Refining of metals: an overview of the industry
Refining of metals: precision and the correct management of different materials are essential. This industry uses different types of metal, from steel and aluminum to chrome. Used methods in the refining of metals include chrome plating, zinc plating, various coating techniques, electroplating, and powder coating. Within these techniques, in turn, there are different variants. The combination of the numerous finishing methods and the many materials creates a very complex industry, where precision and exact process-control are essential.
Precise controls and measurements are essential as soon as goods are received in the refining of metals. For example, the different metals and auxiliary materials are checked for their purity or technical properties. The need for continuous monitoring increases during the various phases of production. The electroplating process, for example, must be permanently monitored. This involves parameters such as acid and metal content. Likewise, a large proportion of the controls for quality assurance in the finishing of metals are carried out. For example, optical inspections are carried out, such as the inspection of appearance or color. Electronic systems are increasingly being used for this, which measure very precisely and detect even the smallest deviations. In further checks, the surface quality, layer thickness, or corrosion resistance are checked.
Refining of metals: LIMS as a concept for the central administration of measurement and control data
Laboratory information and management systems, in short LIMS, have proven themselves for central data processing. We also rely on this concept for our software for the refining of metals industry. The metal processing companies use numerous sensors for the tests mentioned above and inspections. These permanently supply data in digital form. One advantage of the LIMS is that data from sensors and measuring systems can be read indirectly. The data is transferred directly to the database via interfaces. The Fink & Partner system is compatible with devices from numerous manufacturers. Among others, it is possible to establish a direct connection to measurement and control devices by Bruker, Spectro, Hitachi, Thermo Fisher, or Zwick.
Therefore, it is possible to collect all measurement and control data in a central database. The automation via the digital interfaces allows this process to run continuously and without additional effort. At the same time, the laboratory information and management system can make the data available to other IT systems. For this purpose, the Fink & Partner system has modules to connect to enterprise applications. Thanks to this feature, the Fink & Partner system can also be easily integrated into already existing IT infrastructures. The collected data can then be used in other programs, such as in an ERP system.
The collected data is often the basis for further tasks. Here as well, Fink & Partner’s system offers individual modules that help with daily routine workflows. With the job server, it is possible to automate various processes or have them monitored by the system. This way, limit values can be set, and if they are exceeded, a message is sent to a specific person. With the module for the analysis administration, processing of the measured values is possible. With the SPC monitor, control data can be displayed graphically and clearly. This can be used in the laboratory, in quality control, or directly in production to check the properties. Both displays and evaluations of older data over a longer time, as well as a real-time display, are possible.
An overview of our references
Individual software concepts for the refining of metals industry
Fink & Partner has years of experience in developing software specifically for the metal finishing industry. The different branches of industry, which are equipped with software by Fink & Partner, often have very different and individual requirements. For this reason, Fink & Partner has not only adapted to the general needs of industrial companies but also responds specifically to wishes and requirements. Fink & Partner has already supplied such adapted software systems to numerous companies in the metal finishing industry. Companies that rely on Fink & Partner software include Albert Handtmann Metallgußwerk GmbH & Co. KG, PIV Drives GmbH and Umicore Galvanotechnik GmbH.