The purpose of this paper was testing suitability of the time-series analysis for quality control of the continuous steel casting process in production conditions. The analysis was carried out on industrial data collected in one of Polish steel plants. The production data concerned defective fractions of billets obtained in the process. The procedure of the industrial data preparation is presented. The computations for the time-series analysis were carried out in two ways, both using the authors’ own software. The first one, applied to the real numbers type of the data has a wide range of capabilities, including not only prediction of the future values but also detection of important periodicity in data. In the second approach the data were assumed in a binary (categorical) form, i.e. the every heat(melt) was labeled as ‘Good’ or ‘Defective’. The naïve Bayesian classifier was used for predicting the successive values. The most interesting results of the analysis include good prediction accuracies obtained by both methodologies, the crucial influence of the last preceding point on the predicted result for the real data time-series analysis as well as obtaining an information about the type of misclassification for binary data. The possibility of prediction of the future values can be used by engineering or operational staff with an expert knowledge to decrease fraction of defective products by taking appropriate action when the forthcoming period is identified as critical.
Statistical Process Control (SPC) based on the well known Shewhart control charts, is widely used in contemporary manufacturing industry, including many foundries. However, the classic SPC methods require that the measured quantities, e.g. process or product parameters, are not auto-correlated, i.e. their current values do not depend on the preceding ones. For the processes which do not obey this assumption the Special Cause Control (SCC) charts were proposed, utilizing the residual data obtained from the time-series analysis. In the present paper the results of application of SCC charts to a green sand processing system are presented. The tests, made on real industrial data collected in a big iron foundry, were aimed at the comparison of occurrences of out-of-control signals detected in the original data with those appeared in the residual data. It was found that application of the SCC charts reduces numbers of the signals in almost all cases It is concluded that it can be helpful in avoiding false signals, i.e. resulting from predictable factors.