Tuxera Reliance Nitro™ ensures field reliability and data corruption prevention in pharmaceutical machine manufacturing.

Assured data integrity and product longevity

The adage “time is money” rings especially true for the factory automation industry. Manufacturing facilities are controlled environments where every aspect of production must be measured, analyzed, and refined to ensure product quality, safety, and to make the process as efficient as possible. Thus, even the shortest downtime can be extremely costly. A lapse in production can result in scrapped product, the inability to fulfill quotas, and delayed shipments. These very real concerns reinforce the importance of reliability in factory automation machines.

Industria Macchine Automatiche S.p.A. (IMA), a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee, was experiencing data corruption in their machines. As a highly trusted company in the industry, with 41 manufacturing sites and about 5,500 employees worldwide, preventing customers from experiencing these issues was their top priority.

Some of the prototype machines using the FAT-compatible file system, DosFs for Vx-Works, on compact flash media were experiencing data corruption due to unexpected power loss. In the majority of cases, where only application data was affected, machines had to be re-calibrated before restoring them to service. The delays impacted production efficiency, and caused the loss of work-in-progress product. If that wasn’t bad enough, in nearly 10 percent of cases critical system data was also lost because the entire file system became corrupted. System data corruption rendered the prototype machines inoperable and required the implementation of a disaster recovery procedure. The worst-case scenario could leave a machine offline for several days while waiting for the new compact flash required to restore it to operation. The repercussions of a major stoppage in production like this would be catastrophic for a manufacturing facility.

Equipment featured here may not be actual product discussed.

The challenge

Fixing this issue was IMA’s top priority, so they initiated a worldwide search for a file system that fulfilled their requirements. While prevention of data loss and corruption was the number one requirement, IMA also needed a solution that would integrate easily into their VxWorks environment and would also allow simple exchange of data with Windows-based desktop machines. During their search, they looked at several VxWorks-compatible file systems, including HRFS, which did improve reliability but couldn’t meet performance requirements nor exchange data with a Windows-based desktop system. Through an Internet research, IMA learn about Reliance Nitro from us and following an evaluation, determined that Reliance Nitro was the clear choice. Reliance Nitro is specifically designed to be power failsafe and has superior performance. Tuxera’s long-standing technology partnership with Wind River ensures its products work smoothly with VxWorks, and the Reliance Nitro Windows Driver (RNWD) enables file system data to be displayed on desktops using Microsoft Windows.

The results

IMA accomplished all of its goals with Reliance Nitro. To validate that the primary reliability objective was met, IMA ran a reliability test that compared Reliance Nitro and DosFS, and the results were quite telling. Power fail simulations were run every 30 seconds over a period of 48 hours, equaling 5760 tests. Reliance Nitro experienced zero corruptions, while DosFS returned more than 3,000 errors.

“Even one corruption would have been an issue for us,” said IMA Real Time Software Engineer Paolo Tagliapietra. “It would have prevented us from purchasing Reliance Nitro because any corruption of data can severely impact our customers’ production, resulting in loss of product, money and reputation.”

Fortunately, IMA identified the data corruption issues early and implemented Reliance Nitro quickly, leading its customers to experience very few instances of these failures in the field. In the time since IMA began turning to us for support, their machines have not experienced any data corruption due to these issues. Recently, the company upgraded its products to a new version of VxWorks, and Reliance Nitro continues to perform flawlessly. IMA’s favorable experience with Tuxera has prompted recommendations of the Reliance Nitro file system to other top European automation companies.

* This customer success story has been updated October 2, 2020. Datalight was originally mentioned as the software provider in this story. As of 2019, Datalight Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tuxera Inc. Tuxera now owns all of Datalight’s former products, including the ones mentioned in this project. Tuxera is dedicated to providing superior technical know-how in data storage challenges and responsive customer support.

Let us help you achieve your next success!

We’ll help you solve your data storage challenges. Get in touch with us for additional info, pricing, and evaluations.

Contact us