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Kiara Health – where SCIENCE meets NEED

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Kiara Health – Implementation of a 5 phased control system upgrade

Implementation of a 5 phased control system upgrade incorporating AVEVA Flex in a cloud based infrastructure to assist in driving Kiara Health’s mission to restore, preserve and advance the health of patients, and ultimately to progress African healthcare.


Kiara Health is an African pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare solutions company, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It serves as the local, non-exclusive manufacturing partner for a Global Top 5 pharmaceutical company and as a commercial partner for several global pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

Kiara Health differentiates itself within the highly competitive African healthcare landscape by offering unique healthcare solutions and medical technologies to select high-growth countries to cater to unmet needs. Offerings include robotics, medical devices, and point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, as well as innovator and generic medicines, and over the counter (OTC) products.

Business Challenges

Due to the limitations of its existing legacy monitoring and control infrastructure, Kiara Health required an upgrade strategy.

Specifically, the following problem areas were identified:

  • Multiple independent monitoring systems coupled with aging and inefficient machinery: the multiple vendor applications being utilised for the environmental monitoring and building management systems provided only limited visibility, notification capability, and increased energy usage due to several HVAC systems approaching end of life and intermittently failing motors.
  • Compliance: legacy applications were only compatible with operating systems with completed life cycles, which made it difficult to comply with the mandatory GAMP and CFR21 Part 11 requirements.
  • Communication failures and loss of data: unstable redundancy and store-forward capability was resulting in intermittent data loss.
  • Limited expansion capability with legacy equipment: the current EMS monitoring system had reached capacity resulting in key operational equipment not being monitored, as well as limiting continuous improvement projects since data was not readily available.


Kiara embarked on an upgrade strategy that focused on three major areas:

  • Replace aging field hardware with more efficient equipment.
  • Install a reliable control system to provide an integrated field architecture.
  • Provide a supervisory control and data acquisition with more than just SCADA capability.

All proposed solutions were to meet stringent acceptance criteria set out by Kiara, with emphasis on ‘keeping an eye on the future’.


Kiara, decided on the following to address the requirements for efficiency, reliability, and validation:

  • Efficiency: WEG motors and VSDs would replace aging equipment.
  • Reliability: A control system based on the S7-1500 range of PLC’s, ET200MP/PN and ET200 ECO/PN units.
  • Validation: for the SCADA system, the AVEVA Software Portfolio was investigated, and it was found that it could quickly address the immediate need for IT compliance considering the current capabilities of the sites then owned 2012R2 System Platform installation.

The Kiara engineering team showed great enthusiasm for the deployment of the project. Phases 1 and 2 were implemented during a December shutdown, which laid the backbone to support the subsequent extensions achieved during phases 3, 4 and 5.

Phase 1 – Installation of AVEVA System Platform.
Phase 2 – Exchanging older drives and motors for more energy efficient WEG VSD/motor combinations.
Phase 3 – Visualisation utilising AVEVA OMI.
Phase 4 – Historization of BMS data utilised on AVEVA OMI.
Phase 5 – Implementation of AVEVA Flex Model software architecture capabilities within a cloud environment.


Results of the upgrade

  • Centralised Monitoring System: Room, building, production and notification systems integrated into one centralized AVEVA System Platform.
  • Compliance: Strict installation and operational qualifications, passed by the head of Quality Assurance, ensuring CFR21 Part 11 compliance.
  • Software Lifespan: Implementation of the latest AVEVA Flex Model ensures that software is always up to date, supported and expandable for the foreseeable future.
  • Hardware Lifespan: Installation of the latest Siemens S7-1500 CPUs allows a 10-15 Year CPU lifecycle.
  • Data Loss Reduction: AVEVA System Platforms installation in a cloud environment allows for better disaster recovery capabilities and reduces system downtime previously required during hardware maintenance. Applying AVEVA’s Historian store-forward capabilities in strategic locations has reduced the risk of data loss.
  • Expansion: the AVEVA Flex Model has provided an unlimited licencing model which accelerates expansion capabilities.
  • Data Availability: the AVEVA Flex Model allows an unlimited number of supervisory clients. Used with Intouch Access Anywhere and AVEVA Insight, this allows site personnel to evaluate data on any device at any time.
  • Drive/Motor Efficiency: Replacement of existing HVAC drives and motors with the energy efficient WEG combinations created operational cost savings more than R100 000 per month.

AVEVA System Platform’s ability to seamlessly transition to a cloud-based infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to Kiara Health being the first and only customer on the African continent with a fully scaled server deployed in the Azure Cloud. This is the course of action that most companies are soon to follow, and it is a great accomplishment for Kiara Health, a pharmaceutical company with strict regulatory controls, to have pioneered this venture.

About Kiara Health

Kiara Health (Pty) Ltd is an African pharmaceutical manufacturing and healthcare solutions company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. It serves as the local, non-exclusive manufacturing partner for a Global, Top 5 pharmaceutical company and as a commercial partner for several global pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

About Kiara Health

We never stop innovating

For us, the true value of innovation is in its power to help people and the world. That’s what has inspired our research, development and partnerships for over 200 years.

We’re proud of our history and the sustainable way our business has grown and flourished, to become the leading global consumer hygiene, health and nutrition company it is today.

Together, our future starts here.

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