BGS Paves the Way for “Industrie 4.0”
Beta-Gamma-Service GmbH, headquartered in Wiehl, Germany, and a leading irradiation sterilization and crosslinking service provider, uses the GUS-OS Suite to plan and implement complex logistics and production technology processes. The irradiation specialist hopes that connecting the ERP system directly to the machine controls of its electron accelerators – in use at several sites to generate gamma and beta radiation – will bring about a significant reduction in lead times. In keeping with the vision of digitizing production processes known in Germany as “Industrie 4.0,” the finished medical technology, pharmaceutical, or plastics products to be treated are to be connected on receipt of goods with the right “formula” of radiation type, dosage or duration.
“With the GUS-OS Suite we anticipate, entirely in keeping with Industrie 4.0, introducing an end-to-end digitized business process in which every pallet and every product is aware of its next destination in the warehouse, in work processing, in radiation treatment, and in despatching,” says BGS Managing Director Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki. As the pallets with the customers’ products are taken by a handling system to the irradiation area, to which humans have no access, the GUS-OS Suite relays the necessary formula data to machine control for the electron accelerators. In this ways the intensity and duration of irradiation can be modified and adjusted in milliseconds to the product in question.
In industry gamma radiation has long been used to sterilize medical devices and consumables such as bandages, syringes, and endoprostheses or implants, whereas beta radiation only came into its own with the availability of powerful electron accelerators. The advantages of irradiation can always prevail over other sterilization procedures when short residence times in sterilization and residue-free treatment of sophisticated product geometries are essential. In crosslinking of plastics, another important use of gamma and beta irradiation, long-chain polymers are crosslinked to give the plastic additional properties such as heat resistance or stability. This transforms bulk plastics into special materials that are needed in automobile manufacture, mechanical engineering, and cabling.
“BGS is an example of the value chain extension in the process industry that we support with the GUS-OS Suite,” says Dirk Bingler, Managing Director, GUS Deutschland GmbH. The GUS Group is a leading provider of enterprise solutions for the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, cosmetics, biotech and medical technology, and logistics industries. “For us too,” he says, “implementing an Industrie 4.0 vision is a milestone that underscores the innovative strength of a small or midrange enterprise.”