A prepared customer, remote tools, and a dedicated Cytiva service engineer resolve a chromatography system error in time to save a $235 000 sample lot. Service engineer Max Ferri shares a story that highlights our 360-degree approach to service.
Gino Massimiliano Ferri
Global remote service engineer
Yesterday at 3:00 pm I received a telephone call from a biopharma customer whose ÄKTAprocess™ chromatography system stopped during a run because of a massive error in the PROFIBUS™ automation network protocol.
With sample already inside the column, the customer was at risk of losing the whole production lot (at a cost of around $235 000).
It’s a good thing we train customers on equipment — in this case, I had trained the company’s maintenance engineer on the system, so I had a good partner on site who was able to safely act inside the electronic cabinet. Using Cytiva’s OptiRun™ View remote guidance augmented reality tool, we were able to start troubleshooting right away. We found that a faulty power supply had disabled the whole PROFIBUS™ chain (Figs 1 and 2).
Fig 1. Schematic showing the faulty power supply (T3). T3 supplies power to the AS-interface (AS-i) gateway.
Fig 2. The AS-i gateway is the ”brain” of both AS-i and the PROFIBUS™ communication protocol. Because of the faulty T3 power supply, the AS-i gateway was off, triggering a massive PROFIBUS™ error.
A spare part wasn’t available on site, but the customer has a twin instrument that was not in use at the time, so I guided the engineer to remove the power supply and swap it with the faulty one.
By 6:00 pm, the instrument was up and running again, and the customer was able to continue and finalize the method. They emailed the following day to let me know that the sample lot was safe, too.
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