Process control is the art and science of assuring that process baths are maintained in a fashion that will keep them in tip top condition for all production operations. Processing solutions will only perform properly when all process parameters (chemical concentration, temperature, purity, agitation, filtration, etc.) are held to levels that meet or surpass chemical manufacturer’s guidelines. These parameters determine and control the performance of the chemical process solutions. Chemicals must be replaced in the baths as they are depleted by bath usage. Periodic laboratory analysis of these parameters is essential to determine the correct amount of chemicals to be added, thus preventing problems that could affect the operation of the process and the final appearance and durability of the finish being applied to customer products.
We have a mature Process Control program anchored by a well-equipped in-house laboratory staffed by full time Process Control personnel. Our database program provides on-line data entry and analysis calculations for necessary chemical additions while maintaining process bath analysis history and analysis scheduling for over 130 process tanks and rinses. Action limits are established and monitored to maintain bath concentrations well within limits suggested by chemical manufacturers. Our experience with each individual bath can alter the selected bath component parameter values for better or more efficient performance. Analysis frequency is managed and may be varied based on experience with each bath or with bath usage and age. Control chart techniques are employed to graphically track bath analysis results and control unwanted variations. The additional advantage of effective process control is the prevention of process bath down time, which means that we can provide our customers completed work as scheduled because our processing baths are maintained in “production ready” condition.