Case Study

Pharma Manufacturer Reduces Risk of Losing Ingredients in Climate Controlled Room through Control System Upgrade


The integrity and quality of some ingredients for pharmaceutical products are very reliant on the environmental conditions which they are stored in. Failure of the control system regulating the environment could lead to degraded ingredients, increased costs and lost production time. One of our pharmaceutical clients recently realized they were at a very high risk because their Cold Storage Room control system was obsolete, inadequately documented, unsupportable and failing. They asked Malisko for help to mitigate their risks.


  • Perform on-site audit of the existing legacy system to document the visualization system, operating system, communication links, and control platform components.
  • Design, specify and document the contemporary components suitable to replace the legacy system that would provide the needed functionality, security, robustness and sustainability now and into the future.
  • Configure and off-site test the new system processor, I/O and data network, and SCADA.
  • Provide onside demolition and installation oversight, startup service, training, post-support and record-set system documentation.


  • Greatly reduce the risk of losing key pharmaceutical ingredients due to the failure of the legacy control system of the Cold Storage Room.
  • Increase the maintainability of the Cold Storage Room control system.
  • Upgrade the PLC controller and the SCADA system.
  • Upgrade the unsupportable field I/O network platform from data highway serial communications to ethernet/IP.
  • Create a Cold Storage Room control system that provides better reliability thus maintaining high integrity of the stored ingredients.


Short downtime window for demolition and startup as the Cold Storage Room’s environment needed to stay within a tight temperature and humidity value limits.
  • Perform an on-site audit of the legacy control system including processor, communications platform, SCADA platform, operating system and any failed system and process components.
  • 1756-L55 upgraded to 1756-L71.
  • RSLogix V13 upgraded to V24.
  • Upgraded FTView Studio from V3.2 to latest available.
  • Converted Data Highway I/O network to Ethernet/IP for Remote I/O.
  • Updated FTView development systems and GUI’s.
  • Replaced Windows XP development computer system with a new Windows 10 system.
  • Off-site staged and tested the new system to verify configuration and functionality.
  • Created detailed plan for the on-site demolition, installation, testing and startup of the new system to adhere to the constraint of a short downtime window.

    • Conversion from the ‘old’ to the ‘new’ system achieved within the given downtime window.
    • New system increased productions efficiency due to corrections to the process controls also being made during the upgrade such as various pumps now running in AUTO thus relieving the operators from constantly monitoring system temperatures and humidity saving labor hours and providing consistent environmental control.
    • A better control system meeting the demanding needs for Cold Storage of critical ingredients to the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.
    • No loss of stored ingredients.
    • No interruption to production.
    • New system was fully documented and supportable.

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