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Yokogawa announces Process Data Analytics software

Posted: Wednesday 19th October 2016

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces Process Data Analytics, an application program that can detect a decline in quality or productivity at an early stage of the manufacturing process by analysing process data, facility status information, operation history, and other data. Used in combination with Yokogawa's analytical services, this software can help companies stabilize and continuously improve the quality of their products. Process Data Analytics will be released for sale in March 2017.

Development Background

While working to quickly respond to a diverse array of market needs, manufacturers face a growing need to stabilize the quality of the products coming off their production lines. Product quality is affected by factors such as fluctuations in the quality of raw materials and the aging of manufacturing facilities. Even when the raw materials supplied by different contractors vary in composition, the need to ensure high quality in the final product remains unchanged. To improve quality in each production process and thereby improve the quality of their final products, manufacturers must analyse various types of data. The effectiveness of such analysis has largely depended on the knowledge and expertise of the workers at each production site.

As a solution to such challenges, Yokogawa began offering a process data analytical service to its customers in 2008. To date, more than 100 contracts for this service have been concluded with companies in Japan's chemical industry and other industry sectors, and these companies have come to rely on this service.

Based on the insights that Yokogawa engineers gained by providing this service to their customers, the company developed an analytical tool to improve its efficacy and thereby help its customers maintain and improve product quality. This software makes use of the Mahalanobis Taguchi (MT) method*1, a pattern-recognition technique that is employed in multivariate analysis. The company is now preparing for the commercial release of this software.

Softwarefeatures

Process Data Analytics will run on Windows PCs and will analyse production operations using temperature, pressure, flow rate, liquid level, and other process data as well as data on facility operations and equipment maintenance collected by a PIMS (plant information management system), DCS, or PLC. Data from Yokogawa's Exaquantum plant information management system can be used without the need for file conversion.

Process Data Analytics will use the MT method for the analysis of multiple statistical variables. This will compare the collected data and accurately detect deviations from normal conditions. Any deviation will trigger a warning that quality may have deteriorated. By using the four M criteria of material, method, machine, and manpower to analyse process data, this software can visualize changes in production processes and thereby improve operations at manufacturing sites. Key benefits of this software are as follows:

1. Early detection of abnormalities in production processes

By detecting changes in production process data, this software can spot quality and productivity issues at an early stage of the manufacturing process. Based on this information, measures can then be taken to bring production operations back to a normal condition and recover quality.

2. Fail-proof quality inspection

By detecting changes in the data from production processes, this software can detect any sign of deteriorating quality and thereby catch any fault that might be overlooked in a conventional pre-shipment inspection. This can help quality assurance departments improve their quality inspection process.

3. Extensible via integration with MATLAB

This software supports MATLAB, the widely used numerical analysis tool from MathWorks. Custom MATLAB calculations can be integrated within the Process Data Analytics software to ensure the leveraging of unique business and domain knowledge(please note that a license to use this product must be purchased).

4. High speed and accuracy through use of AngleTry Associates' proprietary technology

Thanks to the use of a pattern-recognition technology licensed from AngleTry Associates, this software delivers quick and accurate analyses. Thistechnology is particularly useful with consulting and systems construction.AngleTry has sold over 500 licenses for pattern-recognition and other technologies mainly in Japan.The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has chosen AngleTry's technology for the autonomous inspection of its Epsilon rocket.




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