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Eliminating Manual Errors with Automated Data Logging

Cut Down on Errors and Costs with Our dataTaker Systems

Manual measurements are notoriously error-prone—it’s just a fact of life. Technicians need highly accurate data in any manufacturing process, especially temperature monitoring in heat treatment ovens. As a recent example, CAS DataLoggers has converted a manufacturer’s manual data collection process over to automation. This customer’s factory has multiple stationary heat treating ovens. Their previous procedures required employees to periodically read temperature values from several controller displays and manually record them using paper forms. However, this turned out to be an inefficient and unreliable way to document the ovens’ temperature profile. The manufacturer needed to reduce these data entry errors and cut wasted time while increasing measurement accuracy and quality in order to provide the most precise reporting to end customers.

The plant installed dataTaker DT80 Data Loggers in control cabinets nearby their ovens, using repeated signals from the existing temperature controllers as inputs. These standalone dataloggers now automatically record process temperature without the need for human intervention, which greatly increases measurement accuracy and frees everyone up for other important work. To see the current temperature, users only have to glance at each logger’s integrated display. All measurements are stored in each device’s user-defined memory (up to 10 million readings), and can also be saved to a memory stick via the logger’s USB port. It’s easy to set schedule size and mode to record only as long as necessary and overwrite or stop logging once each DT80’s memory is full. Each dataTaker also features a solid construction to protect it from the occasional industrial mishap or being dropped.

The dataTakers are connected to the plant LAN via Ethernet so data transmission is performed by FTP to a local server. Using the included dEX graphic interface, Quality Assurance engineers access calculations and diagnostic information and can view the data in dashboards, charts and tables. Users quickly learned how to configure and setup in dEX to customize data collection, and can remotely monitor process data from anywhere Internet is available. Similarly, automated alarm messages notified personnel over FTP whenever temperatures went outside these user-set parameters, and this also triggered the loggers to archive the data.

Post-installation, the dataTakers removed the need to take manual measurements, saving employees many hours of walking around with a clipboard and taking all the data down by pen. Data collection, transmission and alarming are all automated so no one has to take time out of their day to check temperatures, record the data, or report an alarm. Through standalone operation, the dataTakers also continue to operate during power failures. While users were getting up and running with dEX, they called in to CAS DataLoggers for free tech support so they could get the hang of setting up logging schedules and control tasks.