Monitoring and Control of Equipment and Process in Cold Extrusion 981340
Cold extrusion and forging processes are complex. They require monitoring and controlling the appropriate parameters to ensure high productivity and continued competitiveness of North American press and manufacturing companies. Current average productivity rates in high-volume, high-tonnage operations are often less than 60 percent, and the lost production capacity is mainly due to equipment failures and unreliable process control. The results presented in this paper pertain to identifying root causes for lost production in an automated facility running multiple high tonnage capacity presses and the tools developed to monitor and control the key parameters to improve productivity and eliminate downtime due to catastrophic equipment failure. To gain insight into various equipment and process related phenomena that lower productivity, a spectrum of sensors was installed inside of the dies and on mechanical components of two identical presses in the facility. A system comprising multiple computers and high volume magneto-optical storage archives and analyzes signals from these sensors to monitor the load on various components of the presses, process parameters and tonnage signatures. This system is also able to set control limits on a real-time basis. Detailed information pertaining to sensor placement and data analysis algorithms is presented in the paper. Example results that indicate the feasibility of predictive process control and monitoring as a promising solution for maximizing process efficiency and product quality are also included.