BGS Sets the Course for “Industry 4.0”
The Beta-Gamma-Service GmbH, headquartered in Wiehl, Germany, and leading service provider for radiation sterilization and radiation crosslinking, now uses the GUS-OS Suite for planning and implementing complex logistical and production technology processes. The radiation specialist hopes that connecting the ERP system directly to the machine control of the electron accelerators used at several locations to generate gamma and beta radiation will lead to a significant reduction in lead times. In line with the vision of the digitalization of production processes, known as “Industry 4.0,” the finished medical technology, pharmaceutical or plastics products to be treated are to be linked to the correct “formula” of radiation type, radiation dose, or exposure time as soon as they are received.
“With the GUS-OS Suite, we associate the expectation of introducing a continuous, digitalized business process in the spirit of Industry 4.0, in which every pallet and every product knows its next destination in the warehouse, in work preparation, in radiation treatment, as well as in outgoing goods,“ explains BGS Managing Director Dr. Andreas Ostrowicki. While a handling system takes the pallets with the customers’ products to the radiation area, which is not accessible to humans, the GUS-OS Suite transfers the necessary formula data to the machine control for the electron accelerators. In this way, the intensity and duration of the radiation treatment can be modified and adjusted to the respective product in milliseconds.
In industry, gamma radiation has long been used to sterilize medical devices and consumables such as bandages, syringes, but also endoprostheses or implants, whereas beta radiation only became established with the availability of powerful electron accelerators. Radiation treatment can play out its advantages over other sterilization methods whenever short residence times in sterilization and residue-free treatment even of demanding product geometries are required. In crosslinking of plastics, a second important application for treatment with gamma and beta rays, long-chain polymers are induced to crosslink, thus giving the plastic additional properties such as heat resistance or stability. In this way, mass-produced plastics are turned into high-quality special materials, such as those required in automotive engineering, mechanical engineering and cabling, for example.
“BGS is an example of the extension of the value chain that we support in the process industry with the GUS-OS Suite,” emphasizes Dirk Bingler, Managing Director of GUS Deutschland GmbH. The GUS Group is a leading provider of business solutions for the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, cosmetics, biotech, medical technology and logistics industries. “The implementation of an Industry 4.0 vision is also a milestone for us, which also underlines the innovative strength of a medium-sized company,” says Dirk Bingler.