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  • What is Process & Production Monitoring?
    Process monitors are monitoring devices that observe and protect a machine process. They detect the status of a process based on sensor readings, display this status to the operator, "learn" the profile of the process, and then ensure that the process continues to run as it should. They provide consistency and machine protection. Productivity monitors are monitoring devices that observe a process, counting production and measuring efficiencies. They observe counts of parts or machine cycles, track uptime and downtime, and display this information to an operator. They also record historical information, allowing later analysis to see trends in performance so that corrective actions can be taken.
  • How does it work?
    Our monitors work by observing a machine process, "learning" the correct sensor signal profile for a machine cycle, and then making sure that each following sensor signal profile is identical or nearly identical to the "learned" profile, and that it falls within acceptable control limits. Step 1. Capture Sensor Data The first step in the monitoring process is capturing critical tool performance data or machine data, using sensors. There are many types of sensors, including force, optical, acoustic, motor load, etc. Each application may require the use of different sensors, or multiple installations of one sensor type. Whichever type of sensor is used, the sensor is located to best observe the machine process. As the machine runs, it converts mechanical energy into electrical signals and sends them to the process monitor. Step 2. Process and Filter Data The monitor receives the data about the process from the sensors, and processes it. Before it can analyze the data, it may need to amplify the signal or filter it. It may apply a low-pass or high-pass filter, or use various signal-processing routines like smoothing or clipping, all depending on the application and the signal present. Step 3. Analyze Data After the signal has been conditioned, it can be analyzed. The monitor measures and "learns" the parameters of several "good" cycles. It may measure the peak reading or the area under the curve, or it may calculate an envelope that all cycles must fall within. It may even look for some other special characteristics, like y at x or the median value. When the monitor has learned these parameters, it will store them for reference. Step 4. Continue to Monitor Machine Once the monitor has learned the process, it will continue to observe it. For each sensor signal that is processed, the monitor compares the signal from the sensor to the stored parameters. If they match, the signal is consistent and it passes the test. If the signal profile falls outside of the acceptable parameters and does not match, something has gone wrong in the process. Perhaps a tool broke, a part was missing, or there was a problem with the machine. Whatever the cause, the monitor will display an error message, warn the operator, and stop the machine to prevent further damage. Step 5. Feedback and Data Storage If a sensor signal from the machine cycle has passed or failed, the monitor will alert the operator via warning lights, LED's, or the color of its screen. If there is a failure, the monitor will also display what went wrong, when, and how and where. This data can also be stored for later downloading and analysis. Process Monitors also have relay outputs that can be programmed to control the stop cycle of the machine or other equipment. For example, the relays can "top-stop" a machine or "cycle-stop" a conveyor, as well as control a sorting gates to divert a bad part from the line before it causes more damage, or contaminates a production lot.
  • What are the benefits of Process Monitoring?
    Setup Time Savings IMPAX process monitors can significantly reduce setup and adjustment time for your machines, by letting operators know when a machine is running consistently within established parameters. • Reduce setup time • Reduce man-to-machine ratio • Reduce downtime troubleshooting time Production Savings Process monitors help machines run more productively. They alert operators of any problems so they can be fixed quickly. IMPAX monitors also let you run machines through breaks and ghost shifts. • Increase production time • Increase quality control • Increase machine efficiency • Reduce scrap • Eliminate overruns Machine/Tool Damage Savings Using IMPAX process monitors reduces the wear to machines. Since the monitors stop the machine when a fault is found, problems that could cause damage to tooling or dies are prevented, and bad parts are detected before they pass down the line and cause more problems. Process monitors can also detect gradual wear of tooling, telling you when to replace them so they don't break while running. • Increase tool lifetime • Reduce tool wear • Reduce machine downtime • Eliminate machine smashups Post-Production Savings IMPAX monitors can track production data by shift, by part, and by operator. This means that you will have complete information on orders and parts, and jobs will be ready faster and will have higher quality. • Reduce sorting costs • Reduce order contamination • Reduce customer returns
  • What is Industry 4.0?
    In industry 4.0, production is linked to state-of-the-art information and communication technology. The driving force behind this development is the rapidly increasing digitalization of economy and society. It will have a lasting effect on the way in which industry will produce and work in the future: after steam engines, assembly lines, electronics and IT, intelligent factories, so-called "Smart Factories", will now determine the fourth industrial revolution. Intelligent, digitally networked systems form the technical basis for it. With their help, a largely self-organized production is to be made possible, at least in theory. In Industry 4.0, people, machines, facilities, logistics and products communicate and cooperate directly with each other. Manufacturing and logistics processes between companies are intelligently interlinked to make industrial production even more efficient and flexible. Of course, in many cases this is still utopia. Particularly in the supply industry of serial parts with frequent product changes, special boundary conditions apply. Self-organized production is presumably unrealistic in that case, but the versatile linking of data with reasonable correlations will sustainably improve productivity, quality and profitability.
  • What contribution does MES make to Industry 4.0?
    An MES (Manufacturing Execution System) connects the productive systems in a company and makes their information available online. The intelligent interlocking between human and machine is one of the basic functions of every MES. In addition, MES offers a number of interfaces to other systems that automate data exchange and thus raise data quality to a new level. Interfaces to the ERP system ensure a smooth production process, interfaces to the CAQ system ensure compliance with quality inspection requirements regarding measured values, tolerances and inspection intervals. MES solutions provide an unknown transparency in the industry. Catchwords such as the transparent factory, paperless production and unmanned shifts are no longer illusory wishful thinking, but as actual practice they make a considerable contribution to the topic of Industry 4.0. With the MES software SK-go!® you create the basis for your Industry 4.0 projects. There is still a long way to go to a fully automated production process and it is hardly possible to master it without the proper database. Production, which has usually grown through the years, and the related heterogeneous machinery limit the possibilities of Industry 4.0 to a considerable extent. Today, SK-go!® is able to tap the data from all types of machines, thus ensuring an optimum transparency and a variety of objectively recorded key figures.
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