PMX amplifier improves efficiency and quality in gypsum board production

The world’s largest manufacturer of gypsum board, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd (The Taihe Group), has improved its production efficiency and product quality with an upgraded system utilizing HBM’s PMX modular industrial measuring amplifier system. The Taihe Group is part of the China National Building Material Group Corporation.

The challenge: Consistent quality level in gypsum board production

The Taihe Group has developed rapidly over the past few years and, for strategic reasons, decided to automate and replace its traditional manual production methods. Gypsum board is used in construction as partition and ceiling material because it is fireproof with excellent insulation and sound attenuation properties.

The Taihe Group’s strategy is intended to produce more consistent boards and demanded a system that could automatically measure and record the thickness and width of its products. Thickness needed to be between 8 to 12mm with a tolerance of less than 0.01mm while the width of boards needed to remain constant at 1200mm with a tolerance of 0.2 to 0.3mm.

Real-time computation of board thickness and width using PMX

Laser displacement sensor

Working with Weizhao Technology, a Chinese industrial automation and control specialist, a comprehensive solution comprising laser displacement sensors, HBM’s PMX measuring amplifier system along with data acquisition and control system and visualization software was developed.

Four laser displacement sensors were installed in the production line to measure the thickness and width of the gypsum board product. HBM’s PMX acquires displacement signals and ensures substantially improved quality through real-time computation of thickness and width. The amplifier system is fully integrated with the production environment. Results are transferred to a central control system with HMI via Ethernet so that production information such as batch numbers and whether products meet specifications can be recorded.

The advantages of using PMX:

Customized visualization software using LabVIEW platform
  • Production efficiency has been increased leading to reduced labor with associated cost savings.
  • The synchronization system for monitoring thickness and width ensures improved product quality.
  • The PMX features a powerful computation function and virtual real-time channels.
  • High measurement accuracy and repeatability is obtained with the PMX’s 24-bit A/D conversion to avoid any measuring errors caused by human factors.
  • Production output can easily be increased because the PMX features quick data acquisition giving a highly precise, reliable and consistent stream of data.
  • The PMX features a LabVIEW* driver simplifying integration into automation systems.
  • Alarms alert operators when the measuring data is out of specified tolerance while data traceability is simplified.

* LabVIEW is a trademark of National Instruments Corporation

Left: Schematic diagram of mechanical structure, right: PMX in the cabinet
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