Yokogawa releases AI-enabled data logging technologies

Yokogawa Australia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 07 May, 2020


Yokogawa releases AI-enabled data logging technologies

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced the release of AI-enabled versions of its GX series panel-mount type paperless recorders, GP series portable paperless recorders and GA10 data logging software, which are components of the company’s SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system.

There is rising interest in the manufacturing sector in the use of AI to prevent equipment malfunctions and maximise productivity. At the same time, AI technologies have a steep learning curve, and the introduction of existing AI-enabled products and the analysis of their data is typically beyond the expertise of novices to this field.

Recorders are used in manufacturing and R&D to acquire, display and record data on voltage, current, temperature, flow rate, pressure and other process variables. As a manufacturer of such recorders, Yokogawa is also highly experienced with the use of machine learning to predict and analyse both equipment anomalies and product quality for manufacturers.

To improve productivity and product quality, Yokogawa is now building user-friendly AI-related functions into its recorders, data logging software and controllers. For example, these functions now enable GX/GP series recorders to draw waveforms on screen that are predicted based on the real-time analysis of collected data so that users can anticipate and correct problems early on, before they have a chance to escalate. Also, the e-RT3 Plus edge computing platform has been enhanced with the addition of support for Python, a programming language that is widely used in AI R&D.

This new AI functionality includes the future pen, a function developed by Yokogawa that enables the drawing of predicted waveforms. Yokogawa is also releasing a new CPU module for the e-RT3 Plus edge computing platform that is environmentally robust and Python-compatible. The SMARTDAC+ system is a product in the OpreX Data Acquisition family, and the e-RT3 Plus is part of the OpreX Control Devices family.

The introduction of AI functions such as the future pen, said to be a first for industrial recorders (based on a Yokogawa 2020 survey), will help users identify and correct problems before they have a chance to cause disruptions in production operations.

Enhancements

AI future pen function for drawing of predicted waveforms

The future pen function enables the drawing of predicted waveforms based on the use of AI to analyse collected data in real time. By viewing predicted waveforms up to a specified time point, users can identify the likelihood that an alarm will occur and take action in advance.

Detection of anomalies and prediction of potential failures

A machine learning function has been added to the GA10 data logging software that can acquire normal process values from correctly operating devices and use these values to detect an anomaly and predict a potential failure, a capability that up till now has only been possessed by the most expert operators. Data on which device is expected to fail is displayed on-screen, highlighted within a yellow frame. Maintenance can thus be performed before the device fails, minimising the likelihood of any disruptions to production. This function does not necessitate the collection of abnormal process values and thus is easy to implement.

Addition of Python support

e-RT3 Plus controllers can be built into various types of devices. For use with these controllers, Yokogawa is releasing a new CPU module that supports Python, a programming language that is widely used in machine learning and other branches of the AI field. The large library of software written in this language includes numerous tools that programmers can use to speed up their development of AI predictive diagnostic functions. This new CPU module also has excellent environmental resistance, and easily accommodates existing input/output (IO) modules. The addition of this new module to the e-RT3 Puls edge computing platform will enable the introduction of AI solutions in a wider range of industries.

Target markets and applications

The GX series is aimed at production sites in a wide range of industries including iron and steel, electric power, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, heat treatment equipment, water supply and wastewater treatment, electrical equipment and electronics, while the GP series is aimed at companies engaged in R&D of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors and new-energy related technologies as well as academic institutions and research institutes.

The GA10 data logging software supports all markets. e-RT3 Plus controllers are aimed at manufacturers of industrial machinery and companies engaged in the assembly of electronic components and devices.

Applications include the monitoring and recording of voltage, current, temperature, flow rate, pressure and other process variables; evaluation of performance in equipment management, production and product development; and safety and reliability evaluation during product quality inspection processes.

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