Metal Finishing Guide Book

2011-2012 Surface Finishing Guidebook

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Fig. 4. Multirectifier computer-controlled system. repeatable coatings. The major advantage of computer over manual control of a rectifier is the com- puter's ability to repeat a particular operation or procedure time after time. Computers can perform a variety of different functions when integrated with rec- tifiers. The computer can simultaneously monitor a number of output cur- rents and voltages, detailing them on a video-display terminal. It can also main- tain those voltages and currents within designated parameters, thereby compensating for varying input voltage or load changes. The computer can easily regulate pulsing and reversing power supplies. The computer replaces the switches, meters, and potentiometers typically required for manual operation; yet a manual override is included in case of malfunction. The advantages of a simple computer package are easily seen. The first major improvement is in the consistency of a finished product. Due to the precise application of power, the coating is exact from piece to piece, and this can sig- nificantly reduce rework and reject rates. Furthermore, a computer's precision con- trol of cycle times and rectifier operation can reduce power consumption, result- ing in lower electricity bills. Finally, the computer can calculate and transfer exact amounts of chemicals to finishing tanks, minimizing associated material costs and reducing waste and sludge-disposal expenditures. A computerized system should be custom designed for the specific application, regardless of the size of the finishing operation or the degree of automation desired. Customization is the key to successful systems integration. The system should, however, be designed and constructed using standard components. This procedure provides a system that exactly matches the needs of the user while minimizing the initial cost. 640

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