The requirement was for upgraded machine control of a industrial polishing machine used for optical quality polishing of acrylic plastic billets.
The process uses a polishing arm/head assembly reciprocating across the 2 metre square billets, which are rotated on a vacuum table. Key monitoring and control parameters include polisher head and table speeds and load, arm speed, load and positioning, water and slurry flows and vacuum level.
The Prodigy based system provides machine control, batch tracking, SPC analysis, process records and condition monitoring.
A touch screen PC forms an operator interface with on-screen display representing the polisher with all measured signals shown next to their appropriate location on the machine.
Summary information of current production run and on-screen buttons allow operators to interact with the polisher sequence. Buttons also allow access to realtime and historic trend facilities for key process measurements. Remote users on the network can view the process in real time.
Statistical process control allows comprehensive analysis of any monitored signal on demand and the system can automatically determine if the process is in statistical control, check for out of spec data as well as run pattern rule violations.
Condition monitoring is provided by monitoring motor run times and the accumulated polishing time of the polishing heads. This makes it possible to monitor the polisher head performance and to determine if degradation of the polisher head is responsible for reduction in product quality. Alarm levels can warn when the usage time limit is approached or exceeded.
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