Project name:





Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Biberach an der Riß


In a production plant for bio-pharmaceutical active ingredients, the distributed control system (DCS) Experion PKS from Honeywell was introduced with the recipe system “TotalPlant Batch”. Within this TotalPlant Batch, the user are offered all enabled recipe elements (operations, partial recipes and recipes) in the choice of an executing recipe element. The system does not have any information about the relationship between the partical recipes and recipes to the products as well as the assignment of the executed recipe elements or report data to a flow.

To increase the operational reliability and ease of use as well as the unique assignability of executed recipe elements to the respective flow, a plugin should be developed, which

  • supports the run-oriented production via an easy job preparation
  • makes batches predictable in a calendar
  • automatically loads and executes batches in TotalPlant Batch after schedule
  • can enable a running-related assignment of the report data


Through various user interfaces, any recipe elements like recipes, partial recipes and operations can be combined into a “subset”.

If the recipe elements contain recipe parameters, they can be configured within the subsets. Then it is possible to load a master set or a subset as a package into the batch server. The recipe elements with all relevant detailed data (recipe parameters, version, release, etc.) that are required for the compilation of the sets, will be extracted from the TotalPlant Batch via BatchLoader, where the recipe elements still will be maintained and provided in a selection list.

The master sets and subsets are subject to version control and history.

A scheduler mask, similar to Outlook, enables time scheduling and automation for the sets to be loaded. Each kit can be configured to start automatically on the batch server.

In addition, the batch loader is coupled with the central domain user management by Boehringer Ingelheim and determines through LDAP the group membership, so that only authorized users can gain access.

For each loaded master-/subset, there is a possibility to create and print a report.

As a central repository of the BatchLoader, an Oracle database is used. A Windows service, called “BatchGuard”, synchronizes the recipe elements between the Oracle database and the TotalPlant Batch of the DCS and implements tasks like automated loading or executing of the recipe elements, regardless of whether a user is logged on interactively to the system.

Used tools:

  • VB .NET Visual Studio 2005 with Framework 3.5
  • Semaphore mechanisms
  • Oracle 10g database as central data repository
  • .NET objects (scheduler, grid)
  • Connection through Total Plant Batch Application Programmers Interface from the Honeywell company


  • Can be executed at several stations simultaneously
  • Multi-user capability
  • Secured via semaphor mechanism
  • Assignment/grouping of recipe elements from the recipe system TotalPlant Batch from the Honeywell company
  • Recipe elements will still be maintained and versioned in TotalPlant Batch
  • Recipe parameters are configured in the batch loader
  • Scheduling of production processes (batch) using a calendar
  • Automated starting of batches, even there is no stuff present for work preparation
  • BatchGuard service for managing production orders, synchronization of recipe elements with TotalPlant Batch and implementation of automated operation without the presence of operators
  • Overall view of the batch status (which batches are currently in what batch status)
  • Multiple report options