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Pharmaceutical Industry

Biotest AG

SAP Connection of a coding and plain text reading system as well as forwarding of fault messages to SAP

The company

Biotest AG, founded in 1946 and headquartered in Dreieich, Germany, is a specialist in innovative hematology and immunology. Around 1,200 employees develop, produce and distribute drugs for the treatment of blood and immune diseases as well as active substances and systems for diagnostics in transfusions and transplantations. In addition, Biotest AG is one of the leading manufacturers of products for monitoring the purity of air and surfaces.

In one of the most modern facilities in Europe, Biotest AG primarily processes human blood plasma into effective and highly pure drugs. These are used in the therapy of life-threatening diseases such as blood coagulation disorders, severe infections or disorders of the immune system.

One of the highest priority research projects is the development of monoclonal antibodies. These biotechnologically produced active substances open up new perspectives in the treatment of rheumatism, blood cancer and other autoimmune diseases.

Task and solution

In the context of the conversion to SAP ERP 6.0, Biotest AG required a gateway to migrate data for the packaging machines from SAP to the existing coding and clear text reading system (CKLS). The program was to simulate the replaced AS/400 database for the existing system. The test and documentation of the software had to be qualified according to qualification standards of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Furthermore, a fault reporting system was required, which records alarms occurring in the entire plant and forwards them to SAP.

As a solution for the data migration to the existing CKLS system, focus developed the program ChariSim. It takes the text files generated by SAP and writes their contents to an interface database. This database is based on Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. ChariSim moves the files directly after the transfer into an archive folder provided for this purpose. The server application of the CKLS takes over the files from the interface database and returns a time stamp and error code to the interface database after takeover. As soon as all records of a file have received a valid return value, ChariSim reports the completed file back to SAP. ChariSim thus simulates the former AS/400 database. This means that the existing CKLS can continue to be used after the changeover to SAP.

The ChariSim gateway is qualified according to FDA qualification standards. The test and the associated documentation were core components of the task and took up a large part of the working time.

The SCADA software Wizcon Supervisor 9.3 as well as the addon WizSAP Connector written by focus for this application were used for the fault alarm system. Alarms occurring throughout the plant are transmitted to Wizcon by a SIMATIC S7-300 series controller. The application forwards the fault message to the SAP system via WizSAP Connector using an RFC (Remote Function Call). The transmitted alarms are then automatically printed out and further instructions for remedying the respective faults are put into effect.

The project in compact

Data transfer from SAP to existing CKLS

  •     connection to SAP ERP 6.0
  •     ChariSim for data transfer to existing CKLS
  •     Microsoft SQL Server 7.0


Annunciator system with SAP connection

  •     SIMATIC S7-300
  •     Wizcon Supervisor 9.3 as control system
  •     WizSAP Connector as interface between Wizcon and SAP