One Stop Shop

for production automation

Retrofitting of validation autoclaves

Conversion of a control system. The autoclave is used to sterilise ampules containing pharmaceutical products, and to carry out leak tests.

This order was executed for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in this country. They manufacture all types of drugs for human and veterinary medicine applications.

Since it was becoming increasingly difficult to ensure the operational reliability of the existing installation, and since parts were scarce and the knowledge of the old control systems appeared difficult to maintain, it was decided to equip the two autoclaves with a new Siemens S7-PLC and to replace the operating system with a PC with standard WinCC flexible HMI software.

A new functional description was developed as a basis for the new PLC program through reverse engineering of the existing PLC software and the validation documents available. The old S5-115U CPU was replaced by a S7-400 PLC. Since the size and position of the new PLC were almost identical to the old one, the wiring could be easily changed over. The serial connection to the earlier DOS-PC was replaced by a Profibus cable.
The new PC was a Siemens Panel PC with a Windows XP operating system and WinCC flexible visualisation software. The old printers were replaced with a colour laserjet in an Ethernet network; reporting was developed in Excel, combined with a PDF printer for archiving. The implementation of the various programs was made possible with the help of built-in recipe function.


  • De Roeve offers both the electrical installation, as well as the operating system.
  • De Roeve has been operating in the pharmaceutical sector for many years;
  • De Roeve has experience in developing customised installations and thinks with the client.



    • PLC: Siemens STEP7 CPU412-1
    • HMI: Siemens WinCC Flexible
    • Budget: € 75.000