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Industrial application of SPC to batch polymerization processes

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2 Author(s)
Schlags, C.E. ; Air Products & Chem. Inc., Allentown, PA, USA ; Popule, M.P.

Describes how we successfully developed and implemented batch process monitoring technology in a class of emulsion processes. Through several examples, we demonstrate the power that univariate batch statistical process control (SPC) technology has to improve both batch product quality and manufacturing productivity. We show that, by applying a batch SPC methodology, we can more easily discern batch differences that are associated with the normal variability of our processes vs. those that are due to abnormal or special causes. In particular, we describe how we applied this technology to prevent off-spec batches, to support a reactor over-pressure problem and to screen a potential new raw-material supplier. A key feature of this work is that we developed this capability internally, since no commercial batch SPC product met our needs. The three components of this internally-developed technology are discussed: (1) a development tool, (2) a monitoring tool and (3) a knowledge management tool. We have also captured and present several key success factors and the lessons learned in implementing this technology in an industrial setting

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American Control Conference, 2001. Proceedings of the 2001  (Volume:1 )

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