About Process and Production Monitoring
Learn: Observe a process and set control limits
Monitor: Ensure process runs within expected limits
Control: Stop the machine if a problem ever occurs
Collect: Record and store process data for analysis
IMPAX 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.
IMPAX 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 It Works
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.
Monitoring your Process
There are many reasons to choose IMPAX monitors. First of all, the monitors can pay for themselves in short order. But more important is Process Technologies Group's philosophy of doing business.
Process Technologies Group is dedicated to solving problems:
- If your application has special monitoring needs, we'll customize our monitors to work for you.
- If your application is brand new to us, we'll do research to see how we can help you monitor it - risk free to you!
Customer support is important to us:
- Our support staff will work with you to customize an installation and training program to meet your needs.
- We have many service options to support your monitors, from site visits to Internet teleservice.
See how monitoring increases profit and productivity: Benefits of Process Monitoring.
See what people are saying about IMPAX monitors: Testimonials.
We're confident that if you choose IMPAX process monitors, you'll be happy you did. Please feel free to contact us for more information, or to schedule a product demonstration at your facility.