Process monitoring refers to the technical procedures and methods that evaluate the manufacturing processes of a production facility. Process monitoring is the basis for deciding whether to actively intervene in a manufacturing process. Delphin Technology supports the monitoring of machines, plants and production lines using intelligent, customisable and highly precise measurement and analysis solutions.
Process monitoring is a generic term covering various procedures and methods for controlling and evaluating processes within production and manufacturing.
On the one hand, process monitoring aims to increase operational safety of the machines and systems used and, on the other, to permanently ensure the availability of the entire production process. Continuous process monitoring also enables product quality to be improved. Process monitoring is the basis for deciding whether to intervene in a production process. Fact-based measuring of variables such as temperatures, pressures or vibrations represent the cornerstones of monitoring alongside human awareness and experience. Process monitoring procedures and methods are also partially used in condition monitoring.
In manufacturing and production, the level of plant and machinery utilisation – in addition to processing speed and precision – is of key economic importance.
To achieve maximum productivity, requires production equipment such as machinery and plant components to be operated at their limits. Full monitoring of ongoing manufacturing processes ensures process stability and avoids rejects to achieve high levels of utilisation. It also especially ensures continuous precision production and avoids breakdowns of machines and systems due to wear and tear.
Delphin Technology's ProfiMessage D and Expert devices are ideal for process monitoring. The high-precision data loggers with PLC functions enable recording and monitoring and can operate with any number of channels for digital and analog inputs and outputs. Sensors and actuators for process monitoring can then be connected as required. Interfaces for all common industrial standards (CAN bus, PROFIBUS, ModBus, OPC, etc.) are also available. Alarm databases of the devices can be configured as required and, in the event of a malfunction, automatically send notifications via e-mail, text message or switchable outputs.
Process monitoring is being used in many areas:
- Monitoring in industrial environments
- Refineries and steelworks
- Test facilities
- Machine data acquisition
- Container-crane management
- Autonomous process monitoring
- Furnace and fire monitoring
- Welding and soldering machines
- Cold storage and warehouses
- Sequence-of-event recorders
- Clean room monitoring
- Environmental monitoring
In machining production, continuous process monitoring serves several purposes. On the one hand, to significantly reduce process fluctuations, and on the other hand, to highlight any upstream factors that could have an impact on production output. Delphin Technology provides support for process monitoring in manufacturing via:
- High-precision measurement results that streamline tool use and standardise machining parameters.
- Monitoring of applied clamping forces, torques, vibrations, oscillations and temperatures.
- Monitoring of ambient temperatures and fill levels.
- Measurement solutions for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.
High-precision measurement technology can make ongoing production processes safer and more stable. The benefits offered by process monitoring include:
- Increased machine and system availability by preventing unplanned downtimes.
- Detecting disruptive events before they occur.
- Significantly greater process stability for more consistency and therefore higher precision output.
- Increased product quality while also reducing rejects.
- Better targeted maintenance and servicing tasks.
- Higher levels of automation.
Any process monitoring requires good data and is therefore dependent on the quality of measurement signals. To detect, record and analyse speeds, pressures, temperatures and vibrations, analog or digital sensors are used according to the task at hand.
The sensors acquire physical and chemical measurements and properties and convert these non-electrical input signals into electrical output signals.
For more than 40 years, users have been using Delphin Technology hardware and software solutions for signal acquisition. Data is acquired using Delphin’s compact data loggers such as the Loggito Logger for decentralised measurement data acquisition directly at plant or machinery, or by autonomously operating ProfiMessage devices, and forwarded via a network to servers or workstation computers.
According to the scope of functions required, Delphin devices are able to monitor acquired data in real time and using software channels prepare it for subsequent analysis.
For optimal operation between sensors and data loggers, Delphin Technology uses:
- High-precision, universal analog inputs
- Inputs for all common sensors
- Galvanic isolation of channels and differential inputs
- Scalable channel numbers
- Simple sensor connection using plug-in screw terminals
- Intelligent signal processing via internal software channels
- Mobile applications using customised measuring case solutions
To turn acquired process data into information that can be used by humans, appropriate software is required for process monitoring. The software needs to have several basic features:
- Data archiving
- Data visualisation
- Process monitoring
- Automation functions
Software from Delphin Technology provides complete solutions. Simple and complex data archiving via the Delphin Data Center software.
Data visualisation and complete automation solutions for process monitoring can be created using the ProfiSignal 20 software.
Measurement data acquired by sensors and processed in data loggers can be displayed by Delphin software on desktop systems, tablets or smartphones, regardless of location. The ProfiSignal software, like all Delphin Technology products, has been developed with ease of use at its core. The software enables detailed diagrams and extensive plant and process visualisations to be created in just a few clicks.
A special feature of Delphin software is its full platform-independency. Any process monitoring project can be displayed on any end device - optimally displayed according to the user device. Actual operating parameters of machinery and plant components can be read out quickly, easily and individually via a QR code. The new SCACH function puts individual measured value diagrams or complex plant visualisations onto mobile devices.
- Fully platform-independent
- Compatible with Windows, Android and IOS
- Modern, ergonomic interface and operating concepts
- Process visualisation with no programming required
- Powerful displaying of measurement data
- Beginner and expert modes for personalised use
Digitalisation is also gaining momentum in Germany, e.g. in the automotive industry, the chemical sector and in robotics. The "fourth industrial revolution" or Industry 4.0 is characterised by automated manufacturing processes and procedures.
This means that process monitoring must also be fully automated. Industry 4.0 will soon be offering exciting opportunities to monitor and optimise processes through automated image processing inspections, automatic responses to production process abnormalities via continuously learning systems, as well as artificial intelligence. Delphin Technology is already able to offer comprehensive solutions for the autonomous recording and monitoring of production processes. For Industry 4.0, Delphin Technology has solutions ranging from the automatic monitoring of limit value violations with instant response measurement and control technology through to DataService databases for continuous or batch-related storage and predictive maintenance as part of condition monitoring:
- Autarchic acquisition and monitoring of any number of channels
- Full connectivity to existing IT architecture via customised interfaces
- Automated fault messaging
- Location-independent online access to all process data
- Remote monitoring via UMTS or LTE
- Process monitoring, condition monitoring, fault analysis and PDA in one system
Do you want to find out more about Delphin Technology's technical solutions for process monitoring or discuss a specific project in your company with our experts? Then give us a call now and arrange a personal consultation with us.