proving that the Belden/Hirschmann Solution total cost of ownership is much lower than any of the other available solutions in the market, the SPIMACO technical team quickly decided in favor of the Belden/Hirschmann Solution.”

He concluded: “Based on our 15 years of field experience in both the European and Middle Eastern markets, we were able to ensure from the very start of the design phase until the final execution that SPIMACO’s investment is well placed for the next decade, especially with regard to Industry 4.0 capabilities.”

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