Stay Ahead of the Curve with Advanced Controls Technology
By Jason Sanders and Jim Grann, Ipsen USA
Perfecting your thermal processing operations is paramount to producing high-quality products. By mastering and maintaining control of your equipment, old and new, you can achieve this optimization, which ultimately leads to the ideal performance of your heat-treating equipment. This performance allows you to obtain and replicate desired results, as well as streamline your process, creating time and cost savings.
Advanced controls technology gives you the operational flexibility needed to measure and analyze your equipment and processes with ease. You can then use said analysis to refine and adjust the settings and parameters of your equipment to enhance your process. With advanced controls, this optimization is simple and also ensures less human error in the production process because it eliminates several manual processes, automating them for precise, repeatable control.
Revitalizing older equipment with controls upgrades increases its capabilities and overall flexibility, keeping it up-to-date and in line with your current systems. One example of the benefits of an upgrade to an older system is that many older vacuum furnaces require a manual adjustment of the heating elements via trim pots. With a controls upgrade, one can monitor and adjust the heating elements through the industrial computer's graphical interface. By eliminating the need for manual adjustments, you rely on the Program Logic Controller (PLC), thus eliminating potential for human error.
In addition to perfecting your process, some heat treaters may need to meet rigorous industry specifications like those in the Aerospace industry including, but not limited to, Nadcap and AMS 2750. Demands for compliance to industry-specific regulations have never been greater, but the trend toward more precise measurement and control is increasing even outside these specifications and regulations.