Controls Software in Atmosphere Equipment

When it comes to your atmosphere furnace, controls software can assist in maintaining balance by regulating, documenting, and archiving a variety of processes.

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An essential part of producing quality parts is achieving precise control over your processes and atmosphere equipment. As such, utilizing intuitive controls software with your equipment, such as Ipsen’s Carb-o-Prof® system, plays an essential role in providing ease of use and reliable operations.

What capabilities should your controls equipment possess?

Flexibility

On a basic level, the controls software should be capable of computing and executing a wide variety of processes, as well as providing you with the flexibility to measure and analyze your processes and equipment.

Cost and Time Savings

The controls software selected should also provide some means of avoiding the unnecessary waste of parts and resources. With Ipsen’s Carb-o-Prof controls software, its time- and cost-saving simulation function and integrated C-profile optimization allows you to simulate processes and compute materials’ expected carbon profile according to the entered parameters. The profile can then be re-evaluated and parameters can be adjusted. Stringent range-limiting controls also identify and eliminate any errors. Overall, this gives you the ability to review the process results for your specific load immediately after generating the potential recipe — all without having to do the actual run or waste valuable parts, time, or resources.

Repeatable, Quality Parts

Being able to ensure that your parts emerge at a consistent, high level of quality should also be on your list. With Carb-o-Prof software, you can monitor the process status once you are actually running the load. As a result, parts within the same load are consistent in both case depth and hardness.

Intuitive

It is also important to be able to take into account what the controls software does in the case of an unforeseen event. In situations such as a power outage or a variation in temperature or carbon percentage, the Carb-o-Prof software communicates with the furnace’s PLC and adapts the process to the changing circumstances, preventing the waste of parts and resources. Knowing that your controls software is intuitive enough to make the necessary adaptations for unexpected events is certainly an advantage.

Automation

We are all familiar with operating errors. After all, the possibility is always present when you add in the human element. This is why considering controls software that possesses automation capabilities can be beneficial. With Carb-o-Prof software, only minimum input is required from operations, thus virtually eliminating the risk of operating errors. As an added bonus, this software allows the system to precisely adapt to your production requirements and specific project parameters.

What exactly is the Carb-o-Prof controls system?

The Carb-o-Prof software was specially designed by Ipsen for the computation and execution of the complete carburizing and quenching cycles, as well as other heat treatment processes. You can take advantage of the analysis it provides to refine and adjust the settings and parameters of your equipment and enhance your process, thus improving the quality of your parts.

The software provides valuable assistance with two key elements: unplanned situations and preventing the unnecessary waste of parts and resources. This is because the software is able to adapt the process to changing circumstances (e.g., if the power goes out), as well as allow you to generate a potential recipe and immediately review the process results using the advanced simulation software.

What makes Carb-o-Prof unique compared to other controls systems?

The Carb-o-Prof controls software has three key features that make it stand out from others. These features include an extensive recipe database, an adaptive C-profile control, and a time- and cost-saving simulation function.

Recipe and Materials Database

This database allows the user to register the most important recipe information via a quick, simple input. Faulty inputs are prevented by appropriately limiting the input range, thus maintaining a safe operation and avoiding excessive consumption. As a result, recipes are generated in an easy, consistent manner that focuses on the carburizing or hardness results and prevents input errors.

You can also enter a virtually unlimited number of materials and their particular composition. The Carb-o-Prof software will then assign them the appropriate parameters to simulate the desired process, thus making it possible to effectively forecast case depths and cycle times — or in other words, better ensure the quality of your parts. Figure 1

C-Profile Control

Using pre-specified target parameters, such as surface carbon content, carburizing depth, and/or core carbon content, Carb-o-Prof is able to define a target carbon-content curve in the shape of a smooth S-form. As a result, parts within the same load are consistent in both case depth and hardness, and this outstanding performance is consistently repeated load after load.

Simulation with C-Profile Optimization

Another feature of the Carb-o-Prof software is its simulation function. Essentially, it computes materials’ expected carbon profile according to the entered parameters and displays the results, both as a table and as a straightforward graph. The profile can then be re-evaluated and parameters adjusted, if necessary. Overall, this gives you the ability to review the process results for your specific load immediately after generating the potential recipe — all without having to do the actual run.

Conclusion

In the end, being able to maintain control of your equipment not only allows you to produce high-quality products, but it also ultimately leads to the optimum performance of your atmosphere equipment. By taking the time to choose the controls software that best fits your needs, you are better equipped to obtain and replicate desired results, as well as streamline your process, creating valuable time and cost savings.

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joined Ipsen in 2009 as an international sales manager for Latin America. Now, as Ipsen’s manager for atmosphere products, his primary focus is the development and sale of Ipsen’s batch atmosphere product lines. Alquicer received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and his master’s degree in international business from the Universidad De Las Americas in Mexico. He spent 14 years working for international companies in varied roles, including mechanical engineering, project management, and sales. Throughout his six years at Ipsen, Alquicer’s technical background has been a valuable asset for approaching complex applications, as well as assisting a wide range of customers in finding the best product solutions for their needs. For more information, visit www.IpsenUSA.com.