Monitoring a Rubber Mixing Process
By: CAS DataLoggers
A customer contacted us to find out if we could provide a data acquisition system for a very old piece of equipment used to blend raw materials for rubber compounds, which was used in a development lab. During the rubber mixing process, several parameters needed to be measured and charted to indicate the blending was complete. Because of the age of the machine, there were only panel meters and LED readouts with no way to electronically capture the data or display trend info. This required an operator to constantly monitor the process and, if necessary, manually record data on paper.
After a visit to the customer site and a run-through of a sample blending operation, it was determined that there were four key parameters that needed to be captured:
• Temperature at 2 locations in the blending chamber
• Current draw of the mixer motor
• Blending speed in Rotations Per Minute (RPMs)
We determined that a Delphin Loggito data logger would be a perfect fit for this rubber mixing process project. It offered 4 universal analog inputs that could handle all of the measurements needed. With a sample rate of 600 Hz, it could easily collect data fast enough to generate a real-time chart with the time resolution necessary to monitor the blending process.
The installation of the hardware was straight forward, but because of the age of the system, the electrical hookup provided several challenges. The Loggito data logger was installed in the existing control cabinet using the DIN rail mounting clips that are supplied with the unit. A separate plug in DC power supply was used to power the logger since the power provided by the existing 24 VDC supply in the control cabinet was very "dirty".
Once the hardware was in place, the analog channels of the Loggito were set-up using the DataService Configuration software. This allowed each channel to be independently configured for the signal type: thermocouple (or voltage in this case) and where necessary, scaled to the proper values and units.
The most immediate benefit was that the operator could instantly determine when the rubber mixing process was complete by looking at the shape of the curves displayed in the graph. Secondly, all of the data was accurately recorded to provide a full picture of what was happening during the blending process. This data could be easily exported and used for comparison, analysis, and optimization of the process.
For more information on Delphin Loggito Data Loggers, or to find the ideal solution for your application-