Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced 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 stabilise and continuously improve the quality of their products. Process Data Analytics will be released for sale in March 2017.
While working to quickly respond to a diverse array of market needs, manufacturers face a growing need to stabilise 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, a pattern-recognition technique that is employed in multivariate analysis. The company is now preparing for the commercial release of this software.
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 visualise changes in production processes and thereby improve operations at manufacturing sites.
Production quality control in the oil, petrochemical, chemical, pulp and paper, iron and steel, pharmaceutical, food, automobile, glass, rubber, electrical equipment/electronics, and other industries
Expanding provision of advanced solutions for control applications is a high priority for Yokogawa, which offers a variety of advanced software solutions that help manufacturers improve production efficiency, safety, and energy efficiency, and thereby make the most effective use of their production facilities. Yokogawa continues strive to expand our advanced solutions through the development of software and the pursuit of alliances, and will seek to accelerate growth for customers by working with them to find solutions and create value.