With a continuous digital picture of product on the production line coming from the optical inspection system, we can harness real-time data about the product being produced. This data can then be harvested to make immediate decisions that increase yields, cut costs, and control quality.
The optical inspection system can be set up to tally specific product data and characteristics, which can be monitored using statistical process control techniques. If out-of-tolerance conditions are detected, the network can respond appropriately: it could automatically adjust an upstream or downstream process via control points or simply alert an operator via alarm or pager.
In addition to an immediate event dynamically triggering an alarm or process adjustment, data can be collected over time and analyzed to identify trends so potential problems can be predicted before they occur and therefore, can be avoided.
Data from the optical inspection system can also be collected and linked to data from other sources to identify correlations that are currently undiscovered—correlations that could present new, yet-to-be-defined opportunities to further increase operating efficiencies.
This powerful process control capability can be realized simultaneously while the optical inspection system continues to perform its traditional job of removing defects and foreign material from the product stream. Process control is an enormous added value.
Forté™ is a modular control system that can control Key’s Smart Shaker® Vibratory Conveyors as well as other Key and non-Key processing and packaging line equipment to maximize line throughput and optimize product quality. Forté™ is ideal for packaging distribution systems that feeds scales and baggers among other applications.
Key combines customized modules with a variety of standard modules to suit a range of project sizes and budgets. Key’s Control Systems Engineers first work with the customer’s plant engineers to identify the goals of the system and the variables on the line such as the number, location, and size of motors, as well as the number of gates, sensors, and other components. Key engineers then program the logic to accomplish the customer’s specific goals.
Forté™ Control Systems combine PLC-based programming and a graphical user-interface that simplify operation.
With one single point of control for the entire line, Forté™ can also be ported to interface with external automation systems and networks, and feed data to front office information systems.
The single source responsibility that Key offers with the Forté™ Control System eases installation and improves customer service.