Manufacturing process monitoring has used remote sensing to control process for many years. Many of these sensors have been hard-wired to provide the data to a central location but where process or assets are not fixed, or power is not available, this has been problematic.
With the availability of highly efficient wireless protocols and low cost transceivers, it is now possible to monitor processes or activities with the manufacturing plant without the presence of mains power. In certain circumstances, it is possible to use ‘power scavenging’ techniques to remove the requirement for batteries within the sensor device.
Advanced manufacturing processes enabled by sensing and control enables:
- Improved product uniformity
- Manufacture of optimised elements not possible without active process control
- Reduced use of energy and raw material and reduced process wastage.
- Process automation
Distributed & multi-modal sensors for improved process efficacy
Accurate process monitoring depends on being able to accurately monitor process variables. Efficient process operation depends on quickly and cost effectively responding to control the manufacture of a product. As sensor technology improves, and the ability to pre-condition the sensor data at source becomes more cost effective, it is now possible to monitor parameters by using multi-modal sensors which can respond both to the desired process or indicate the presence of undesirable substances occurring within the process.