In-Process Control and Optimization
In manufacturing processes and operations, the way to verify smooth operation was through periodic analysis that require extractive testing and analysis of the product. This required time and labor and resulted in waste of materials and energy. Often, product that did not meet specifications (so-called off-spec) would need to be discarded as waste, frequently in large quantities. It is now possible and important that future processes and even operations beyond manufacturing utilize in-process control and optimization through the use of real-time sensors and analysis. In this way, there is the ability to sense off-spec material before it is formed in significant quantities and to make the appropriate corrections in-situ. This becomes especially vital when pursuing the goal of process integration.