Experiment i kontinuerliga produktionsprocesser
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Greater understanding for production processes

Published: 21 June 2017

How process engineers can learn to understand continuous production processes using experimental techniques has been in the focus of a study now published in the journal Quality & Reliability Engineering International.

It is common that food, drugs, oil, chemicals, cosmetics, and many other products are manufactured by continuous production processes, that is, the production takes place in a continuous product flow. Continuous production plants are typically inflexible, expensive, and large. Almost all production personnel is involved in the experiments due to the around-the-clock production, making the information flow and the coordination essential. The complex production is highly automated to maintain product quality and process control. Despite extensive automation, these processes require improvements to remain competitive.

The research area of experimental design includes a set of powerful tools for process improvement and optimization. Automation, however, interferes with the possibility of conducting experiments. The traditional approaches of experimental design and analysis implicitly assume that the studied process is operating in open loop, i.e., not under automatic control.

In the study, the authors have studied closed-loop control experimentation, not for optimizing the controllers, which is often occurring, but for gaining knowledge on how to improve the processes and the products. The study explores important issues in designing and analyzing experiments in such environments and illustrates how to optimize continuous processes using realistic simulations. Results show how designed experiments are useful for studying the process phenomena but also for studying the effectiveness and efficiency of the automatic control. 

Contact

Bjarne Bergquist

Bergquist, Bjarne - Professor and Head of Subject, Chaired Professor

Organisation: ETSKVALO, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences
Phone: +46 (0)920 492137
Room: A2600 - Luleå»
Francesca Capaci

Capaci, Francesca - Lecturer

Organisation: ETSKVALO, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences
Phone: +46 (0)920 493455
Room: A2583 - Luleå»
Murat Kulahci

Kulahci, Murat - Professor

Organisation: ETSKVALO, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences
Erik Vanhatalo

Vanhatalo, Erik - Associate Professor

Organisation: ETSKVALO, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences
Phone: +46 (0)920 491720
Room: A2594 - Luleå»